Friday, December 21, 2007


I just finished talking with my daughter Sandy who is in Germany now on a missions trip. She's quite homesick and lonely. Mainly because it's Christmas time and she's not with the family to celebrate.

We usually have a fun time being together and this is the first time that she is so far away and unable to be with us.

It's hard for us too.

The "mom" in me would love to go and rescue her and bring her back her for the 5 or 6 days that she is off and then she could go back again to the mission base. Some of the other team members are doing that.

But I can't always be running to "rescue" her. And she knows that. She's just having a lonely moment.

Loneliness is a painful ailment. We were created for fellowship and companionship and to belong to a "body" that is made up of many members.

When we are not with those we love the most and hold dear, there is an ache within our heart. There are so many lonely people in this world. I happen to know some of them and the pain they describe to me is crippling.

I can't solve their problems either. Loneliness can happen for many reasons. Some our own doing, some that happen because of circumstance. Whatever the situation, or cause, those of us who are for the moment strong, need to rally around and embrace them with arms of compassion.

I will be praying that my daughter may find strength in the Lord this holiday season and friendship in the company of other Christian brothers and sisters who will be sensitive to her needs.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Live to Dream - Dream to Live

I love the season of life that I am now in. I can hardly believe how it's changing me. I feel a surge of energy and vitality that I haven't felt in a long time.

This season of "empty nest" is wonderful!

It took about a year and a half for me to figure out what I should do, what I could do, and who I am, or who I wanted to be.

What I love about it so much is the change of responsibility. For such a long time my focus and energy was solely concentrated on my children and my home. As the kids grew older, the responsibility for their primary care, got less and less. Now of course, there are other concerns about them, but the day to day care is not there.

So I am free to develop other interests in my life, increase my understanding of my faith and reach out to build relationships and minister to those God brings along my path.

I love the spontaneity of deciding at the wee hours of the night to be completely irresponsible and sit by the fire cuddled up with my husband, listening to our favourite CD and drinking coffee. We have the freedom to do this every once in awhile . Or the casual drive in the car on a summer day and we end up in the city to watch a movie and decide to stay overnight.

It's moments like these that make life amazing. It's the ability to keep the dream alive, to live life to the fullest with the person you love the most.

I find that I must fight for these moments and embrace them when the time is there or they are lost to the many and urgent demands of just living. The magic and joy of the moment can be stolen from us and before long we survive and cope without even realizing they are missing. We get used to the "hum drum" of living.

There is so much more that we need to dream about, to believe in. Things can be better, there can be a difference in our situations. There can be an "inbreaking" that only God can manoevre and deliver.

The memories we create at this stage in our lives will carry us through the years ahead when tough times come and we forget who we are.

Years ago I came across this quote that lived on my fridge for a very long time - "To love someone, is to learn the song that is in their heart and sing it to them when they've forgotten."

We need to remind each other who they are, where they've come from, what they've accomplished, and the dreams they once had.

The dreams we have today, have no expiry date - they can keep evolving, changing, growing, but they must never die.

Live to dream - dream to live.

Christmas - A time for Giving

There is something wonderful that happens when we give. It's a smile that comes across our face and a warm feeling deep inside because we've done something nice for someone. Often times it's a sacrificial act given when we ourselves are in pain.

I had an experience last week when I was struggling over the concerns of my grandchildren inheriting my husbands visual impairment. Since one of our daughters is trying to have children of her own, the reality that this condition may be passed on is very real. We are starting the process of seeking out further opinions and genetic counseling.

At one point in particular, I grieved in my spirit for the lives of my grandchildren yet unborn that could have poor sight. I know all too well the pain associated in having a child with a disability and also the struggles that my husband faces because of his lack of vision.

In the midst of all of this, I heard about a close friend that was struggling with some severe physical issues and for some reason, I felt that I should go and minister to this person even though I was hurting myself.

What I realized is that in setting aside my pain, putting it on the back shelf, I was more open to give every part of me and share in my friends pain. The coming along side meant that I wept with her, held her, prayed with her, hugged her and wept some more.

I was in a vulnerable position but was willing to lay this before the Lord and ask Him for a gift of ministry for my friend. He came through and the time together was rich and healing.

In times of complete emptiness and pain, God chooses to demonstrate his great work through us, if we are willing to allow him to do so. I can't help but believe that we then receive grace to carry on with our own struggles.

During the summer God spoke to me about extravagant giving, extravagant loving. It's an attitude of the heart that I continually want to develop more and more in my Christian walk.

At what cost will we continue to keep giving? Keep loving? I believe that love goes all the way - beyond "normal", - "over-the-top". It should be a sacrificial offering of our "best", given in the most humble way. And we need to ignore the "second guessing" of our intentions, that will only get us into trouble and paralyze us next time we feel inclined to give.

It is in giving that miracles happen. It is in giving that lives find new hope and courage to carry on. It is in giving that we invest in lives that will change the future. It is in giving that Christ smiles upon us. It is in giving, that we receive.

Freely we have received, freely we must give.

Let this Christmas be a time that you give out of the abundance of your heart, your life, your possessions.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Anxiety, fear, insecurity, obedience

Lord, I'm off centre.

Somehow in the last few days, I've slipped and fallen down. My disciplines around certain things have completely vanished, my heart is anxious and fearful and I'm feeling insecure.

How did this happen?

It usually has to do with an improper balance between my physical and emotional world. Either pushing too hard physically at something or not getting enough rest. Often it's an attack from the enemy. Other times it's a burden that I feel I need to carry and own. It could have something to do with the pressures around this busy season of Christmas too. I've let things go too late and now I'm panicking. It's probably all of these in one big package.

But I know that it has something to do with my children.

I am particulary burdened for them all lately. The "clucky hen" in me wishes they were all here with me now, close, safe, where I can see them, feel them, know that they are ok. But one is in Nova Scotia, another in a city a few hours away, probably travelling home before a big storm comes, and another in Germany, about to set off in two weeks for a mission experience.

There is anxiety and concern in my heart for all of them. For their futures, for them, for their families. When I'm in this state, my "normal" gets shifted. I'm distracted for awhile, my focus is not sharp. Sometimes it's just a complete lack of trust in You. There are things happening that I can't control and I'm blindsided. I can't seem to find you in the fog.

Help me Lord to get back on track. Help me to extend my hand in the dark night hoping I will touch yours - hoping that you will find me first and pull me back to a level place where my footing is secure again and my steps are certain.

Reach down and put your hand under my chin and raise my head so I once again can see your face. Come close and let our eyes meet. I need you to tell me how much you love me by the look in your eyes.

This morning, (again another early morning that You have pulled me out of bed), I hear you telling me to be vulnerable and share my heart in this blog. Ok. But I know tomorrow I will want to delete the whole thing. Obedience. Maybe that's the key to getting back on track. Pulling myself out of this temporary mudbath. Obedience.