Monday, November 28

just something about the past three weeks...

I have been off work for just over 3 weeks now, and return tomorrow to my "donor service rep" job with CBS.  (which by the way - if you have ever THOUGHT of donating blood ~ now is the time!!)
I am feeling like I am starting a new job even though I have only been off work with my hurt leg! I love that I love my job!  I love that I actually miss my co-workers.  I do not take that for granted.

SO that being said, as I look back on the past few weeks, they have been a "gift" in a few ways ~ NOT THAT I WOULD CONSIDER THE FALL A GIFT ~ but the time to just sit and to just "be" was very timely.  Timely but hard.  It IS hard to sit and get other people to bring you stuff (especially the first week and a half when I was on crutches)  Hard to walk with crutches and carry my cup of coffee.  It forced me to become quite inventive!

Before my fall, I had poured out some of my thoughts to God one day - thoughts about struggling with lack of discipline in my life in all areas.  In fact my journal entry from October 28th said this:
"Is my lack of journal entries an indication of my heart?  O Lord ~
I think my struggle is a lack of discipline in my life.  In all areas.  I want to do, what I do not do.  I am so pitiful at times.  So pitiful!"

That morning as I wrote in my journal, I was waiting for something to be completed, so I had taken my journal because I knew I would have time.  I wrote some more as I sat waiting.
"It is a time to sit and wait.  Seems I sit and wait when I have to and yet Lord, I often don;t choose to willingly sit and wait!"

Ohhhh....  little did I know that less than 5 days later, as a result of my fall down the steps, I would be forced to "sit and wait" and make the best of it!  But God knew that.  And in retrospect, I am thankful for the time as I sat, waited, listened, journaled, read, had my QT with the Lord, worked on my online course in Soul Talk, and was just able to "be" which I totally understood even before this forced waiting time!

It was also a time for me to become very appreciative of all that my husband (my sweet man) and my kids do for me.  And all that they mean to me.

But as I look back, I realize that as I become more mobile and as I become more involved in being able to work again, and as I become involved in the fullness that leads up to Christmas, I really do not want to lose what I learned during the time off.  How easily I fall back into old patterns, into old routines and into old undisciplined life style.

I want to live fully in all ways but do not want to become consumed by being BUSY.  Man, I hate that word!  It is just NOT a good word!  So I will become more intentional about my time and the best things to put into it.  I don't want to miss a minute of the amazing moments that each day holds!
I want to develop some more discipline ... some routine (although even the word routine sounds kind of boring!)  I want to embrace life and live a life of thankfulness. I want to make sure that I DO put "first things first!!"THESE are my thoughts today!  O Lord, please help me because I can't do it alone!

Friday, November 11

we remember

I want to live for peace.  Peace in my life.  Peace in the life of my family.  Peace in the world.
My dad, who was a WWII veteran, and amputee because of it ~ spent the last years of his life as an advocate for peace.  He spoke at many schools.  One time Shaw Cable produced an interview that a student had done with my dad being interviewed.  My dad went to war.  He said it was the thing to do!  Each young man wanted to fight for the King.  In my dad's family - two of them went to war.  Both returned, however they returned with many scars of war - some visible, most not.

My dad used to tell the kids that were spellbound ~ listening to his story ~ that we have to live in peace.  That War should not happen again.

When my dad went to war, he left behind a mom and dad (and many siblings).  His mom gave him something to take.  It was a little black leather New Testament.  She asked him if he would promise to read from it each day that he was away.  My Grandma Thomas - I wished I had known her.  A woman of great faith.  A woman who embraced life to the fullest.  A woman who loved her family so much.  I can only imagine the hug that she gave to my dad - her son who was 3rd youngest in a family of 13.  Or should I say I really can't imagine.  I have had to send my son off to study in a different city - and that was hard enough.  I have never, Thank God, had to send my son off to fight in a war.

My dad loved his mom.  I know that just from the way I saw him talk about his mom.  At this time, before he left, he promised her that he would read it.  And, my dad said that he did.  He read it every day - even if it meant reading it while sitting in the latrine.  My dad also said that he carried this New Testament in the inside breast pocket of his uniform.

My grandmother's faith was strong.  At the point where my dad went away to war, he knew about God but had never given his life personally to Jesus.  He had never made that choice, for whatever reason.  But, I have no doubt that he knew what it meant to accept Jesus forgiveness, and what it meant to make Jesus Lord of his life.  He just did not see the need.  After all, he was young - just barely a man - and he had his whole life ahead of him.  He surely didn't need God at this point.  I have no doubt that my grandma was on her knees in prayer ALOT while my dad was growing up and then away fighting a war.

Fighting was his choice.  Fighting was his obligation.  He went away strong, healthy, full of life and ready to do what needed to be done for the sake of freedom.

My dad was hurt in Italy.  A country that is so full of romance these days.  It held many memories for my dad.  Memories that woke him up in a cold swet often during his nights.  Memories that he kept hidden away for the most part - except for the obvious schrapnel wounds, and the very visible loss of a leg.  My dad began to tell his story in written form,  about the night a shell landed close to where he was in the trenches.  He said that he laid there for a very very long time.  In fact, so long that when his comrades found him - they thought that he was dead.

He said that as he laid there thinking that this was his end, his thoughts turned to his Mother.  He remembered how she had asked him to read his bible daily.  He said he laid there knowing that if he died, he would die without giving his heart to Jesus BUT he said that he hoped that his mom would think that perhaps he had, and that she would have some peace thinking of that.  I found that really interesting.  Interesting that there he was - faced with death (which he thought was just a matter of time) and yet he still did not choose Jesus as Lord.  There was no deathbed conversion happening.  That to me is very very interesting.  It was not until my two sisters were born that my dad gave his life to Jesus Christ at a gospel meeting at St. James Gospel Chapel.  And he lived all out for the Lord for the rest of his life - fully embracing the grace that he experienced, and the forgiveness of sin!  Thank you Jesus!

As a little girl - I remember sitting on my dad's knee and taking my finger and touching his scars and asking him why he had them.  His answers were always short - and I didn't ever ask him more.  My mom told me how hard it was for him to learn how to walk again.  She met him at Deer Lodge Hospital when he was flown home from the hospital in England.  It sounded like love at first sight.  My dad however had to learn how to adapt to life minus a leg.  My dad had a girlfriend then who didn't have time for him any more when she realized life would not be the same.  My dad had been a dancer, and a square dance caller ... how in the world would he dance now!! My mom told me how, when he began to use crutches, and then to get used to using an artificial leg - that he fell alot.  She talked about how she would want to run and help him, but my dad did not want help.  And he for sure did not want any pity!

As a little girl I remember when my mom would let me take out his medals and look at them.  I remember asking about them and imagining them pinned to my dad's uniform.  As a little girl I would look at the picture of my dad as a soldier, that my mom had on the dresser.  Handsome as all get out!
The picture taken before his life and mind was filled with the horrors of war.

War - should never happen again.
We have to live in peace.
These were my dad's words.
In fact, my dad died November 2 - just mere days before he was scheduled to speak again at Sun Valley School.

We must never forget.  NOT that we are glorifying war, but that we will remember not to take freedom of country for granted.

We must never forget the families that lost loved ones on the fields during WWI, WWII and all of the wars that have been fought, and are being fought right up to the present day - combat missions.
The tears that run down the faces of the mothers ...
The broken hearts.
The sacrifice of life - for "freedom"

O Lord, let there be peace on earth and please let it begin with me!  This is my prayer on this day when I am choosing to remember the past.  Let peace begin with me!

This version of In Flanders Fields was written by Helen Litz, and sung by her choir, Winnipeg Mennonite Children's Choir.  Ashley (my daughter) sang with the choir from time she was 9 till 18.  It is a beautiful but haunting rendition.

Thursday, November 10

timing is everything even when we think the timing is all wrong

So, I am one week in to the "off work" part of my injury.  My form from the doctor says "absent from work beginning November 3 for 3 weeks" or something close to that effect.  Someone mentioned that they wondered if this timing was God ordained.  Now part of me has thought that "if" it was God ordained, I have to wonder about God's timing.   But the other part of me has often said that "God's timing is always right".  SO .... which is it?  (guess I need to stop being so wishy washy hey!)

I have to be on crutches and in this big boot with minimal weight bearing on my booted foot for 1.5 weeks until I begin physio with Jay.  My first app is next Tuesday.   THEN I think I can let the crutches go and walk without them although still minimally until the three weeks is up, at which time Jay has to say if I am good to go back to work or need more time.  I have to say that my employer Canadian Blood Services and my co-workers have been amazing to me.  I have a feeling that my coworker DSR's are working extra shifts to cover mine.  How will I ever repay them!  (I really miss those women!!)

Now, that being said, I do remember back a week and a bit ago, when I was talking with God and sharing how I am struggling with lack of Quiet Time with Him in my life - and lack of time to just sit and soak in the Word, and the lack of journalling, and lack of doing the things that are feeding my soul with true nourishment.  I was lamenting the lack of routine in my life that INCLUDED the things that satisfied my thirsty soul.  And here I am now, with lots of time on my hands!  (so it is hard to think that this time off is NOT God-ordained!)  I am not saying God did this to me.  NO, I stepped off those steps in my hurry and obliviousness ... but I also believe that nothing happens outside of His knowledge and plan for us.

Yesterday morning was glorious ...
Today began even earlier.  Alvin went out the door at about 6:40 - heading off to work.  Normally I would head back to bed, but instead I began the day with my study by Beth Moore - Stepping Up: A Journey through the Psalms of Ascent (which are Psalm 120 - 134)  Today I had finished (finally) week 2 which was the study of Psalm 124 and was able to watch the video download for session 2.  The video finished off with Travis Cottrell singing.  WOW.

From there, I read a little from the book by Eugene Petersen "A Long Obedience in the Same Direction" which is also on the Psalms of Ascent.  I just read the first chapter but all I can say is another WOW.

Then I went to our church's website.   Last Sunday Alvin went to Eastview Community Church without me.  He thought I should give my leg a rest and NOT try to go.   But he came home saying that Dave Ens had a really great sermon again.  SO I went to and watched online.  And, another WOW.

So here it is - almost 11 and I still have not begun to do the filing that is so badly needed.  (have to try to drag the boxes of stuff to file over to where I am) HOWEVER man alive, have I enjoyed being in the presence of God this morning, and being totally blessed by people who have spoken into my lives through the media.

God, you are so good.  Regardless of how things go in my life - your goodness does not hinge on THAT.  Your goodness is all about my relationship with you and how you love me so much, and long to be my all in all!  I give you thanks and praise for all you have done, for what you are doing, and for all you will do in me, through me, and with me!!  I love you Lord.  

now .... I have some filing to do, gotta run!!  there is "other" work to be done!


Monday, November 7

our sweet little man

Today Leah and Ev came to visit us here at the land.  Josh was working with Alvin and so by coming out not only did I get a visit, but so did Josh and Alvin.  It is always a good reason to stop working when Leah and Ev come.  Anyhow - being relatively still since I hurt my foot - I was very happy to hear them knock and say hello!

Everett is our little sweetness ... there is just no other way to describe him.  He is so much fun.  He is saying more and more phrases each day it seems.  He has a cute little voice although it is a little raspy because of his cold.

He makes "eyes" and knows especially when he is being cute! (which really is most of the time!)  He makes us laugh alot.  He loves to cuddle.  He loves to be sung to.  He likes to do "round and round the garden went the teddy bear" and also "cut the pickle, tickle tickle!"

I bought a set of Elmo hands and I keep them with me, or bring them to his house when I come to visit!  When you press Elmo on one of the "tickle hands" he sings and tells you to do the tickle dance.  Everett loves this.  He spins, dances, laughs, and when Cookie Monster says "cowabunga" Everett repeats it!

Today while we were waiting for lunch I was holding Everett as Leah was making the potatoes for our lunch.  (I appreciated this, as working in the kitchen while using crutches has its drawbacks!)  So, Everett and I sat and took some pictures and some video with my ipod.  You will see how cute he is!   Yes, I am unabashedly bragging!  Isn't that what Granny's are allowed to do?

I just love our sweet little man!! Enjoy this cute little video clip from my ipod.

Friday, November 4

doing the unexpected

won't be wearing my right runner for about 3 weeks!

It is a stupid thing that I have done.  Stupid because I did it not just once, but twice!  Yes folks!  TWICE.

I walked down the steps from our current living quarters.  The steps have no railing, but that was not an issue up till about 6 weeks ago, when early one morning, I stepped off of the second last step thinking I was on the ground.  Such it was - my first fall from the steps!  Luckily, I did not break my foot or anything else!  BUT I did end up with a bit of a sore hip again :(

Fast forward to Wednesday - early morning.  I was going to go and get my keys which Alvin hung above the freezer at the door.  I wanted to start my car so that I could defrost it - as the early morning frost was thick on the windshield.  I needed to go to the gym (which I was procrastinating about) and had to be at work in time, so my schedule was pretty tight if I didn't get going.

SO down the stairs I went - carefully, or so I thought!  AND I am not sure what happened... I think I was looking straight ahead at the hooks on the wall for my keys,  when I stepped off of the second last step (again) and went down.  Down hard.  And down in a different way, with my feet landing under me in a kneeling type of position.  And it seems like it was all in slow-mo with me thinking, "oh my, what have I done again?  this is not good!" And as I fell, I heard a very distinct "pop".  

I always wondered if when trees fell in the jungle, if people weren't around - would they still make a sound?  Well - let me tell you - when this "tree" fell onto that cement floor - it made a big sound - a few crying sounds!  Man, it hurt.  And, I was scared ... because in those early seconds as I laid there - I was not sure IF I would be able to get up, and what would I do since my cell was UPSTAIRS and Alvin was gone to work?  Were would I have to crawl?  

Slowly and surely, I was able to get up - stop howling, and get myself upstairs slowly but surely.  I surveyed the damage and thought - well - there was no blood, no blue bruising, and no bones sticking out.  Must be a twist or a sprain.  

Fast forward to the end of the day when Alvin took a look (after I did drag myself into work and hobbled around) and Alvin's words to me were "oh no, I think it may be broken".  SO, I went into the sports injury clinic here in the city (Pan Am) and 7.5 hours later, got home with a "boot" and a pair of "crutches" and my wallet $130 lighter.  NO BREAKS but severe ligament damage.  The instructions were to use crutches and put very little weight on my booted foot ... and to begin physio in 1.5 weeks, and to be off work for 3 weeks, perhaps 4 depending on what the physiotherapist says.  

(insert sad face here)     


So, here I am - hobbling around - trying to figure out how to use crutches.  With my fibromyalgia, I find that my wrists are the weakest spot, but now they are having some work put on them (using crutches).  I realize that it is impossible to walk with crutches and carry a cup of coffee! (or anything else unless it can go in a bag).  I realize how much I took my two legs for granted AND have thought about my dad alot - as he became and amputee in WWII and had to learn to walk with crutches and an artificial leg.  My dad always made it look so easy!  

I also wish I had lost the 75 lbs that I have been trying to - cause it would have made it easier to support my weight on my arms!  Maybe now that I can't get to the fridge as easy (or carry food with my crutches) I will shed a couple!! 

 Being that it is my right foot means that I can not drive (warned that it is not good if I get caught driving with my boot on, and I think it would be terribly hard to even try to drive with it) SO if I want to go anywhere by myself - I will have to de-boot to drive!

I will admit - I was feeling a little down today - it just seemed too hard to try to shuffle around.  Too hard to try to make lunch.  (last night I had popcorn for supper!)  I realized it could be really easy to just be pitiful, which I really do not like!  And then I talked with a sweet friend - who has been the recipient of the boot as well - with the same 3 week off work prescription!  She doesn't have to use crutches, BUT she is still laid up, different injury but same foot!  THING IS ... J actually sounded upbeat about it!  She sounded like she was going to fully embrace this (literal) down time - and make the best of it!  

If I believe God is sovereign (which I do) and that nothing happens out of his control, and that sometimes He allows things for reasons we may never know (which I also believe) ... then I need to embrace this time of rest!  I struggle still with this - because I think that my husband really needs a rest, and yet for some reason this rest has to be taken by me!  I fight the feeling of "adding to his work" daily, as he helps me get things, move things, etc.  But after I got off the phone with J. I realized that this is my down time and I can make the most of it - or just be down about it!  I have chosen to somehow - make the most of it!  

So I will likely travel down the steps very little over the next little while.  Maybe I just needed to slow down.  What can I do during this time?  Well - there are things - like some filing that has piled up, or my online course that I am taking but haven't been able to get to lately.  Or read the books that are waiting to be read.  OR maybe just getting my Quiet Time and journalling in daily.  I have been talking to God about this too.  Time will tell - but I really want to make the most of this down time!
And one day - maybe I can actually say thank-you Lord for this boot and set of crutches!
In the meantime, Lord, help me to take advantage of this season of rest!