Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Poetry

In the little village of Bethlehem
There lay a Child one day;
And the sky was bright with a holy light
O'er the place where Jesus lay.
'Twas a humble birthplace but O how much
God gave to us that day;
From the manger bed what a path has led,
What a perfect, holy way.
Alleluia! O how the angels sang
Alleluia! How it rang!
And the sky was bright with a holy light,
'Twas the birthday of a king.
Christmas Carol

God came to live with us so we could live with Him.

But God's own descent into flesh was meant
As a demonstration that the supreme merit
Lay in risking spirit in substantiation.....
Spirit enters flesh and for all it's worth
Charges into earth in birth after birth
Ever fresh and fresh
Robert Frost

cranberry sauce recipe

1 bag fresh cranberries
1/2 c white sugar
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 c water
Place in a pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling reduce heat to a little simmer and let sit there until it is reduced to the thickness that you like your sauce at. About 1 hour.

I like this recipe cause it isn't to sweet!! MERRY CHRISTMAS

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Thank-you! Merry Christmas

A great big Thank-you and blessing to all the ladies of our coffee group and NorthRidge Church for helping us be the hands and feet of Jesus. North Ridge donated $1000.00 to our group to help in this out reach program. We were able to help 4 families with hampers, fresh baking from our group included, $200.00 for stockings, for the caring place, $500 went to Mount Crescent Elementary to help kids in need, and 5 shoe boxes for Samaritans Purse.
Thank-you to North Ridge for the financial support.
Thank-you to Krista, the leader and organizer of our little group.
Thank-you to Betty, Tamara, Deb, Debbie, Nicole.. I have been truly blessed to be able to have coffee with you ladies for the last 5 years.
A very Merry Christmas to you and your families. May next year bring more blessings. God Bless!

Sebaceous Cyst Violation!

Ephesians 4:26
When you are angry, do not sin, and be sure to stop being angry before the end of the day.

Psalm 4:4
When you are angry, do not sin. Think about these things quietly as you go to bed.

I was going to write an angry blog post, about my experience last Thursday. I was even going to write a letter to the local newspaper. I was angry. Then I read the above and I'm glad I waited a few days before writing this post. I'm still angry... but it's under control. Sort of.

Diary - Thursday December 17th, 2009
"I have been VIOLATED! I feel like I've been taken advantage of. Am I just another piece of meat? A number? I AM NOT A NUMBER! I am human. What the heck just happened to me? Could I have prevented it? Did it happen because I'm a quiet and shy person? Am I a door mat? .......
 I was unprepared...... If I had been prepared this wouldn't have happened to me today....

"Here's your robe." the medical administrator pulled a surgical green gown from a drawer, "The doctor will be with you shortly." She was gone by the time I thought to ask , "Why do I need a gown?"
I was there to get a cyst drained. My Doctor was on a leave of absence, and I met this doctor last Monday. He told me I had a sebaceous cyst that needed to be drained and he could do it there at the clinic. "No problem.... easy procedure." were his words. I didn't think to question it. I received no other information about the procedure. No pamphlet.... No "Do you have any questions about this procedure?" I pictured a needle sucking out the puss and that would be the end of it. I was naive and stupid.
 For the past 2 years I have had a pea sized lump under my left breast. It was now the size of 2 lima beans.
"You have to see a doctor!" my husband insisted. "Just to rule out cancer. Okay?" He was right, but I didn't like doctors. I haven't seen one since my youngest daughter was born. She'll be 10 this January. I don't like the way they rush through the appointments. They don't take the time to see why the ailment is happening.... what about prevention? They stick a band aid on the boo boo and call it a day. My mother was on heart medication for 7 years..... then she went to see another doctor who questioned why.... and there was absolutely nothing wrong with her heart. Never had been.
"Maybe they just don't want to get puss on my clothes?" I put the gown on with the ties at the front and wrapped it around me like a Monks robe. I left my pants on. I sat in the chair.... rebel that I am... I didn't want to lay on the bench just yet..... I picked up a Garden's West magazine and read calmly, because I  was oblivious to what lay ahead. If only, I had thought to Google 'Sebaceous Cyst Removal', I would have had a few days to prepare myself. Was it my responsibility to get the information for the procedure?
There I was casually reading a magazine as the doctor walked in.
 "Please lay down." I thought it odd....  he didn't say hello. Straight to business.
I lay on the small bed with my legs dangling from the knee down as he began the procedure. He placed a cloth around the area which acted as a curtain, preventing me from seeing what he was doing. He froze the area with 2 needles then left the room for 5 minutes. When he returned, he gave me one more needle, took a scalpel  and cut me open.
"Do you feel anything?" He asked.
"You ask me that after cutting me?" I thought to myself. "No." I whispered tensely. I didn't know what he was doing. Why did he cut me open? I should have brought someone with me. I panicked.
"Oh dear Lord, give me strength to face what ever it is I need to face with this procedure. Let it go and be the way it has to be." I prayed, "OWWWW!" The doctor just dug a little deeper.
"That hurt?" He questioned.
"Just a little pinch." I took a deep breath. He turned away and moved towards the cabinet. Opened the door and took out another needle and filled it with freezing liquid. I remember thinking it odd that he didn't change his gloves.
"Did he just touch those things in the cabinet with my blood on his fingers?" I closed my eyes. I prayed again. "Give this Doctor your wisdom Lord. Let him do his very best on me. I don't understand what's happening but I know I've got to trust that this is for a reason..... Is that my rib bone he's rubbing?" I panicked again. I started to chant, "Calm... Calm... Keep me calm... Oh God... Help me....I'm going to throw up.... keep me calm.... calm.... calm.... breath... in out... breath!" I forced myself to concentrate on something else.
"Wow... there's a lot of dust on that fan up there. They should dust the ceiling every once in a while. If it's dirty up there.... do you think they would clean well.... down here? What if the tools he's using are unclean? NO! Don't go there... Don't think that!" My heart beat faster and faster. He dug deeper and deeper. Beads of sweat appeared on his forehead. Then he turned his head and coughed. I noticed he wasn't wearing a mask.
"This cough is terrible." then he continued digging.
"oh." I said weakly. Where was my strength? Why didn't I speak up?
He turned away and walked towards the cabinet again. He took a tissue, blew his nose, threw the tissue in the garbage and continued to take another needle and fill it with more freezing liquid.
"Ummm?" was all I could say. I was frozen, "This isn't really happening to me.... it's too surreal."
"Ummm?" I tried again, "will this take much longer?" my voice cracked.
"Deep... almost done." he said as he poked me with yet another needle. " deeper that I thought." he continued to probe for the elusive vesicle.
When the digging finally stopped, he walked once more to the cupboard opened the top door with his bloodied latex glove and took a few packages of sterile pads out of a box and walked back to me. He took a medicated gauze out of a package with a pair of tweezers and then grabbed the sterilized medicated gauze with the hand he blew his nose with and pushed it into the gaping hole he just made in me.
"This is a medicated pad to plug the wound..... The cyst is too deep to get out... so this will plug and draw up any more fluid from the cyst." He finished plugging up the hole and put a bandage over the 'wick'.
"I'd like to see you on Monday to check the wound." Then he was gone. I was stunned. It took me a few moments to collect myself.
"What just happened to me?" I felt like crying. I felt like throwing up. No one was there for me. Why would they be? It was supposed to be a simple procedure. "I'm cut open with a plug." Somehow I managed to get dressed, make an appointment for Monday and dropped off the library books.  As I closed the door to my van, and sat down in the drivers seat.... the flood gates opened. I lost control...
"Where do I go? What do I do?" I cried and prayed, " Do I need to change the dressing before Monday?  It's only Thursday now. Can I take a shower before Monday? Will the cyst grow back? What can I do to prevent infection? What do I do now?" as I drove home, I had a great urge to go see Deb, a RN nurse. We had been friends since her son and my eldest daughter were in kindergarten, and now her daughter and my youngest are BFF's. She is also a member of our coffee group (when she's not fixing boo boo's in the emergency ward). I felt human again, just at the thought of seeing her.... and a renewed strength filled my spirit. I was again in control.
She answered all my questions and then some.... The following day she freshened up my dressing (which was caked full with blackened blood.... and this was supposed to last till Monday?) Her bed side manner was impeccable.... we enjoyed a chat while drinking tea...It was wonderful.... now.... don't get me wrong.... I don't expect to have tea with the doctor next monday.... when he does.... well... I don't really know what he's going to do.... he never told me.... but what ever it is.... it won't be a chat and some tea.... However, my husband will be chaperoning me that day and I'll have a tea with him.

The internet is a great tool..... you can find anything about everything on there.... so... why would it be the doctor's responsibility to give the patient information, when I could see the whole procedure on You Tube and get more than enough answers to the questions I seek?  Was it my responsibility to find the answers? Is this the direction the Canadian Medical system is going? What if I'm not an information junkie? What if I don't use the computer every day? Do I fall through the cracks? How many people have fallen through the cracks? Why was the doctor too busy to ask 'Do you have any questions about this procedure?' Do they not have enough government funding to provide the doctors with assistants... or at least a change of gloves? Is it the fault of the clinic's management?.... not enough staff? These are questions the internet can't answer for me.
Too much was left unsaid, Thursday morning, in that consultation room. What happened was wrong.... from the doctor's lack of bed side manner, to his horrible sanitary practices.
 I was going to write an angry letter.... Then I spent some time with God this morning, and I read this:
"In the midst of our peaceful lives, something turns a key in our spirit and triggers the alarm. And our internal peace - not to mention the tranquillity of those around us - is interrupted by the disruptive force of our exploding emotions.
Sometimes anger appropriately calls our attention to an injustice that needs to be addressed, and we are spurred to righteous action. Most of the time, however, our anger is selfishly ignited by the violation of our expectations, rights, and privileges. In any case, it's important to know why the alarm is sounding and to respond in a godly way. But one thing is sure, anger was never intended to continue unchecked."

The things I experienced last Thursday morning needed to be said.... but not in anger. I do not wish to point fingers, only to educate to improve the system. I do have certain rights... I am a child of God after all and my body is a temple.... so I'm told. So how do I turn around and turn this bad into a good? By telling others.... the moral of this story? Be prepared... research and use wisdom in all the things you do..... and trust God......  stand up for yourself and speak up.... and always... always make sure you have a family member or a good friend you can trust..... one that works in the medical profession.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Error – Negative Input – Eject Immediately or Permanent Damage may Occur

Philippians 4:-7
Be full of joy in the Lord full of joy. Let everyone see that you are gentle and kind..... Do not worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks. And God's peace, which is so great we cannot understand it, will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

So.... we need to be full of joy and have a grateful heart, and not worry about anything?... always?WOW! Who here can do that? I can't.... at least not always. When there are no problems in life, I have no issues with being full of joy, grateful and with no worries. No problem! However, staying in that frame of mind is tough when not so nice things are happening around you. It takes a lot of self discipline to achieve that frame of mind when the kids are whining, the money is running out, the husband is grumbling, you've got the flu, the car won't start, you're grandmother died, the neighbour is complaining, the dog chewed up you're favourite slippers and now your feet are cold. Then Aunte Flow comes for her monthly visit just when you find some “alone” time to reconnect with you're spouse.
It's not so easy to be full of joy when these bad things in life come your way. Yet, God wishes us to be full of joy in the Lord, be grateful for everything, not to worry, but pray for everything you need. He is asking us, to take the first step towards trusting Him. If we can just trust Him in the midst of the trials in our lives... think of how strong we can be when life brings us blue skies and butterflies?
I've heard it said before, that God is a gentleman. He will not force Himself upon us. He wants us to take the first step toward Him. When He meets us ½ way, His peace, which surpasses all understanding, will be our blessing. We need to do some work for that peace though. We need to reach out and trust.

Philippians 4:8
Brothers and Sisters, think about the things that are good and worthy of praise. Think about the things that are true and honourable and right and pure and beautiful and respected.

God is asking us to concentrate on positive thoughts as opposed to negative ones. To re-train our minds to take a negative thought and turn it into a positive thought. We need to train our brains to look at things in a different light. We also need to be careful to what input comes into our movies, people, T.V, Media, books... We need to choose wisely the things we download into our brains. The things we think about, focus on, and surround ourselves with will shape the people we become.

Proverbs 23:7
As he thinks in his heart, so is he.

We have the deciding vote as to who and what we allow to influence us. Positive software only please. Error – Negative Input – Eject Immediately or permanent damage can occur.

Our spirit is like a clogged drain when offence and bad thoughts enter. We need to clean out the pipes. Air fresheners don't help.
Joyce Meyers

1 Thessalonians 5:21-22
...but test everything. Keep what is good, and stay away from everything that is evil.

Lord, when the clouds and rain and storms come my way, don't let me forget about the Son. Amen

Well..... I'm off to get some Drano.... Cheers!  

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Celebrate Recovery

Psalm 26:2-3
Lord, try me and test me;
look closely into my heart and mind.
I see your love
and I live by your truth.

 It has come to my attention this past week or 2, that what you think isn't always the truth. I thought I was okay. I mean, I live in a kind manner. I pray. I take care of what I need to take care of... family, animals and household. I do all this with a smile on my face and no ill feelings.
However, God showed me this week that I have been at a standstill, stagnant. I have been melancholy, and in a funk. Why would he show me this? I don't know. Maybe, he wants me to grow?

We must ask God to "examine" our minds and hearts, and to point out our bad thoughts, attitudes and ways. Exposure is difficult and causes discomfort, but how else can we change and grow to becoming a better human being? Repentance is the hurt that leads to healing.

 I went recently to a Celebrate Recovery evening. I went there, not looking to help myself, but I went to see if there was information, so that I could help an alcoholic family member.
"Do you have any pamphlets for alcohol abuse?" I asked a lady who was putting away the brochures at the end of the evening. We had just finished our sharing time and she heard my story not 5 minutes earlier.
"Why?" she asked, "You are not an alcoholic."
"Yes... but my..."I started.
"This is for you." then she handed me a Codependency Brochure. I took it and shoved it in my purse after saying a hasty "Thank-you."
It's not me that has a problem. Although I know I am far from perfect. I DON'T HAVE A PROBLEM! I'm not an alcoholic. I don't take drugs. Nothing really bad has happened to me... no type of abuse or anything like that. I grew up in a very loving home. I have always followed the rules and I have never been drunk or caused any harm.  Then I read the Compliance Patterns of a Codependent.

* Assume responsibility for Others' feelings and behaviors.  (Does apologizing for someone else's rude behavior mean I do this?...... Alright.... check mark).

*Feel guilty about others' feelings and behaviors. (I guess I feel guilty if I have to apologize for it... Okay check mark).

*Have difficulty identifying what you are feeling. (Before I met God... definitely... not so much anymore).

*Are afraid of your own anger, yet sometimes erupt in rage. (I have in the past... not anymore. Just one minute....."GIRLS! STOP YOUR WHINNING I"M TRYING TO BLOG HERE! I Can't think with all that noise!..... Okay... I'm back, you know my sister just recently purchased a Wii and they have this sword fight dueling game in Wii Resort.. I whacked my sister right off the playing field and into the water... I loved it!..... okay... check mark).

*Worry about how others may respond to your feelings, opinions, and behavior. (This is the reason why I am so quiet.... It takes me years to speak out... that's why I write it all down.... check mark.)

*Have difficulty making decisions. ("So what do you want for dinner?" "I donno... what do you want?" ... okay ... check mark).

*Are afraid of being hurt and/or rejected by others. (I used to be... God is a big influence in my life now that I don't fear anymore).

* Minimize, alter or deny how you truly feel. ( Yes.... check mark... but I was aware of it and I am working on it).

*Are very sensitive to how others are feeling and feel the same. ( YES... check mark... working on it).

*Are afraid to express differing opinions or feelings. (Okay, okay, okay... Yes... YES YES! but only if it's okay with you? okay?... check mark).

*Value others opinions and feelings more than your own. (Yes... check mark).

* Put other people's needs and desires before your own. (Yes... check mark).

*Embarrassed to receive recognition and praise, or gifts. (Yes... check mark).

*Judge everything you think, say, or do harshly, as never "good enough". (Working on it... check mark).

*Are a perfectionist. (Does re-loading the dishwasher for optimum use mean....?.... Okay.. check mark).

*Are extremely loyal, remaining in harmful situations too long. (NO!... I don't do this... phew... 1 out of 20).

*Do not ask others to meet your needs or desires. (yes... check mark).

* Compromise your own values and integrity to avoid rejection or others' anger. (Yes I have backed away from certain conversations when I should have held my ground. I avoid conflict like the black plaque..... check mark).

 Jesus taught the value of the individual. He said we are to love others equal to ourselves, not more than ourselves.

I was in a funk these past 2 weeks because I was worried... I was seeking information on how I could help and change someone else's bad habits. I can't change my family member, but I can change myself. That lady at the table knew this. Codependency can be defined as an addiction to people, behaviors or things. I've got a lot to learn.
"Hi, I am a Codependent and I have a problem."

Celebrate Recovery Program

If you need more information on this program, or just want to talk with someone about it, please email

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What is a REAL friend?

Thank-you God for Friends....

Who care for me, just because I'm me.

Who affirm me, who say "yes" to me when so many say "no".

Who let me feel safe with them.

Who let me know that they accept me and love me no matter what!

Who refuse to judge me when others are so quick to.

Who listen to me, really listen to me.

Who let me share the joy of an accomplishment with them.

Who share in my losses and my failures.

Who let me see their genuine concern and pain for me in times of trouble.

Who teach me how to laugh and how to cry.

Who teach me how to feel passionately about life and faith.

Who by their openness and vulnerability and honestly encourage me to shed my masks and false images.

Who make me feel special and valuable.

Who make me feel gifted and loved.

Thank - you Lord for friends like that.

This devotional is adapted from a devotional found in the "Daylight Devotional Bible" copyright 1998 by Zondervan.

A REAL friend always loves us.
A REAL friend sticks by us no matter what.
A REAL friend always brings out the best in us.
A REAL friend always tells the truth. Even if it hurts.
A REAL friend is interested in what interests us.

Discovery Church Sermon on a Real Friend

 Did you know that it is a sign of immaturity if you think you don't need a friend? I have been immature for years. You see, I have been hurt before by people I thought were my friends. I have opened up to those whom I now know, were only acquaintances and not an Intimate friend, and I was hurt. So, I kept my distance for many years. Acquaintances do not really care about your well being. Acquaintances can be superficial and your contact with them is intermittent. You can not build a close relationship if you do not put in the time.

1) Acquaintances - Intermittent contact, superficial
2) Casual Friend - Common Interests, ask more questions
3) Close Friend - Similar Life goals, ask harder questions
4) Intimate Friend - Share a deep commitment in mutual values, free to encourage, someone you trust.

I now know the difference and I chose my friends wisely, because a friend, spouse included, impacts our lives on a daily basis.  Life is really tough if you have no intimate friends. Remember, Jesus had 12 of them.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Trusting God Amid Rejection

  "They don't want our food!" Krista came up to me last thursday afternoon. We had just spent the morning making Mac 'n cheese and chili for a family where the husband lost his job and the wife was laid off. They didn't want help? They didn't need help? They were allergic to the food? Who knows?
  It was in the back of my mind, when we started this new direction, that one day we may come across rejection. We see what God has done in our own lives and in turn we wish to share that with others. It feels good helping.... But when rejection actually materialized.......I just know, that I felt uncomfortable. Some may take rejection as an insult and refuse to help anyone else.
" Here I am trying to help.... and they don't want it! I could have spent my time doing something else... What a waste of time!"  It hurts, when others don't accept the love (in action) you wish to give and it does hurt your ego. But, it's not about me. Is it? It's not about my feelings or my time and resources. Jesus actually commands his followers to help others.

John 21:15-17
When they finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you love me?"
He answered, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you."
Jesus said, "Feed my lambs."
Again Jesus said, "Simon son of John, do you love me?"
He answered, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you."
Jesus said, "Take care of my sheep."
A third time he said, "Simon son of John, do you love me?"
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, "Do you love me?" Peter said, "Lord, you know everything, you know that I love you!"
He said to him, "Feed my sheep."

  On the eve of his Lords death, Peter rejected Christ three times before the rooster crowed. As they sat there around the camp fire a few weeks later, Jesus didn't ask Peter the same question three times because the man was hard of hearing. It was for emphasis. Jesus was saying, "Pay attention here.... this is important! Take care of my people, help them, love them, feed them."

John 10:4
 When he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him.

Love = Action

Jesus went out into the world and acted out love. He wants us to move into action. Yes, there will be rejection. But, do we allow the fear of a kick in the teeth or a cold shoulder, hold us back from the amazing things we could do?
"At first, I felt really uncomfortable," the woman explained to Krista, "I was concerned at what my children were saying to their friends about our family." Fear of what other's would think, fear that other people were talking about them.
"This is not a group of gossip, "Krista told her, "Just a group of women that want to give back to the community and be the hands and feet of Christ." In the end, the family did accept our gift of food for the blessing and grace in which it was given.
God can use you to change other peoples lives. Actively loving people and reaching out and do it on purpose is something we need to do everyday. We need to make the decision to be a part of that change and to trust God amid the rejection.

 God put each fresh morning, each new change of life, into our hands as a gift to see what we will do with it. What are you going to do with your gift?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What kind of light bulb are you?

Matthew 5:14-16

You are the light that gives light to the world. A city that is built on a hill cannot be hidden. And people don't hide a light under a bowl. They put it on a lamp stand so the light shines for all the people in the house. In the same way, you should be a light for other people. Live so that they will see the good things you do and will praise your Father in heaven.

 What kind of light am I? 
After reading this passage last night I began to wonder... What type of illumination do I give off? 50 watts? 100 watts? Am I a dim bulb that flickers on and off because I'm barely attached? Am I a light that burns out quickly because of a short circuit? Or am I an econo bulb that lasts a long time? (and saves energy!) Am I a colourful Christmas light bulb that's only used on the Holidays? Or am I a grow light that helps seeds grow?
 Truthfully, I think I've been a bit of each at one time or another in my life. But what I hope to one day accomplish is to be a long lasting grow light for everyday use. A light that draws people to the love of God. A light to warm them up, so they have strength to make it through a few more cold days. A light to make the plant grow and have strong roots... so they intern, can sow seeds of love and become another long lasting grow light. So let me ask you....
What kind of light are you?

Friday, October 9, 2009

Pride: a Company of Lions

PRIDE:  a quality or state of being proud; inordinate self esteem: Conceit; a reasonable or justifiable self-respect; delight or elation arising from some act, possession, or relationship; proud or disdainful behavior or treatment: Disdain; a ostentatious display; a source of pride: the best in a group or class; a company of lions; a showy or impressive group.

 My husband and I were talking about the 'Zuki' the other day.  He had just put in the new transmission and a strange sound was coming from our 1995 Suzuki side kick, a rattling noise that just didn't seem right. I had told him to call Steve, a fellow 4x4 gentleman, who so kindly offered to do the transmission with him a week ago. Steve had a pulley system built in his carport.  My husband did not wish to feel indebted to anyone, so there he was, with a 80lb transmission on his chest lifting it up with his knees and me trying to hurry up and put the bolts in before it landed on my husbands chest and squished him.
 "No pressure... just hurry up okay? This thing is heavy." he gasped through clenched teeth. I could not understand why he refused a friends help. Help that would have made the change much easier on him.

INDEBTED: Owing money, owing gratitude or recognition to another: Beholden.

"If the tables were turned and you were on the receiving end of 'Deeds for Needs', how would you
feel? " my husband was trying to help me understand what he felt.
 "I would probably say' No Thank you' and send them on their way". I had to answer truthfully," I am nobody's charity case."
 " See!" he answered.
 "Yeah, but I'm not alone. I have children to feed and clothe.... So in the end I would have to swallow my pride and accept the help as gracefully as possible." I returned. He grunted.
 "I still wouldn't want to owe anyone anything." Self sufficiency! The less you can rely on another, the better. That's the name of the game, for him, for me and for many others. Human beings are unreliable, we've got a bad rap! History proves that. People are unreliable but God is not. Thank-goodness for that.

 "Each one of us has a body with many parts, and these parts all have different uses. In the same way, we are many, but in Christ we are all one body. Each one is a part of that body, and each part belongs to all the other parts. We all have different gifts, each of which came because of the grace God gave us. The person who has the gift of prophecy should use that gift in agreement with the faith. Anyone who has the gift of serving should serve. Anyone who has the gift of teaching should teach. Whoever has the gift of encouraging others should encourage. Whoever has the gift of giving to others should give freely. Anyone who has the gift of being a leader should try hard when he leads. Whoever has the gift of showing mercy to others should do so with joy. Your love must be real...."
Romans 12:4-9

 "So all those times you have stopped along side of the road and helped someone change a tire or drive them to a town..... You didn't expect anything in return for those 'goodwill deeds'.... did you?" I asked my husband.
 "Of course not!" he replied.
 "You are not the only nice person in the world who can do something nice for someone without expecting anything in return... you know?" I roared.
"Hrmmmppphh." was his reply.

  "In Him there was life, and that life was the light of all people."
John 1:4

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Too Busy

 "How are you?" 
"Busy......I'm just too busy." seems to be the response (or something like it) the majority of us reply. What makes us so busy? What makes us too hectic to help a friend? 
 There have been moments in my life where the hustle and bustle of life consumed me. The chaos overwhelming. Especially, if you are a young mother working full-time. Between work and family you have no extra time to 'help' those not close to your immediate family unit. I know, I've been there. 
 "That which does not kill you makes you stronger." I've heard that many times. In some ways it is true. I'm not dead yet at 43. I couldn't have done it on my own. If I singularly relied on my own devices, I would have been buried long ago, or in a mental institution. But, you see, I had a slow cooker. One of the few appliances that actually does make your life easier. Throw all the ingredients in the pot at sunrise and by sundown your meal is done, and you didn't even have to stir. I suppose if you really needed to stir, you could have. My point is, I needed help. 
 I have been a working mom for 11 years now and let me tell you the beginning was tough. There were moments in the early hours of daybreak before work, when I looked at my children sleeping and I touched their little heads and gently kissed their foreheads and cried, because I knew that I wouldn't be seeing them again until supper time. That thought alone made me sick inside, and there were days that I couldn't go to work due to the overwhelming guilt at leaving my children, and I was just leaving them with my husband .... I didn't have daycare. 
 " It's okay. I can handle it." my husband murmured and lay back against the pillow.
"She has a fever... she's crying?" there I stood at the doorway of our bedroom with my boots and coat on at 5:30 am and my beloved was not moving to get out of bed to take care of his child. If I didn't leave within the next 5 minutes I was going to be late for my commuter train into the city. He eventually did get out of bed. 
 "I'm the one that should be looking after her!" I sobbed, in the rain, as I ran to catch the train. The guilt eating a huge hole inside of me. Men don't have the compassionate instincts a female does. They weren't born with it...WE WERE! How dare I leave? But, I did, because a two income family is the norm now a days. We need two incomes just to survive.  Either my husband got a second job or I continued to work. No other options were available. How does a working Mom survive? God, family, friends, and a slow cooker!
 A relationship with God filled me with the daily strength I needed. Fellowship with family and friends secured that relationship and provided a sanctuary to express emotions in a safe environment and well, I've already explained the attributes of a slow cooker. All of the above have been invaluable to my health and sanity. 
  “I’m doing the Alpha course at my home. Come for coffee this Thursday?” my neighbour Krista persuaded. “Kids welcome.” My eldest daughter had already started school, but I still had 3 year old at home.
 “I’ll let you know.” I replied. Just that morning I had ripped up a ‘Our Daily Bread’ leaflet and thrown it away; angry at the idiot who put my name on their mailing list. “Christianity? Been there, done that,” Was my attitude. Only dim-witted human beings believe in such things. Then I read:
“Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” I read this quote from Albert Einstein and I literally felt a slap in the face. I was a mediocre mind. What had I just done to that leaflet? What was I feeling about Christians for crying out loud? The following day I accepted the coffee invitation. I dared myself that I wouldn’t get brain washed by these Christians. I wasn’t going to be a mediocre mind either. That was  5 years ago and the beginning of our coffee group and I never looked back. 
 Our coffee group started with inner reflections to help ourselves, to lift each other up after a "busy" week. This year we changed the direction a little bit. Not inner but outer reflections. To give back to the community. To help and strengthen others. To make this world a little bit better.

John 14:12
" I tell you the truth, whoever believes in me will do the same things that I do. Those who believe will do even greater things than these......"