Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Coming back

It's been a while.

I've just needed a break from things ... especially "church" things. But I think I'm ready to come back -- not quite sure to what yet though, but I know to Whom (although I never left Him).

There was a time back in 1985 when I had finished two of years of Bible School (back in the dark ages according to my kids), that I felt like I needed a break then too. I had been busy with Bible School life, with ministry and deputation most weekends, and then in between my two years of Bible School, I went on a summer missions trip to Ireland and spent 8 weeks of my summer involved in ministry. In some ways I think I felt "ministried-out". I needed to absorb all the things I had learned and experienced and figure out what my own personal faith was all about, and needed to take a step back from things in order to accomplish that.

Over the last half year I've experienced a change again. We left the institutional church a number of years ago and then started a house church fellowship and about a half year ago, that house church fellowship kind of fell apart. I felt very insecure personally about everything that went on with respect to the demise of the group, as if the rest of the group blamed me. There hasn't been much contact with most of the group since that time which kind of reinforced my insecurities. Once again, I've needed to take a step back from things to re-evaluate and solidify my own personal faith, and also to give myself time for personal healing and forgiveness. I don't know if I'm ready to get back to anything organized - I'm still waiting on God to hear what He wants for me.

I'm currently reading a novel called "Chasing Francis" by Ian Morgan Cron. The author calls this genre of book "wisdom literature" because it is a "delicate balance of fiction and non-fiction, pilgrimage and teaching". It's about a pastor who begins to question his faith and then goes on his own personal pilgrimage in Italy following the life of Francis of Assisi. I'm enjoying the book ...

In some ways I feel like I am coming back and embarking on my own personal pilgrimage too.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Best thing about my day ...

The best thing about my day today (besides the balmy spring weather!) were the notes my kids left for me this morning. Usually I'm the one leaving notes and reminders for them, but today they left me notes telling me they loved me and hoped I was having a good day. Because they remembered to tell me they loved me, I'll let it go that they forgot to put the milk away after breakfast.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Vows ...

My youngest son Zackery had a mishap at the start of summer holidays last year. He was sliding into home base in the backyard and slid into a tree root. He gashed open the bottom of his heel pretty deeply and after trying to clean it up, I finally took him to the Emergency Room at Children's Hospital. After waiting for awhile, we got into a treatment room and they had him soaking his foot in an antiseptic cleanser to try and get as much of the dirt out as possible. After re-examining the gash, they decided to go ahead and stitch it, so we (or I did, actually) applied a topical freezing gel, and then the doctor froze the area more deeply using needles. Every time that needle plunged into his heel, Zackery cried out in pain. Once the doctor started stitching, Zackery screamed every time that needle went in, even though the doctor said he shouldn't be feeling anything. Zackery felt immense pain with every stitch. It was heartwrenching for me to have to hold him down and to try and comfort him when pain was being inflicted on him ... even though we knew it was for a good reason. One of the nurses actually told me she had once cut her foot in a similar place and the pain she felt when she was stitched up ranked right there next to childbirth.

All that said, I've noticed in the past number of months that Zackery has changed when it comes to pain. He used to be fearless and ready to take on the world and whatever it handed to him. Now he won't let anyone wiggle a loose tooth or pull it out -- he's got to do it himself. If he gets a sliver, he's the one that has to pull it out. It's like he doesn't trust that anyone isn't going to inflict pain and he's doing whatever he can to protect himself from physical pain. I believe that day in the ER when he was getting stitched up, he made a vow of self-protection (he might not know it though) to not let anyone hurt him physically again.

I've made vows like that too -- as a means of self-protection when I've been hurt by someone relationally, I have internally vowed that I'm not going to allow myself to be in such a vulnerable position where I could be hurt like that again. Often those vows are made sub-consiously, without planning or forethought; we just know we don't want to be hurt again and we'll do what we need to do to protect ourselves.

So how do I reconcile that with the call of Jesus to love my neighbour ... and how do I keep loving my neighbour when they keep hurting me? Do I just put keep putting myself out there knowing I'm going to be hurt again? I guess the next big question is, do I trust Jesus enough to take care of all those hurts and to mend my emotional well-being when I get hurt again?

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Call Waiting ...

So this afternoon I was on the phone with my back-yard neighbour and the phone beeped, and my visual call waiting showed that my husband was trying to call. I cut the call with my neighbour short and tried to pick up the call with my husband but he wasn't there. I waited a couple of seconds and then called his number. The funny thing was, he hadn't tried to call me. I think it was God's way of getting my attention ... it was important for me to be in touch with Eric. Eric was driving the truck in northern Ontario on narrow highways in a bad snowstorm ... and shortly before I called him, an oncoming semi took out his driver side mirror. It could have been a head-on collision; it could have been so much worse than just losing the mirror. He was still shaken up and still had a number of hours to drive on his shift. But I had an opportunity to pray for him on the phone and then to continue lifting him up in prayer after we said good-bye.

God tries to get my attention in so many ways -- unfortunately rarely as clearly as visual call waiting! It was a good reminder to me that when people are brought to mind, often there is a reason for it and I need to obey the promptings and pray.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


I don’t play a lot of computer games, but the one that I play most often is Spider (Two Suits) Solitaire. Just how often do you have to play a game before it’s termed an addiction?! I enjoy the challenge of the game and am at the place where I want to win every game, and believe that every game is winnable. According to the powers that be, they (whoever they are) say the chances of winning are 1 in 5, or 20%. Currently, according to the game statistics, I happen to be winning 95.6% of the time.

When I get to the last deal of cards and I am unable to win the game, I click the “undo” button to get back to the beginning and start all over again. That way I can re-play the game and it isn’t considered a loss. Sometimes I walk away and come back later and it often seems that once I’ve taken a break and come back to it, all the cards line up and I wonder how it was I couldn’t see it play out earlier.

I wish life had an “undo” button. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could keep hitting that button until we go back to that time and place where we could say or do something differently. How far back would I go?

My son is reading the Ted Dekker book “Blink” right now and it tells the story of a man with a genius IQ who is somehow able to see all of the possible outcomes and consequences to his actions in the blink of an eye. He chooses his actions according to the best possible outcome.

Sometimes, what we think is the best possible outcome isn’t that at all. And sometimes the best possible outcomes are those that challenge our faith and our belief system – and often those “outcomes” don’t lend themselves to warm, fuzzy feelings. Face it -- life is hard and life’s not always fair.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

70 x 7 = a lot

I've been hurt recently, and I am trying to forgive – 70 times 7 and all that. Sometimes the hurt is hard to let go though; there’s power in it. Maybe that’s why Jesus told us to keep forgiving so many times. Early the other morning, before I absolutely had to get out of bed to get to work, I was channel-surfing through the infomercials and numerous religious programming and stopped on one show hosted by James and Betty Robison. I usually find them to be pretty on-target people. Beth Moore was speaking this particular morning about forgiveness; about healing from the wounds and hurts so we actually can forgive! And she talked about how important it is to lay it all before Jesus; to spill your guts, as it were, in order for Him to be able to begin healing us. I liked what she said that it’s OK to be a tattletale to Jesus. I need to tell Him where it hurts and He wants to heal that up. Too often I “debrief” to my husband, and he’s a great listener (and I love him for it), but he can’t heal me the way Jesus can.

So I continue to take it to the Lord and dump it at his feet. And I continue to try to forgive. 70 times 7 is a lot.