Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Seeing the forest..


Life throws things at us. Hubby's hours get cut back, RIGHT before Christmas, my health is refusing to improve ... which is making is very difficult to go out and even consider finding work to fill that ever increasing gap in the finances, and small amounts of anxiety are creeping in around the big university decisions looming in the near future.
I find myself clinging to the small things these days, the rays of sun through droplets of water on rain soaked branches of cedar trees one day and the next, the beauty of a forest through which I can see the many different trunks and ferns and small amounts of light dappling along the forest floor and through the branches. The various shades of greens and browns are astounding. The variety of creation from day to day is sometimes all that keeps me from losing it completely. It is good to know we have a Creator that delights in variety, and if He can and does have such a hand as this, then surely His hands are at work in our circumstances in an equally creative way. As frustrating as it seems, faith that as surely the sun will rise and reveal yet more beauty to behold, my Lord will bring all this to right and He will be shown as faithful.





- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Unspoken

There are those times, late at night..or on a still and quiet afternoon, even in the very early morning hours, when your heart renders up those thoughts you have no words to speak. Those things that ache, the yearnings and pain that life has brought that you no longer have the strength to look at, much less name.
You hug yourself a little tighter, hold yourself a little more still, or rock just a slight bit more. Whatever it is that quells that surge threatening to overtake, but stays simmering just below the surface. Push it back, think about those things another time..perhaps they will be fewer and life will have sorted by then, you hope..but fearing you know it's likely not the case and one trial or hardship will be replaced with another. It seems to be the lot in life.
How did life come to this? My life in boxes, a house that's not our own, no roots, no feeling of being settled. Health issues continuously knocking. It makes me wonder, a lot, what the plan is. I second guess every decision now and wonder if they're the right ones to choose.

Faith is a hard won thing sometimes, even as a gift


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, October 24, 2011

Choosing happiness??!

I am noticing a disturbing trend lately.  Its disturbing because its wrapped up in a pretty package that looks good, makes you feel good - about yourself at least - and sounds good.  I'm talking about the current push to 'choose happiness' over all things, that's out there.  Now while I'm certainly one to say its no place to be in a deep dark hole, but anyone who really lives life KNOWS it isn't all a cheery bowl of joyfulness everyday.  Life happens!  Somedays there are just sad things that happen, and you have to be sad, or at least a little less than joyful about them.  Its called being REAL.
But that's not the point I have to make.  What is really concerning me is that this push to choose happiness is extremely self-centered.  Or at least it really seems that way to me.  Whatever happened to sharing happiness with others, bringing happiness to someone, to your fellow man, to your friends and neighbours??  Why is it all about taking happiness for yourself, choosing happiness for yourself?
We are bombarded with these messages that are so inward motivated that we are forgetting other messages that make a society worthy of each other.  Things like not finding a judgmental attitude funny.  Its NOT funny to see a teenager, or their parents, or another person being judgmental toward anyone, no matter what their profession or how they dress and act.  We should be teaching them the opposite.  How are they going to learn that any negative judgment towards another person is in fact being negative ..and at a time when we're supposed to be shoving all this positivity down their throats by constantly telling them to choose happiness.  Its a mixed signal in messages!  "Be positive all the time, choose happiness"  ..but its ok to act negatively and pass judgement, because after all, they're asking for it by acting/dressing that way ... that's not cool, and its not right.  Choosing happiness means sharing happiness and spreading it around.  We can't be SELFISH about the happiness we choose.  If we're truly embracing this choice of happiness and it's going to heart, there shouldn't be any room for the attitudes and feelings of negative judgement in us - and then finding it funny.

If a person is pointing something out, in concern for another out of genuine desire to help they aren't finding fault, so don't take that as judgement, it's concern.  Too many of us like to accuse the other of being judgmental because we don't want to hear what is being said to us.  A judgmental heart is someone who thinks its hilarious to point things out about someone, or finds it satisfying to pick at something about another, or just likes to find fault because it makes them selves feel better. There is no motivation towards the other person that is helpful or uplifting - no desire for their happiness.  There is no CHOICE for THEIR HAPPINESS involved.

There's that old saying..if you can't say something nice, then don't say anything at all.  Well, to that I say.. FIND something nice to say, because when you don't say anything at all it says volumes about what you don't have to say.

*putting my soapbox away now*

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Everyday

Today is one of those days where fall is tiptoeing into our world, there's a chill in the house and the furnace isn't working - not a BIG deal, its just the filter.  It was the thing that toppled me - it toppled me because I'm also trying to get the house cleaned and ready for a visit from my parents in a few days.  My daughter is having problems with her homework - which shouldn't be a surprise, she's had many problems with it throughout her school career and has worked around her learning disabilities spectacularly.  Even been on the honour roll a handful of times!  This is high school now, though, and a whole different kettle of fish, as they say - and those fish STINK!!
I am unable to help her with her Chemistry - already waaaay over my head (Facetime with Grandpa anyone??!), and her English paper, as easy as it sounds to me, is something she really needs to do for herself. I was struck with a feeling of complete helplessness in the situation this morning, my heart breaking for her inability to put the words to paper just added to my frustration that yet another thing in our home is broken.
 
Then a wholly and completely unexpected thing happened.

My husband came over, picked up my comb, and combed my hair.  He didn't say a word, he just combed my hair. When he was done, he put the comb down and went downstairs and I heard the sounds of him working on something.  Not sure what, but that doesn't matter.  I was a mess, but a good mess.  I felt so completely loved by that simple act.
It is the simple acts and words that mean the most.  Not the advice (and somewhat judgmental assumptions that you're not) to 'be happy and find joy', or 'look on the bright side', or 'get out of your comfort zone and push yourself' that help, its the everyday loving, in everyday acts.  The kind smiles, the 'what can I do for you's?' that mean the most.

..and now onto some homework!  oi.. Have a fabulous start of autumn :)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Beautiful Days and Robins

Today is one of those days that even before I opened my eyes I knew was going to be great.  Even though some guy flipped me off at a stop sign because he thought I wasn't going to stop, it couldn't ruin my good mood.  It started yesterday..I HEARD A ROBIN.. This is the day I wait for all winter long.  As soon as I realize they've left, its the saddest day.  I love their song, I love seeing them jump around the yard, I love to see them fly around the trees and sit upon the wire and tree branches singing away.  Well, yesterday I heard one, for sure.  I thought I had been hearing one for a few days previous, but I couldn't be sure, it was too far in the distance and too intermittent.  Anyone who is close to me, or a good friend, experiences my joy with me.  They all hear about it - I practically shriek it to them!!
To celebrate my delight I filled the bird-feeders this morning after I took the kidlet to school. *note to self - buy more birdseed* and wandered around the still very crunchy garden looking at what needed doing when it warms up more.  The hubby has LOTS to do!!
There's nothing better than a great treat, especially when things look like there's no end - like winter.  I love that I have a God who brings special treats that are often tailored just for me, but are shared by many, to our world.  The return of robins in early spring mean so much, its hope and its blessings and it says I love you.  It happens every year, but you never know exactly when, and its always a surprise - a treat.

Happy Spring everyone!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Soup

So often I find myself with so many things I want to say I find myself overwhelmed.  I think I lack the organizational skill to sift through them all and pluck out what I should blog about!  What would be interesting, what wouldn't cause someone to think *gaaaag* ..as I often do at myself.. we ARE our worst critics.

I settled on soup. I loooove soup.  Currently there are two pots of soup bubbling away on my stove, and they smell lovely.  They're both the same kind, but they taste slightly different.  One has a bit more meat to bone ratio than the other and I love that about soup.  Subtle differences make the whole pot change flavour.

I make lots of different kinds of soup, but generally I will stick to two different ones.  Chicken and a beef/tomato that we call Grandma's Soup.  Its an old family recipe, handed down for many generations.  Its rich, full of body, and if you use the right kind of meat you can make a whole two course meal out of it.  The soup first and then meat and veg after.  Just cook carrots and potatoes in some of the broth that you take out and there you have it. Save the rest of the broth for more soup later.  Always serve the soup with fine egg noodles!!  Those are the rules! ;)  Its an old Italian dish, and its fab any time of year.  I make it often.

My chicken soup goes through many growing pains.  Sometimes it stays as chicken soup.  Deeeelish.  Sometimes I add a pig's foot to it.  The herbs and spices vary from time to time too, but I usually use cloves, onion and bay leaves.  Occasionally it gets a special treatment.  Savory.  Sage even.  Depends on my mood.
I only use really good chickens.  Those grocery store ones don't cut it.  There's no flavour in those!

My soup takes a long time though.  It can't be rushed.  It has to simmer for hours.  If I cook it at too high a heat, all it does is boil away and most of the liquid is gone.  If I rush it and boil it fast but don't let the liquid disappear and then try to eat it, there's no taste to it.  Its like that with people. Think about it.  We get a great nugget, or learn something and figure that's all there is to it.  We don't take the time to really think about it, really investigate it.  Often we just swallow what we've been spoon-fed and accept what we're told.  We rush through things, and never learn to appreciate, really appreciate, things around us.  We need to marinate in learning, grow, and learn some more.  We need to do more than just 'be', and we need to aspire to simmer on things, slowly letting them grow in flavour and deepen in our lives, not be those things be weak and watery - without substance.  Our world is a rushed one, and in that we can never hear that small still quiet Voice that leads us to knowledge, peace and truth.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Looking through my office window

When I look through my in-very-sore-need-of-a-cleaning, office window, I see the various bird feeders we have.  They're all hung in and around the lower branches of the LARGE blue spruce tree - one of two that  reside in our front yard.  Its winter right now, and mostly what I'm looking at is snow.  Cold -20 something snow, plus a wind-chill.  I was not made for these temperatures.  I'm a west coast girl.
Every so often I see a nuthatch trip his way up and down the trunk, and then flit over to one of the feeders that has actual nuts in it and munch there for awhile (although I seriously doubt birds munch, but I like to take imaginative liberties).  Sometimes we have finches of some sort - I can hear them more than see them, and there's always the sparrows and chickadees that never leave.  We used to see a group of 6-8 grouse (some call them prairie chickens, but that sounds so...crass... to my ear) that would eat the seed other birds flung to the ground in their hurry to feast when they feeders are filled.  I think they may have become dinner for someone, or something.  Who knows.  Maybe they're smarter and don't come out in this cold. A highlight for me is when I can call my daughter into the office and show her some kind of bird that isn't often at the feeders .. a northern flicker, or a woodpecker, or some other sort of 'cool' bird.  The waxwings are fun, and show up in party packs!  Hundreds at once!  The other seasons offer better opportunities to see many more kinds of birds, but in winter, you take what you can get.
I wait, not so patiently, to hear - because its often the hearing that happens first, not the seeing - that first robin of spring.  My WHOLE circle of people KNOW when this happens because I announce it to anyone who will listen, and even those who would rather not.  I can not contain myself.  After a winter as long as we have, that first robin's song is "seeing" spring, even if there's still snow around, for me anyhow.

Seeing is perspective and attitude.  Sometimes its about hearing.