Monday, October 29, 2012

Going Without

According to the Weather Network, a mammoth of a storm is on its way, one that could produce 60-100 km winds that could take down many trees, enough rain to cause flooding, and the potential for long periods of power outages. I'm quite curious if the storm will live up to the warnings and the hype. Not that I am looking forward to living in those conditions for any length of time, especially with a baby. But there is something anti-climactic when a big storm is predicted, and it passes with little impact.
Last night, Kevin and I were talking about how rough it would be to have no electricity for a few days. We've actually experienced a similar situation recently. In September we were at some good friends for a few days, and their well had run dry. So though there was electricity, there was no running water. We knew this in advance, and decided we were up for the adventure!
Going for a few days without running water is harder than I thought. Our friends drove to a neighbors once a day to fill a barrel full of water. This was used for cooking, drinking, washing dishes.  If we needed hot water it had to be boiled. If we needed to flush a toilet, you would fill a small bucket with rainwater and pour it in. When we needed to bathe our babies, we had to mix boiled water with cold in a basin. If we wanted to shower... hello neighbors!
I have to say I have never been more thankful for running water and warm showers than after that awesome, adventurous vacation!
Now today there is the smallest potential that I could find out what it is like to go without electricity for a little while.  We would have to break out some candles. Throw on our coats to cook over the barbecue on the back deck. Layer ourselves with sweaters, socks and blankets. Keep the fridge closed unless absolutely necessary.
I know I seriously take these luxuries for granted every day. Going without for any period of time is a wonderful practice in proper perspective and thankfulness.
What would be hardest for you to do without for a few days?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Uphill Climb

When I was in high school I hated walking home from school in the winter.  That twenty minutes trudging through the snow, enduring the cold wind in my face was not one of my favourite times of day.  I remember I would make up games in my mind to help distract myself from the cold and make the walk seem shorter.  I would guess how many steps I would take from one block to the next, and then count them!  My sister and I would talk about warm things hoping we could somehow draw on the mental images to warm us up - hot chocolate, hot tubs, laying on the beach...

The other day I drew on these memories while on a walk with Jordyn.  I had been downtown doing some errands.  The stroller was loaded up with groceries as well as my beautiful baby girl.  I had accomplished what I needed to do, and was on my way home.  Now, our home is in a spot where no matter which way you travel to it, you have to climb a pretty major hill to get there.  I was standing at the bottom of one of these hills, looking to the top some six blocks away.  And I was just tired, having no desire to push my loaded stroller up this hill and home.  So I decided to think of something I could do to distract myself from the climb.  I decided that rather than focusing on the top of this hill, I would focus on things along the way.  I just have to make it to that telephone poll.  I just have to make it to the edge of that driveway.  Now to that beautiful red tree. Now to that next house...  My little game worked, and before I knew it, there I was at the top of the hill, almost home!  

Hebrews 12:1-2 says, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith..."  

I love these verses, and thought of them while battling my tiredness to get up that hill.  Keep our eyes on Jesus.  Run with endurance.  However, I began to think...  If I'm fixing my eyes on Jesus, would that not be like fixing my eyes on the top of the hill?  Isn't Jesus my destination?

It is true, that Jesus is at the destination of my life.  That the inheritance of eternal life I have  received because of His love is all about Him, worshiping Him, enjoying Him.  Heaven will be centered on His glory!

But Jesus isn't only at the destination.  Jesus is with me along the way.  There are times in life where I feel like I'm living by saying, I just need to make it to next week.  I just need to make it past that major event, through this busy time, to the end of the crisis...  I just need to make it through today.  But I can still keep my eyes on Jesus in this.  Jesus is there in each mile marker of life, in the hard events, in the painful anniversaries.  Jesus is there when all I can do is put one foot in front of the other until the next day comes.  

So we can look to the top of the hill, and Jesus is there.  And we can look to the next significant moment we need to pass, and Jesus is there.  We can keep our eyes on Him in each moment of life. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Giving Thanks

Today I am thankful for...

  • Christ in me - freedom, peace, life, light, burdens lifted, hope, worship
  • My husband - loving, faithful, hard working, tender-hearted, easy going, fun loving
  • My daughter - beautiful, sweet, smiles, giggles, discovery, life, love
  • My family - over-the-top loving parents, best friend for a sister, loving brother-in-law, gorgeous, silly, wonderful nieces
  • My husbands family - The care and love of his parents, awesome adventurous sister-in-law, big, tough, but soft-hearted brother-in-law
  • My Church family - encouragement, support, prayers, worshiping together, serving together, doing life together
  • Nature - Mountains, fall leaves, thunderstorms, flowers, wind, clouds, rivers, sunshine, on and on and on...
  • Technology - Skype, email, digital pictures, ipods, ipads, or even just electricity, running water, heated homes
  • Food - again, on and on and on...  but specifically grapes, hot chocolate, cheese, yogurt with granola, cheesecake, oranges
  • Memories - of my grandfather who passed away 11 years ago today, of holidays, of God-moments, of being a kid, of falling in love

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Music is to exercise...

...what the mountains are to hiking

...what chocolate is to a granola bar

...what a beautiful sunrise is to waking up

...what a thankful customer is to working

...what passing is to taking an exam