Monday, October 22

and David asked "why have you rejected me?"

Today, as I sat with a dear friend at CancerCare, I realized that I still had one of my Bibles in my purse from church yesterday, and my thoughts went to Psalm 43.  I opened it up and read, and the first verses and the last verses resonated with my heart.  So, as my friend snoozed - I grabbed my pencil to pen a few thoughts.  Here they are.

"You are God my stronghold
Why have you rejected me?"

O David - a man with a heart after God's
David asks brutally honest questions
The fact that he asks this -
must mean that he feels this

The word itself sounds bleak
and dismal
and gives one a sense of feeling alone, or perhaps forlorn even
and, left "hanging out to dry" so to speak

He identifies God as "my stronghold"
somehow the word STRONGHOLD doesn't seem to be right paired with the word
BUT David felt it
David said it
His thoughts are penned in Psalm 43 (read them for yourself below)
David ~ candid
and daring to ask the "hard question" OUT LOUD

He dared to speak
to share his heart cry with the GREAT I AM
And, he was not struck down by lightning
but instead was pulled deeper into the loving embrace of our God
who heard the words
the questions
and knew the heart of the speaker intimately.

David dared to ask those questions
because he knew that his relationship with the Almighty allowed it
the questions CAN be asked
the feelings - very real.   very raw.  very personal.
in other words,  "God, where are you with me on this one?"

And I could not help but think
how often do I (we, you) still ask now
where are you?
God?  WHY?
God?  How long.
God?  I don't get it - I don't understand.
Oh we see but through a glass dimly as the Scripture says:

1 Corinthians 13:12

New Living Translation (NLT)
12 Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity.[a] All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.   

David - he seems to have figured it out by the end of this Psalm - as even if he is still feeling rejected, he challenges his soul to PUT HIS HOPE IN GOD.
Seems David wrestles often (throughout the Psalms) with many feelings emotionally and spiritually
Seems that David asks the hard questions often
Not sure that he often gets the direct answers from God
but there is no doubt that David KNOWS where his HOPE does come from!

There are times when my heart has cried out like David
many times
There are times when I felt alone
or even more - forlorn
But the most times have been when I can say God - you are my HOPE, my HELP, my SAVIOUR
You are my all in all.
YOU O God - are sovereign
and you are still okay with my rants, my ravings, my questions
because in those times, you hold me in your loving embrace
and say, just TRUST ME on this!

Psalm 43

Vindicate me, my God,
    and plead my cause
    against an unfaithful nation.
Rescue me from those who are
    deceitful and wicked.
You are God my stronghold.
    Why have you rejected me?

Why must I go about mourning,
    oppressed by the enemy?
Send me your light and your faithful care,
    let them lead me;
let them bring me to your holy mountain,
    to the place where you dwell.
Then I will go to the altar of God,
    to God, my joy and my delight.
I will praise you with the lyre,
    O God, my God.
Why, my soul, are you downcast?
    Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
    for I will yet praise him,
    my Saviour and my God.

Sunday, October 21

"where I belong" (thoughts on Heaven)

I have been thinking about Heaven lately.
I have been thinking about those whom I love deeply
but have said "good-bye" to (for a while)
until we meet again in Heaven

I have spent some time lately - with a friend - at CancerCare
we have laughed together, we have sat in silence
I have observed old people and young people
very young ones

I have thought lately about my mom and dad
about my mom and dad k.
and hardly a day goes past that I don't think about my Grandson Jay

Sometimes I imagine heaven
although I won't know until I get there - whether my imagination is anything like Heaven
Sometimes I imagine my dad and mom - both running with Jay, and laughing with him
Sometimes I imagine my mom and dad klassen - walking with him and telling him stories
Sometimes I imagine others that I have loved and said good-bye too.
And sometimes - I just imagine being there - being with Jesus

Thing is - I love this life here.  I really love it.
I am so blessed to have the family I do -
              a man who loves me - quirks and all
                           kids who are such amazing and wise kids
                                     grandkids who constantly teach me about life - even at their young young ages
I love life - the adventure - the excitement - the expectation
We are expecting our next little grandbabe soon! (that is PURE expectation)

I love this life
But I also realize that I am just passing through
As the old hymn goes "this world is not my home"

When I was just newly married - I used to think about heaven - and about when Jesus would return
And I would think ... "not yet Lord, let me have my kids first, please."
And then I had kids, and I remember thinking "Lord, please just let me see my kids grow up"
And then they became adults and it was "Lord, just let me see them get married and have children"
Well ... you see the pattern here.

Thing is - I thank God that I know that my kids - all four of them - love Jesus as Lord of their lives.
I thank God that I have a husband that loves Jesus with all his heart.
I thank God that we have been blessed and able to serve the Lord with the gifts and talents he has given to us
I watch my precious little ones - and I am amazed at how I see the wonder of life - through their eyes.
I see them light up at the sight and sounds of things.
I thank God for all that He has blessed me with, and truly want to use it for His honor and glory.

Each morning - when I awake - it is a clean slate - a new day that he has given to me.
I am thankful.
Thing is - I also know that each day IS a gift from God,
and I believe that He does know the number of our days.
and that each day I am thankful for another day of grace!

Sometimes I get caught up in my life here - because really, this is all we know so well now
And I get caught up in the family here
in the fun, in the fullness, in work, in play, in friends ...
And then the reality of the fragility of life happens, when I hear about someone's mom passing, or see a picture of someone I know in the obits - or, as I did on Wed, see a little toddler leaving Cancercare and knowing by his thin fuzzy hair, that he is going through some tough stuff!

Life is but a breath ...
All I know is this is NOT my permanent home ...
But - in the meantime, I want to live all out

I want to live my life - so that others see Jesus in me/through me

This past week (sometimes twice in a day) I have heard this song - and it has ministered to me.
Hope it does the same for you
We really are - just passing through aren't we?
I am NOT home where I belong yet.
In the meantime though - I am going to live outwardly, and fully ...


Sometimes it feels like I'm watching from the outside
Sometimes it feels like I'm breathing but am I alive
I won't keep searching for answers that aren't here to find

All I know is I'm not home yet
This is not where I belong
Take this world and give me Jesus
This is not where I belong

So when the walls come falling down on me
And when I'm lost in the current of a raging sea
I have this blessed assurance holding me.

All I know is I'm not home yet
This is not where I belong
Take this world and give me Jesus
This is not where I belong

When the earth shakes I wanna be found in You
When the lights fade I wanna be found in You

All I know is I'm not home yet
This is not where I belong
Take this world and give me Jesus
This is not where I belong[x2]

Where I belong, 
where I belong
Where I belong, 
where I belong

Sunday, October 14

perfect peace

Isaiah 26:3

New Living Translation (NLT)
You will keep in perfect peace

    all who trust in you,
    all whose thoughts are fixed on you!


what does that look like
what does that feel like
what does that mean
for the person who is struggling with a terminal diagnosis
for the person who is coming to grips with a broken marriage
for the one who remembers the days prior to their walk through deep depression

what does that mean for the one who just had to claim personal bankruptcy
for the mom who is so overwhelmed with caring for young babies
for the widow who is trying to come to grips with an empty bed when she goes to sleep at night
or for the senior whose family moved them into a nursing home

what does this mean to the young teen who just lost a parent
or for the parents who have a prodigal child
what does it mean for the teen who had a one night fling and finds out she is pregnant
or for the person who is trying to deal with a disease that slowly is taking away their independence

means what?
 to the woman recovering from a mastectomy and has no support 
or the one trying to get their bi-polar meds stablized
to the young student who is trying to figure out life
or for the med student facing exams
what does it mean for the woman who is caring for an aging parent
or the one who has no parents left
or for the mom who is waving good-bye to her child as she leaves home and moves continents away


we can try to get peace
and may experience peace when all things go well.
but only when the storms are happening
do we really encounter PERFECT peace
it is about handing our life
our situation
our attitude
our focus
to the one who is PERFECT
to the one who is PEACE
to the one who knows us, and loves us, and cares for us
It is only IN HIM
that we can truly experience PERFECT PEACE.

So may we keep our thoughts fixed on Him
and trust Him with all things
even when we can not see the road
but know
that He is in control
He is sovereign

thank you Lord!

Saturday, October 13

a sampling of thoughts

I have been thinking alot
many more thoughts than answers these days
and that's okay I guess

here is a sampling of my thoughts

  • I love autumn.  I love the colors.  I hate it when it gets cold and rainy and the leaves get blown off before they really have a chance to really shine!
  • darn - I have a love/hate relationship with the snow.  Hate the first snow because it makes me tense when I drive.  However I love the sight of the flakes loftily falling to the ground.  I wonder - if I was dead still ... would I be able to hear the flakes falling?
  • autumn is bittersweet season for me.  Love the sights/smells/sounds of autumn.  But it is a reminder of things past - such as the year I took off as I worked through my depression - or the thanksgiving meal I shared with my dad, only to have him suffer a massive heart attach and die just a mere couple weeks later.  It is however full of smells - like burning stubble, which takes me back to the year I lived at the cottage for a few months, and commuted to Beausejour to school, and often smelled and saw the stubble burning. 
  • Geese - I love watching them.  I love listening to them.  I love it when they pass over and you can actually hear their powerful wings flapping.  
  • I have given my notice at my job, which although it was permanent parttime - 22.5 hours biweekly - somehow it morphed into many more.  Giving notice was a very hard thing to do.  I love these people I work with.  I love the job.  I love what Canadian Blood Services stands for and does.  Giving notice is another bittersweet thing I had to do.
  • I love that soon I will be able to hold and cuddle and kiss the sweet cheeks of another little grandbabe!  Ashley is in the last month of her pregnancy.  Somehow, i think she is going to be early and have this little one sooner than the due date.  Maybe because I was and her pregnancy is alot like mine.  Time will tell.
  • I love being surrounded by the lively antics of my family!  Never a dull moment - banter among the boys, the girls helping me talk out plans for the retreat ministry, and our sweet grandsons - the smiles, the kisses, the new things that they learn.  Aw - gotta love being a granny!
More thoughts ...
  • Parlour coffee makes amazing latte's with amazing coffee art (there is likely a more sophisticated name!  One of the greatest cups of coffee I have had in a very long time!  Greatest.  Gotta check them out - by the old Birt's Saddlery building, on Main, and ?? is it McDermot?  or one of those.
  • I am so thankful for friends who stand in the gap for others - and become intercessory prayer warriors.  I am so thankful I can pray for others.  At times when we feel the most helpless - the best thing we can do is pray.
  • I picked out "vintage" material ... and it reminded me of a housecoat my mom made for me.  I miss my mom so much.
  • I weep for a friend who is having a brutal encounter - or should I say journey - with cancer.  Absolutely brutal.  I know that God brought her and her husband into our lives - and sometimes I struggle with the "why" of her cancer.  I asked her the other day if she ever felt angry (because honestly, I have never noticed any anger) to which she replied no.  She also said something very profound ... that really she thinks "why NOT me".  It brings the reality of how fragile our lives are - right up front and personal!  As God lays her and her family on my heart - I pray.  I also weep.  Alot.
more thoughts.
  • I have been on a search for doc marten's shoes - and found them.  And bought them.  And wear them.  I really like them - although they are not the most feminine - but comfy!
  • I love skype!  It is free and I get to SEE who I am talking with!  Love that.
  • I want to take guitar lessons - and just need to figure out when.  I got a guitar from my kids for Christmas.
  • I am dreaming about where Alvin and I may go - to rest.  The kids are really encouraging us to "rest" and just "be" between finishing the house - and beginning ministry in it.  Time will tell - but boy - there are alot of options out there.
  • I have made some of the biggest purchases ever ... and it is fun but not fun.  Does that make sense?  Sometimes I make the decision, then second guess.  Hmmm.
  • I really really want to go to see our missionary friends in Thailand again. Lord willing.
  • We had bought a semi trailer to store our stuff in - and today - it left the yard!  WOOHOOO... it looks wonderful to have it gone.
and even more ...
  • I carry my camera - because I just see God all over my day!  I am thankful.
  • lots of people seem to be searching for happiness.  God, help me to be content in whatever situation I am in.
  • I still want to be a morning person.
  • I still struggle BEING a morning person.
  • I can hardly believe that in a month (give or take) we will get to hold our 4th grandbaby.  I can hardly wait
  • Everett makes me laugh with his antics - there is something new each time I see him
  • Rogie - warms my heart with his perpetual smile!  That little guy is so happy - thank you Lord!
  • watching Ashley being pregnant, reminds me of me (she is much like me) and well - I can hardly believe my "baby" is having a "baby".  Where does time go?
  • I love turnip puffs, and cold glasses of milk. (that's what I had for supper!  Thanksgiving always means that my sister will make her reknown TURNIP PUFF for us!  Yum
and a final thought or two ...
  • it is after midnite - I did not turn into a pumpkin - but I am tired.  SO gotta hit the hay!
  • I will fall asleep praying - thinking of my friend who is no doubt fast asleep - sore and exhausted from a day full of scans, and biopsies, and blood tests.
  • I will fall asleep thinking of all that I have to be thankful for.  Family - Friends - and my Lord Jesus
  • the thoughts will come and come and come until I am alseep.  
Morning comes early!  Night.

Friday, October 5

every season

It snowed yesterday ~
it began as rain
and quickly turned to snow
October 4th
just somehow it seems way to early
WAY TO EARLY to pull out the mitts, and boots, and warmer jackets
But it fell
for the whole day
and turned things wet and snowy and a little slippery
And the winds blew too
strong, blustery
as if it was their mission to blow every colorful leaf off the trees!

Seasons change (to everything there is a season...)

Creation is changing from one season to next
Physically - we go through seasons
Emotionally - we go through seasons
Spiritually - we go through seasons

And the snow reminds me of that
of the changes in nature
and of the reminder that seasons come - whether I am ready or not
whether I can find my boots
or locate both mitts
or whether or not I even LIKE snow ... it came.
So it is with life.

The other day - I was reminded again of how God created everything to change
I had bought myself some gerber daisies.
The first bunch that I bought was purple and dark pink.
They were just beautiful!
And conveniently placed by the check out till at the grocery store
(and not very expensive)
And they lasted and lasted.

And this week - I noticed a transformation taking place.
And even though I have thought about how flowers grow...
I have never seen this transformation before.
(unless a seed dies and falls to the ground ...)

You see the gerbs were in a vase
And they lasted and lasted and lasted
And then they drooped and the stem was obviously drying and the flower dying
and for some reason I didn't take it out and throw it away.

In fact, the whole transformation actually caught me off guard as then I noticed it went to fuzzy, puffy and then just when you figure it was dead and ready to be thrown in the garbage - with one touch it sprang open (like when you flick your finger across a bullrush and it puffs out!)

 It was my own little science lesson - my own private "teachable moment" right there on my kitchen island.  As I drew my finger across it, and felt the head of the gerber break open - I saw them ... the seeds.  Tiny, and on the ends, and the seed surrounded by other fluff/hairs that when caught by a breeze, will be carried away - transporting the seeds where ever they may fly, and fall - only to spring to life in SPRING.

 As Alvin worked around the kitchen doing some finishing on the cabinets, I marvelled out loud to him, about how I "knew" this happened and yet I "didn't know" it happened.  Does that make any sense?
I guess deep down, I understand about how things die - so that they can spring to life again in a new season.  But I had not given gerber daisies even a THOUGHT about doing this process, nor had I seen it happen in front of my eyes.  It is just like God to give this daisy surprise!!

I know that "to everything there is a season..."  I have read the scripture in Eccleciasties.  I have heard and even sang the song "... to everything - turn, turn, turn ... there is a season - turn, turn, turn ... and a time for every purpose, under heaven.

A time for every purpose.

I needed this this week.
I think Alvin needed it too.
We have been spinning with stuff - too much work, not enough play.
Too much work, not enough rest.
Too much.

God has been impressing the need to "rest" on my heart over the past month.
In fact, my good man and I have talked about it - about "stepping out" of the fullness once in a while
to rest
Easier said than done - expecially for someone with such a strong go-go-go work ethic (deeply ingrained through a former generation!)

God has been speaking to me through the seasons
and somehow - I know .... I have to listen
to step into the time, the beauty of this season in creation
to rest in this season of my life
in order to renew for the season ahead.
(it makes sense to me)

To everything there is a season.  I want to leave you with the words, and also the youtube for Nicold Nordeman's songs - "Every Season"
I have no doubt it will speak to you too.
Happy Autumn Everyone!!

Every Season

Every evening sky, an invitation 

To trace the patterned stars 

And early in July, a celebration 
For freedom that is ours 
And I notice You 
In children’s games 
In those who watch them from the shade 
Every drop of sun is full of fun and wonder 
You are summer

And even when the trees have just surrendered 

To the harvest time 

Forfeiting their leaves in late September 
And sending us inside 
Still I notice You when change begins 
And I am braced for colder winds 
I will offer thanks for what has been and was to come 
You are autumn

And everything in time and under heaven 

Finally falls asleep 

Wrapped in blankets white, all creation 
Shivers underneath 
And still I notice you 
When branches crack 
And in my breath on frosted glass 
Even now in death, You open doors for life to enter 
You are winter

And everything that’s new has bravely surfaced 

Teaching us to breathe 

What was frozen through is newly purposed 
Turning all things green 
So it is with You 
And how You make me new 
With every season’s change 
And so it will be 
As You are re-creating me 
Summer, autumn, winter, spring

Tuesday, October 2

tuesday morning thoughts

just an early glimpse

bold, fresh and strong

the sky wakes a little more

and more

7:45 - and blue to the west

and the view to the east

Lord, I give you this day!

Good Morning Tuesday!!
I went to sleep last night - with the verse from Psalm 139:17 on my heart - the verse that says,
"How precious to me are your thoughts O God! How vast is the sum of them!"

This morning I woke up early, and the songs by Matt Redman (below) was running through my mindand once again my thoughts turned to the Lord.  BLESS THE LORD O MY SOUL ~ O MY SOUL! WORSHIP HIS HOLY NAME!

As I looked outside - it was dark.
A little while later - there was some pink in the sky and the sun was waking up it seemed!!
As I sat and drank (a great bold cup of coffee) and as I read through Psalm 139, which is just one of my favorite (if not THE favorite) portions of Scripture - these were my thoughts.

O Lord
Good Morning
The sun is beginning to wake our day
and once again I am reminded
that YOU O Lord
YOU are in control

of all of my life
as much as I grab, clench and rop
YOU want me to hold m hands 
open and upturned

As I read Psalm 139 - all of it
It talks of your (great) love for me
are active in my life!

You ...
search me
know me
perceive my thoughts
discern my ways
are familiar with
hem me in
laid your hand on me
You ...
will guide me
will hold me fast
wove together
test me

You..  O Lord,
"lead me in the way everlasting"