Friday, July 26, 2013

Mist of change

Yes, it is another random photo. Since I'm not so comfortable posting photos of all of you (since you already know each other mostly!), my world is no longer a novelty to you since I moved, and I'm not really into posting photos of the boys when you see them every week... well, there isn't much left but random. I have considered posting more of our Philippine photos since many of them never made the blog, but they're not current... so, if you have a thought, share it!
So, random photo. But not so random. Cause it highlights the mist at Niagara Falls. And mist is drops of water hanging in the air, something I've been thinking about. When millions of drops of water are falling hundreds of feet-- some of them are suspended in the air and create a beautiful mist! It reminds me of change... lots of new ideas begin to create change. Provided the change is positive, it begins to color our world in softer colours. And that is beautiful.

We all come from somewhere and we have some new ideas, new things God is teaching us. We can pass those on and like a drop of water at Niagara, they can become part of something bigger, something powerful. Or we can hold closely to what we're learning and the ways we're growing and be a slow moving stream. I'm thinking, "Let's color our world with the truth God is allowing us to see!"

It happens slowly, this change. It takes time and patience, a lot of drops of water. But over time, things do change. We are given opportunities to share and invest. We are given access to the lives of those around us. And in the process we affect them, for better or for worse. The ways we choose to relate, the ways we choose to isolate-- they matter. This day, this smile, this truth, it's all part of a bigger plan, an epic tale of God Himself.

Of course, there are stories behind my ponderings, but they are not mine to tell. Suffice it to say that I love the way you are investing in my life, and I'm privileged to invest in yours. In person, via e-mail or mail, by phone, or simply through prayer.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Joy and laughter....

I was looking through our photos and these made me laugh... it almost looks like trick photography, the big faces and little paper cups. It's a reminder of a moment of laughter, fun, silliness. And we need those! This summer I've been reminded again that we need to laugh, to smile, to enjoy the journey of living. Joy waits to surprise us multiple times a day, but we can choose to rush by it. Or we can take a moment to savor it.
A baby's smile, a teen's joke, the blessing of a friend, an unexpected phone call, a note of thanks. A sunrise, wildflowers, growing fields, puppies playing in the yard, a hug from a friend. God created a perfect world, and parts of it remain. Creativity and beauty remind us that God exists and that He is good. They bring us back toward truth and goodness and healing. They call us to a home we've never seen before!

Home assignment is keeping us busy these days as we catch up on things that need done after being gone for years. And part of what needs done is processing the past years and seeing God make more sense of our story. Our last years have been both challenging and rewarding, and as we ponder the times and people we left behind we are blessed, encouraged, and strengthened to move ahead. Surprised by the strength of memories, the depth of bonds, the fruit of truth, and the reward of being a small part of God's epic plan, a plan we continue to walk in here as you do. A plan that encompasses time and eternity, the world and each individual. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Shows, Friends, and Stitches

If you take more than one photo at a given event, don't even read this blog. Seriously.... we have some cool but distant photos of the Blue Angels and this one. And maybe I will crop and post more still:). But for today, this is what I came up with!

Garry, his dad, and Kaleb had a blast checking out the airplanes and watching the amazing stunts. I think Kaleb liked it especially much because he basically views airplanes as forms of transportation, so some of the stuff they did was incredible.Three generations, a day together. How special is that? I love it!

Last week we invited Kevin's coach and his family for dinner. It was so much fun to spend the evening with them and enjoy having a little person around for an evening (their son is 16 months old). They live in the city and I think it was nice to spend the evening in the country, enjoy a walk on our airstrip, and see some birds. The ticks and mosquitos weren't quite so much fun! But we are blessed with friends and opportunities... I love that!

And Kevin got stitches just over a week ago! His head,  knee and the trampoline didn't get along so well. When I first saw the blood I was not at all impressed. Another thing that needs fixing?! And our first stop at the ER wasn't terribly friendly. But in the end, Kevin got stitches in record time... and his view on the difficulty of going to ER/getting medical help dramatically changed. Something that seemed bad turned good. I love that!

Monday, July 08, 2013

Long Days, Summer Evenings

Life is certainly different in summer than it is in winter! For those of you who have spent your lives with changing seasons, this has become the norm. For us who have spent most of our lives in the tropics, it is a miracle. From the cold, dark days of winter to the warm, sunny days of summer seems like an impossible journey. And yet it happens-- year after year, summer and winter, springtime and harvest. And it feels like a promise, a rebirth of hope, a reminder that the seasons of life also change.

When we moved in spring, we named our new place the house of new beginnings. And it has been just that. I'm not sure that the difference in houses or properties is so great, but where we are after 9 months in Canada is so very different. We have come so far in the last 9 months in adjusting to a new life, in building friendships, in our sense of what God is doing.

The change of seasons has also reminded me how different summer looks AFTER winter. In the tropics we lived in nearly endless sunshine, and it didn't strike me quite the same as this summer has. In fact, it became rather mundane and I felt the heat more than the wonder. So in our lives we appreciate beauty, grace, and mercy more when we realize we need it. God's mercies are new every morning, yet we can go through long stretches of time when we almost believe we deserve that new mercy.

Evenings are also a nearly constant reminder of the change.... 11 pm feels very late in winter, whereas in the height of summer it feels almost like early evening. Energy cycles change with the sun and our sense of time's passing is somehow tied into both. The warm days of summer make us feel alive and productive. The sun's light gives us strength to keep going... and so the Son's strength does also.

And we are thankful. Thankful to God who enables change and is always near, thankful to friends who have walked this difficult journey with us, and thankful that seasons do change!