Enjoying it, not wasting it.

If I put this photo on Facebook, these girls might feel like shooting me, even though no one else would see anything wrong with the photo. So it’ll be a little more hidden here (I’m learning!):

Groups line girls Aunt Emmy Club GROUPS TRAILBLAZERS 007These are the girls I “wished good luck” as they start University/College today (or around today); although I didn’t mention the girl on the right end, since we didn’t know her as long. As far as I know, they’ve all become lovely young women of God! And the only way they’re going to make it through this next “fun” portion of their lives, is to depend on Him, for sure.

Anyway, I’m NOT sitting here moping about getting old, or about how the years have flown by. I’m just thankful to have something that pulls me into the excitement of a new school year. Can’t wait to see all those “first day of school” pictures, and hear about the little ones just starting out. Otherwise, one could have almost forgotten about these things!

summer prof 2014

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Waste not, want not

Still absolutely loving this new home of ours, there are some things to be patient for that I miss:

  • an outside thermometer to check when I sit down with my first coffee in the morning;
  • something missing in the Small Guest Room… a charming chair?
  • something on those blank, white walls in the Master Bedroom.

The other thing I’m longing for and can hardly wait for, is getting involved in something at church! It’s been so, SO long. The Met has a huge list of things starting up for the Fall, so I’m excited to finally get going on that, probably this Wednesday.

Pastor Jay’s summary of Stephen’s sermon (Acts 7) is fitting. He (Stephen) reminded the Israelites about three things that were very special to them, that they unfortunately were often tempted to worship: the Promise Land, the Law, and the Temple.

“Blessing” is often used in conjunction with the land, but Abraham was blessed long before he even reached the Promised Land. The “Blessing” is where God is: remember how Moses had to take his shoes off because he was standing on holy ground–that wasn’t even IN the Promise Land!

The Law was simply a tool to point them to their need for Messiah; and the Temple, well, we know from history what happened to temple after Jewish temple! But lets not point fingers, because I remember how much we all thought of our Sanctuary at our old church. It was so beautiful! And when there was the possibility of giving it up, well, that was almost impossible to think about.

I can also understand how one could get obsessed with “the Law”. All those beautiful words, that one could wish to keep reading again and again, and talk about over and over, but never actually get Out There to put that “law” into practise!

And of course “the Land”: we could have insisted that Toronto was our own “Promise Land”; OR we could have thought that once we got to Ottawa that everything would be just perfect. But the Blessing is where God is! And that should be within.

The Israelites had all these things, but they “squandered” it (see the Message, lol). So the idea is: “Don’t waste your life”! Don’t waste your blessings, don’t waste your pain.

There we go, word for the week: waste! :)

summer prof 2014

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Pain is gain?

Why do I find it hard to remember everything that happened in a week, even if it’s barely even finished yet? Is it because nothing very significant happened, or because we were TOO busy? Neither, really.

Using the word for the week “full”, one could say that it was a week “full of sore muscles”, for everyone in this house! Sam is the sorest, since he doesn’t want to schedule in recovery days, in case he stops and never starts again. I had to actually give up my plan to strength train yesterday, knowing that sore muscles means you’re exercising too much. Today though, it’s time for one more Interval Walking Workout.

Otherwise, I’ve been enjoying relaxing afternoons outside, acting like I’m on holidays. That used to be the only time I would read a novel in the afternoon (sticking to bed-time reading during normal times). I keep thinking that it’s best to take advantage of the nice weather while it’s still here. When it starts being dark fairly early, that will be the time to start working on all those photos–they’ll remind me of the summer!

And by then we should be finished every single move-in job there is to do. Today, after regular cleaning, it’s to check the paint that the previous owner left, since I may have to decide NOT to move some picture-hanging nails if there is no paint to fix the hole.

Have a wonderful long weekend!!

summer prof 2014

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Family Homes

My word for the week could sure apply for a lot of things–a full life, days full of good things, full of thankfulness for so many things, etc. etc. Maybe I’ll have to see if there are specific things that can apply, to sum up the week, in a couple of days.

For today, I’ve been looking through my Pending photos, which are up to about 170 already, and that does NOT include the recent wedding photos! It’s impossible to choose a favourite photo out of them. So I’m sharing this one because I so love to sit around a campfire, which we have not been able to do for quite awhile. My sister however, has been able to.

campfire christine

Christine just moved to a new place as well. I’ve been thinking recently how different her new home is from mine: she is practically in the wilderness, and has some fantastic views there when she sits outside, looking over a hill. (But we both have hot tubs!) It’s the proverbial apples and oranges.

My parents’ place is quite different again, perhaps somewhere in between the two. As much as I love my new home, it’s still quite wonderful to visit Mom & Dad–they have tall, tall poplar and birch trees that are so lovely to watch and listen to on a breezy day! And of course, there are Mom’s myriad flower gardens, and then Dad’s wonderful forest paths. I can go for a walk on the trails right near our home to get the forest smells and see wild flowers, but there you just have to sit and enjoy them.

Aren’t we just so blessed?

 

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Have a summerful day.

You should read more poetry. (Meaning, I should!)

It’s like living in a light bulb, with the leaves
Like filaments and the sky a shell of thin, transparent glass
Enclosing the late heaven of a summer day, a canopy
Of incandescent blue above the dappled sunlight golden
     on the grass...

From Sally’s Hair by John Koethe

Doesn’t that make the picture so clear in your mind, of lying back on a lounge chair outside, looking up through the leaves on the trees, to the sunny sky?

Sure, this is the last week of August, but it’s not too late! Get out there and see what poetry you can find…

summer prof 2014

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Full of it!

This week’s word shall be: full. And I didn’t think of it because I was so “full” from all the treats we were eating at our drop-in party on Saturday. :P

Actually, preachers who really enjoy “serving up” God’s Word, teach it with such relish, it’s almost as if they’re enjoying every delicious bite, and anxious to get you to enjoy it as well! Our church is continuing a series on Acts, and we’re up to the part in chapter 6 about Stephen, who is such a gifted debater that “…they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking.” (Acts 6:10)

This is one of the guys they’d appointed to wait on tables. The eating/nurturing analogy again!

Pastor Jay summed it up for us with 4 things that Stephen was full of (and “full” meaning that it forces everything else out):

  1. Faith (v. 5)–faith trumped everything else; no matter what happened, he was obedient to God’s direction. As a result, he was full of
  2. Spirit and wisdom; and
  3. Grace (Acts 6:8), which means he was empowered with gifts/talents; and
  4. Power–when he exercised those gifts that God had given him, there were miraculous results.

Hmmmm, just thought of something… If being full of something forces everything else out, wouldn’t being full of “Faith” force out the “Spirit and wisdom”, or being full of that force out the “Grace”, etc.? Hahaha–just being a devil’s advocate here! Perhaps these things are all part of a whole, each one connected to the others. For example, wouldn’t “wisdom” be one of the gifts that he was empowered with, by the “grace” of God? ;)

summer prof 2014

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Fitness Test 2014

Yikes, just checked back–last year I did the one mile test in 15 minutes! So I’m out of shape: just did the test today in 19:24.37. After supper, temps around 27 C (though didn’t feel that hot.)

So lets see how it improves by December!

 

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“…do you see how thankful we must be?”

It feels like tomorrow will be the culmination of aaallll the Moving! We’ve invited everyone (and I mean everyone) to come to a “Drop-In Celebration” tomorrow, so we can show off our new home, and so that we can have treats. It was just a Facebook invitation, so it’ll be interesting to see how many come. It doesn’t matter, because the treats can be put away, if there are any left over after WE eat them. :D

Somewhere in that invitation, about 3 weeks ago, was a mention that everything may not be perfect yet. But, it’s amazing how many things ARE perfect, already! When I think of all that we’ve done since we moved in July 3rd–Wow! Really, there are just a couple of “move jobs” left to do:

  • adjust the nail positions for the wall pictures/hangings (which will also involve filling/fixing holes), and
  • make curtains for Sam’s French Doors;
  • oh yeah, and read over the manuals that came with the house (and perhaps try cooking with the convection oven that’s not my Toronto microwave oven).
  • Oh–I thought of one more: learn about my various shrubs & trees! So far I’m pretty sure I have a Dogwood, a Nine Bark, Purple Sandcherry; as well as Spruce, Oak, the Hot Tub Smoke Tree, and of course the huge Maple out front.

As I said before, there will also be new experiences for a whole year, as we go through each season. I’m looking forward to:

  • hot tubbing in the Winter,
  • unpacking the Christmas boxes,
  • seeing what blossoms my shrubs produce in the Spring–
  • but first, seeing their Fall glory,
  • planting what *I* want in the yard,
  • having visits from old friends and family that haven’t made it yet (starting tomorrow!)

“Do you see what we’ve got? An unshakable kingdom! And do you see how thankful we must be? Not only thankful, but brimming with worship, deeply reverent before God. For God is not an indifferent bystander.” (Hebrews 12:28)

summer prof 2014

 

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Use your voice!

My cat sometimes just looks at me when she wants something. Practising telepathy perhaps! Eventually she may meow, and I’ll figure it out–this morning she wanted more water (she drinks a LOT since she’s gotten old!)

You need to speak up for yourself; you also need to “speak up” for others–encourage them.  Appreciate: raise the value. :)

Now to switch direction again, with no silly segue this time. Yesterday I shared a verse about God’s voice “shaking” things up, in The Last Day. The story continues:

“His voice that time shook the earth to its foundations; this time – he’s told us this quite plainly – he’ll also rock the heavens: ‘One last shaking, from top to bottom, stem to stern.’ The phrase “one last shaking” means a thorough housecleaning, getting rid of all the historical and religious junk so that the unshakable essentials stand clear and uncluttered…. For God is not an indifferent bystander. He’s actively cleaning house, torching all that needs to burn, and he won’t quit until it’s all cleansed. God himself is Fire!” (Hebrews 12:26-29)

I like this because we’ve had to clean out so much junk recently, for moving; plus, now I’m cleaning up to prepare for a drop-in party this weekend.

It’s such a great illustration, because I remember when we first moved in, and hated to clutter up the place with all our “stuff”. We so easily get into religious “junk”, don’t we? Better to get it cleared away “so that the unshakable essentials stand clear and uncluttered”!

head shot from Crystal's wedding

 

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Why be reasonable?

The thought was going through my mind that perhaps I should do this “word” thing (see yesterday’s post) only at the end of the week–anything can get tiresome–when I read this:

“So don’t turn a deaf ear to these gracious words. If those who ignored earthly warnings didn’t get away with it, what will happen to us if we turn our backs on heavenly warnings? His voice that time shook the earth to its foundations; this time – he’s told us this quite plainly – he’ll also rock the heavens: “One last shaking, from top to bottom, stem to stern.””(Hebrews 12:25-26)

This writer is referring to when God spoke to the Hebrews from Mount Sinai, and comparing it to how He speaks now, through Jesus; also, the comparison is that judgement with future judgement.

I’d already been thinking about “the Voice of Reason”, for example, when the directions say to put the chemical in a bucket of water before adding it to the hot tub. However, just throwing it in was fun: a huge sudsy mass to enjoy, before the bubbles disappeared shortly afterward! Some judgements are simply consequences. Thankfully, that was an easy one to “endure”. ;)

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