roll up your sleeves

Remember how I was talking about “the size of the task” a couple of days ago? (Oct. 25th) HA–now I’ve found a post I wrote a couple of years ago, where I said similar things about myself! It also talked about jobs the Tuesday morning ladies had been asked to do, etc. Man, that doesn’t seem like two years ago!

“So roll up your sleeves, put your mind in gear, be totally ready to receive the gift that’s coming when Jesus arrives. Don’t lazily slip back into those old grooves of evil, doing just what you feel like doing. You didn’t know any better then; you do now. As obedient children, let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God’s life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness.” (1 Peter 1:13-16)

It certainly is easy to “slip into laziness”, especially when you don’t feel like doing something…. like running, for example! But it sure does feel good to get it done. And this is what will help with the “life energetic”. ;)

Another thing that gives me energy, is dreaming about all the ways I can decorate my new home for Christmas… so many gorgeous windows to dress up tastefully!

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dark mornings

It’s so dark when we get up in the mornings these days! That was my thought before I read today’s scripture from Micah:

“Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light.” (Micah 7:8b)

It seems like I’m always making such a big deal about all the simple pleasures of life. Shallow joys? Although, if it’s in God that “we live and move and have our being”, those simple things take on more meaning. (And there’s a lot more meaning to that phrase, too.)

But when the day comes that I am “sitting in darkness” figuratively (worse than physically), I can have great hope and comfort in the knowledge that “the Lord will be my light”.

And before I talk too much like I usually do, let’s try to have this short for a change!

“You will not stay angry with your people forever, because you delight in showing unfailing love.” (Micah 7:18b)  *deep joy*!

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the unimportant things of life?

Just since that last post, I’ve come across 3 or 4 scripture references–the references only–that I knew what they were. It seems it’s the things you learn as a youth that stay with you!

Speaking of youth, I may not get as excited as those “old days”, about the change of seasons, or the anticipation of the next season, but it does only take a change to make me feel at least some excitement. In fact, I thrive on programs that progress and come to an end, and signal time for something new; at least new to this year.

This week it’s time to move from running intervals, to just running–for 35 minutes straight (to start)! Which means that in a couple of weeks it’ll be time to plan a whole new exercise program for the winter. Something to work out my upper body perhaps, since I’ve been quite delinquent about cross-training this time around, again. (Meaning I did very little for the non-run days.)

The other change is the one thing I didn’t get done from last post’s list: moving to my winter purse. And that is a whole new thing, since it’s one I crocheted!

Speaking of change, I do get tired of seeing the same profile photo with my posts every day…

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Solomon’s temple wasn’t built in a day.

“Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged by the size of the task, …” (1 Chronicles 28:20) That was my memory verse a couple of years ago. I gave up memorizing, because I could never remember last month’s verse once I went on to the next one… Maybe I’ve got enough verses in my mind already from when I was a kid. Even if the exact references aren’t there, nowadays you can just do a search!

Anyway, that verse sure fits for a lot of different times in one’s life, doesn’t it? “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged by the size of the task“. There have been many, many times that I thought it just couldn’t be done, by me. But (with a little push from Rej), I did it (with his help). Recently of course, it was the move.

Yeah, any time it feels like the day’s tasks are huge, I should just remember that! Today:

  • clean up last night’s dishes, since I was too tired yesterday to do them;
  • clean up the turkey carcass from last night’s dinner (much easier to do when it’s cold);
  • do laundry all day, including changing the beds;
  • one of the sheets needs mending;
  • do the sweeping and floor-washing that I was too busy raking & running to do yesterday (Raking and Running…)
  • it’s time to change my fanny-pack-style purse to the Winter one;
  • hopefully get time to work on some of the thousands of photos that I’m behind on!

Ach, that’s not much at all!

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body & soul

What if true love is found in the very place we most deserve to be rejected? …(1 John 4:9-10)

…The One who knows you best, loves you most.

You can trust the God who hung on the cross for you.

When you are secure in the grip of His love, you can open yourself to others. (1 John 4:19).

Great quotes from my new devotional! (Written by Mike Wittmer today.)

Just some quick bits this morning, before we make a run out to load up on vitamins and medicine. But our doctor’s scoldings (about cholesterol) can be counter-balanced with how good we’re feeling, physically.

All of us are saying how much easier the exercising is getting. Yes, even my run intervals that I do 3 times a week, which have left me feeling totally drained and exhausted since they bumped up to 4 minutes 8 times, are finally getting easier–so amazing to see how our bodies can improve!

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changing it up

In this season of change, however, I have learned much about the consistency of God.

He never changes.
He never forgets.
He never leaves.

….

So when change comes–as it inevitably will–fear not.  He just might be about to make a roadway in your wilderness, a river in a desert you didn’t realize you were inhabiting.
“Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert.”  –Isaiah 43:19 (NASB).

I didn’t write that, Regina Franklin did, in her blog (where she’s talking about moving to a new home, etc.). Which I “just happened” to come across this morning. :)

You see, continuing on the theme from yesterday’s post (which was written so poorly btw, that I’ve gone back to edit it–including adding a verse that says where to start), this morning I’ve been “spring cleaning” my devotional/Bible reading.

You Version is great, but I’ve been looking for a creative devotional that just goes on and on, and doesn’t have an end date. I need something a little more than just reading scripture, to help keep me focused, yet I kind of wanted a little more than just a study/commentary. In fact, I am doing both those things, but they are in a format that doesn’t have to be done every day (though I read them most days):

  • I do use You Version to read over the New Testament very slowly, only going on to the next verses when it “feels right”;
  • I use Biblestudytools.com to read the Old Testament with a commentary, again only reading as much as I can take in at the time.

There were some email devotionals arriving in my inbox daily, but somehow they weren’t really “hitting home”, as much as they meant a lot to me at one time. So, more unsubscribing. What I went looking for was Daily Bread–you know how that’s been around for ages and ages, and I’m sure if you don’t read it, you know someone who does! However, it kind of looked to me like it’s more “for old folks”–large print, subject matter, etc. And at my age–approaching “old folks”–I avoid that category like the plague!

What I found was a ministry that is actually part of the same one that Daily Bread comes from: “Our Daily Journey”. One of the first things that grabbed my attention, is that they use Reftagger, which is what we use on our own websites: it means you can hover your mouse over scripture references and the words pop up for you to read, then you can click to read more if you want to (for example: Galatians 6:10). Love that!

They also have quite a few different bloggers, who seem quite professional (like Regina Franklin). Among other things that look good. So, we’ll see!

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When good things are bad…

Giving up something good can be soooo freeing. It’s the good things that are hardest to decide about, and there are an awful lot of good things to do! Even in each “good” category–for example, donations to charities–there seem to be hundreds of thousands of choices.

My particular decision yesterday, was about the millions of good things to read, on the internet. Just as I drink my coffee in the morning and look at my computer, there are enough choices. People laugh at me for doing this, but I actually have a list: YouVersion and email devotional first, then other email, Facebook, news, etc. The list helps to keep me focused–there’s even a line for stopping for prayer. The Facebook line is only for the notifications; the newsfeed, with all it’s extra “shared” things, is only for when there’s nothing better to do, or if I have just a few minutes, or need something quick & uplifting.

But for extra reading, there are all kinds of wonderful Christian newsletters, and fantastic blogs, etc. For years and years, I’ve been receiving the daily Breakpoint email, which keeps me up to date on the Christian response to the political scene. Most of those years, I’ve only had time to read them about once a month. I kept telling myself they’re really good, and it doesn’t take long to go through a bunch of them in one sitting.

Trouble is, on that day when I’d finally get around to reading them, it was kind of late to share a particular one, if I wanted to (and trickier to do, when it’s so many days later). I’ve always appreciated how Breakpoint educates me on how to debate with people… HA! I NEVER remember the points I’m supposed to, when the opportunity actually arises. Another point to consider, is that it’s based on the States, while there IS a Canadian version (by that I mean Focus on the Family); which comes less often (vs every day), so would be easier to keep up with.

Soooo…. it was hard to actually delete all those Breakpoint emails I was behind on, and unsubscribe, but I did it!

To continue this “spring cleaning”, I then went to Facebook and unchecked a few “receive notifications” from certain excellent ministries, and checked the ones that are more appropriate for where we are now.

Next decision: sign up for some volunteer work at The Met. Hopefully it will be a little easier to choose between all the good things to do there!

“So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith.” (Galatians 6:10)

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to do

The word for last week is “vaccine”, since I had three of them: flu shot, tetanus, and got talked into paying for the shingles vaccine. This week there is hardly anything happening out of the regular schedule, except for hazardous waste collection on Sunday, and letting the doctor tell us all off about something or other on Thursday (cholesterol? sugar?)

Soon there will be Christmas baking to get done for the freezer, and missionary company for a week. Our Small Group meets once a week, which is a good thing when you can never see anyone you know at the Sunday service. That’s mega-church for you! Of course, we need to get more involved as well. For me, you know that means doing something in the kids’ department. The Wednesday morning ladies’ group needed someone to help with their kids, so I might do that.

I try not to think about the Toronto things I miss, but a couple of them do pop up. Like having our church so close that I could go to something, and come back and get the guys later; and like our sweet Chinese friends. But perhaps we had to trade that close-ness for having these wonderful walking trails right behind our home. I just had to get out in the rain the other day, to take photos of the fabulous trees in their fall glory.

Speaking of photos, that’s something else that has to be gotten to, SOON. There’s about 1,000 in my Pending folder–from wedding, to moving photos, to all the ones I couldn’t resist downloading from Facebook (family photos), to all the recent fall & thanksgiving ones–oh MY, I’m so far behind!! But now that ALL the moving jobs are totally done, hopefully I’ll have time for that.

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no complaining

The “to do” list when we were first moving in felt quite different than the one we have now. Then, it was huge, but there wasn’t that “have to get it done” feeling, because we knew it would take awhile; however, we really wanted to do get it done. Now, it’s just a huge long list of small stuff. Back to normal.

The Fall jobs are almost all done, except for Raking, which we will be doing daily, as long as it’s not wet or windy. Today we have to vote. In November we’re looking forward to billeting a missionary for The Met’s missions conference, and having a couple of ladies for lunch on the Sunday.

Today or tomorrow, hopefully, I’ll get some Pumpkin Pudding made.

Speaking of voting though, that’s another way that Toronto and Ottawa are opposites (besides lakes vs rivers, millions vs thousands, etc.): we actually have quite a good mayor already in place. :P

“Friends, don’t complain about each other. A far greater complaint could be lodged against you, you know. The Judge is standing just around the corner.” (James 5:9)

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rainy day “fun”

Yesterday was just one of those days.

  • First of all, I just couldn’t decide which parking spot to take at Walmart… back in here? No, gotta have the back hatch on the outside in rain like this… can’t fit here… this one’s just too far away… Must have wasted at least 20 minutes!
  • Then I felt like something sweet & comforting to help me get groceries, so ordered coffee and hot apple pie at Mc’D’s. They didn’t have any hot apple pie. So I canceled my order.
  • Then I had trouble finding the right things, in the pharmacy section.
  • By then it was over-busy in the grocery section.
  • After groceries, I felt I deserved something sweet and comforting, so I went through the drive-thru at Tim’s and ordered coffee and pumpkin spice muffin. When I drove up to the window, they told me they were out of pumpkin spice muffins. “Would you like blueberry? Or fruit & fibre is pretty good…?” I canceled my order.
  • Had trouble finding the right things even at Shopper’s Drug Mart.
  • Even the Independant was a little busy by now. And I was hungry!

After lunch I finally realized that being very tired was part of my problem, even though I hadn’t realized that I’d had any kind of troubled sleep during the night. Last night I took a sleeping pill, and this morning I’m still tired!

This is all because I laughed at Sam yesterday. So now you can laugh at me!

I think it also has to do with this running I’m doing. I’m now up to the point of walk for only 1 minute, and run for 4 minutes, EIGHT TIMES!! Man, it’s been hard lately, this time around–but I just have to do it.

I’m looking forward to making apple sauce today though!

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