RSS

My eyes were leaking …

Sunday morning was a moment I’ve been waiting a long time for.  My heart was more ready for it than I anticipated, and as I returned to my seat from that moment – and paused to say my own Thank You…my eyes began to leak.  It was nothing tragic, or remotely upsetting.  In fact, it was far, far from it.

Since being able to make St. Paul’s my church home, and worshipping there on a regular basis – today was my first opportunity to be part of the communion meal (outside of Christmas morning).  It’s funny, I hadn’t realized how much I missed celebrating communion with my beloved, until I was anticipating it on this particular morning.  To be sharing in the mystery of the covenant we have been invited to with the one I love most in this world, and with my new Church Family, it was indeed a very holy moment.  My devotional readings lately  added to the depth and significance for me.

My outlook on life and willingness to watch for all the way God intersects in my day-to-day life has been changed because of Ann Voskamp and her book, “One Thousand Gifts”, as well as her blog www.aholyexperience.com  I am re-reading the book right now, savouring all of it – digging deeper into the scriptures that she references, letting the words soak into my very being.  Eucharisto - this living in true communion with Jesus, begins with giving thanks – Jesus himself models this for us on so many occasions including the night he shared bread and wine with his friends.

One of the things I have learned from Ann’s writings is the tradition that first century Israel had around betrothals.  As a  young man reached marrying age, and the young woman was chosen to be his wife, and the price of the dowry was negotiated, the young man would then ask her to marry him, but he did it in a very Jewish way.  “The young man’s father would take a flask of wine. He would pour a cup of wine and hand it to his son The son would then turn to the young woman, and with all the solemnity of an oath before Almighty God Himself, that young man would take that cup of wine and say to that young woman, ‘This cup is a new covenant in my blood, which I offer to you.’ In other words, ‘I love you. I’ll be your faithful husband. Will you be my bride?’“ 

Recognize the words?  Jesus invited us into a covenantal relationship with him at the last supper  A deep relationship with the care and loyalty a spouse vows to have.  So, with this in my head, and thankfulness in my heart, I set out walking to God’s house with my beloved.  Yet one more sign that God was with me as we walked…I was hearing strange things, like raindrops on leaves, yet it wasn’t raining!  Or at least not on us – we were walking ahead of the rain, staying very dry, yet I marvelled at the wetness behind us.  Sheltered, that’s the way I was feeling.  As sheltered as I know Jeff keeps me in uncertain situations, because we share that covenant.

As we came forward for the elements of the celebration, we were singing, and as I returned to my seat, and bowed in thankful prayer – my eyes leaked.  Leaked with overwhelming thankfulness.  For the joy of worshipping with my new church family, for the honour of sitting under Jeff’s teaching again, for the seamless way my two jobs, which I love, blend together, for the gift we remember with each communion and for the love and care of a Creator and Saviour that I don’t for a minute deserve. 

 
1 Comment

Posted by on July 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

When the wait is over…

Some months back, I posted that I had entered a season of waiting,(http://wp.me/phEAM-89 ).  Let me tell you – it was one of the most challenging seasons I have walked through.  Not the hardest, certainly – that’s a story for another time – but challenging all the same.  For one who likes to be at the helm of things and events around me, to have no control over who would grant an interview, who would see the merit in my working for them, and trying to discern where I was to be…was to say the least – hard!

I have always known that God would make it abundantly clear where my next adventure would lie, and that is would be in His time…and it is only now that I have started on that new path, can I look back and see all that has been happening to bring me to this point.

Easter was a particularly hard time for me – I had been hoping to have a new place of employ in time to spend the most Holy season in church with my love.  But God had other plans.  I, however, took the lack of interviews and even responses to my applications as a sign that I was doing something wrong, that God was using this time to show me the consequences of some past action…

However, the several sources of readings that I use for devotions kept highlighting the promise that God is constantly working behind the scenes.  Two of the writers, on separate days referred to this.  Then one of scripture readings did the same…coincidence, I think not!  So, again armed with a peace about the process, yet still on the job hunt, I waiting and faithfully submitted my resume.  Still nothing, or so I thought.  About this time, in a very casual conversation – I learned that on of the mom’s from the ministry I was involved in was in the process of opening her own studio for her design business.  She casually (I thought) said, “want a job?”  I must admit – I hardly gave it a second thought.  Thrilled for her, but being back in the service industry was not for me!

But, as the days approached for her targeted opening – she asked again, and promising I would pray about it, I did.  And things changed.  I got excited about the possibility of working outside of the Christian bubble.  I thought about how fun to work with someone so completely creative and talented in her field.  I realized that the learning would be intense, but a wonderful challenge…so I said if she would have me, “I think I need to say yes”.  So, true to His promise (and repeated pattern in my life), God led the way to the job that would replace the one I was leaving.  I find I have new energy, because I’m feeling a time of refreshing.  Each day as a new challenge, and I learn more than I thought possible.  I love the interactions with all kinds of fascinating people.  I am so enjoying my new boss, she’s a joy to work with and for.

This past Sunday was my farewell at the church I have been serving, and the thoughtfulness and care that was crafted into the service – well, I came away with a grateful and humbled, very filled heart.  Next Sunday, is the first “not just visiting” in my new church home, and I couldn’t be happier.  I get to worship with my husband again, and after 4 years of having that only occassionally – I know know to treasure it as a gift.  I am so looking forward to what the future holds – and I know that I can wait for Him so unfold it!

 
2 Comments

Posted by on June 18, 2012 in church life, News and Updates

 

Train Up a Child

I fought it for a long time – this knowing who I resembled, but it’s truer today than I ever thought possible…I am my mother’s daughter.

I am truly a product of my parents – I have some of the best (and not so great) traits of each of my parents, but there are things in my being that are truly my mom.  I love to welcome people into my home, just like her.  I love to cook for those I love, just like her.  My laugh has been described as contagious, and unmistakable, just like her.  I cry at the sappiest of movies and commercials, just like her.  Helping little ones to know how important they are to their Creator, just like her.  Creativity just flows once an inspiration hits, just like her.  I can’t resist Christmas, no matter what time of year it is, just like her. I can’t make a big meal without using all the pots in the kitchen, just like her.

Proverbs tells us to “train up a child in the way that (they) should go”, and mom – sometimes not really knowing – did just that.  And from the way that she lives her life, I know that her mom and grandmom lived the same way.  I come from a very long line of strong, outspoken, devoted to family, deeply in love with Jesus women.

My faith doesn’t always look like my mom’s, but I know it’s a faith in the same Jesus.  We don’t always agree on some of the ways we express matters of faith, but the big picture and the knowledge of Who we walk with is.

I have done so much that is different from how my mom chose to live her life, but I have always believed that I could find my heart’s desire because she cheered me on, and believed in me too, probably more than I believed in myself.

A faith that develops in a child comes from watching proof that God is important to their parents.  A faith that comes alive in a child comes from knowing that their parents live out that faith daily.  I watched as mom cried with hurting people, cared for people who couldn’t care for themselves.  Mom’s house was always open to people (even when they really didn’t want the invitation – ask me some time about Sept 2, 1972!), and all of this was because she knew that they needed to meet Jesus, and it was through her that they could.  She carries this on to this very day, and because I watched her do this so well – I love to do the same.  Just like her.

 

When you’re tired of not being noticed…

Today, the woman whose blog inspires me the most – Ann Voskamp – has done it again. And what is such a God-thing this is, we just focused our whole contemporary service on this very thought last Sunday! I know there are times where I feel completely invisible, (although there’s a post in Pinterest that says “thanks for making me invisible – I’ve always wanted a superpower!).
You have the power to change someone’s day, month and life without even knowing that you’ve done it…especially if you’re doing it because you love Jesus.
Read her oh, so eloquent encouragement at http://www.aholyexperience.com/ – moms, daughters, pastors, labourers…whoever you are, and in whatever role life finds you – you do matter, and God notices!

holy experience

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 21, 2012 in family ministry

 

Intertwined – Gotta love it!

Today was a milestone in our house – we hosted our 15th annual New Year’s Open House.  Yep, our New Year’s tradition came a week late in our house, due to sickness.  But as I sat at the end of the day, what a glorious delay it was.

Because of the change of dates, we had some folks who were not able to join us that could have been here on the 1st, and some folks were able to be here, who had other commitments on the 1st.  But God knew who and when each one was going to be here and as I took a brief break from keeping the table fully laden with goodies – I was able to ponder the goodness of God in our lives.

I think our Open House is my favourite day of the year.  I have been baking for weeks, and all the planning has finally come together.  Jeff has been working diligently in the trains, and all the new elements are ready for viewing pleasure.  And it’s on this day that we watch as our church family, friends and colleagues join us for fellowship and food.  It makes warms this girl’s heart to have our home filled with conversation and laughter.

At one point this afternoon though, I realized that in our living room at least 6 facets of our life had come together, and in some way had multiple connections.  Some of these relationships go back more than 20 years – to even before we were married, and some are very new friendships, but the connection was there none the less.  One of the professors who was most influential in Jeff’s life from Seminary was here.  He has now become a treasured friend and colleague.  Also in the room were members of his congregation, one of whom came to faith in the church we served in Toronto – she and her husband are also dear friends.  Then we had a couple of Presbytery members here.

One goes to the church of the other.  The elder was a student of Jeff’s last year, and he is good friends with my former Sr Pastor (who also played hockey with the professor).  My former pastor and family now live out of the country, and I miss them dearly – yet here they were being mentioned fondly in multiple conversations.  The final folks in the room were friends from the church I serve.  She is the admin assistant there and she and her husband went to Nassau with us to visit friends last year, and the friendship bond has just deepened since then.

I sat – and as I reflect – realize just how overwhelmed I was.  The day ended with 2 couples who we hold very dear.  The wife of one, and the husband of the other grew up at the church I serve together.  A fitting end to an awesome day!

I think what strikes me the most is the promise that God will place us into families found in Psalm 68.  Jeff and I have come from very different background and made a home.  During our almost 2 decades, we have found family everywhere we have lived, and today – significant parts of that accumulated family were together in our home. 

I love how God shows up in unexpected places, and sometimes – if we are just quiet enough to listen and still enough to see – He says “see, I have been faithful”.  Jeff and I have always felt that we celebrate Christmas with our families and New Year’s with our Church family.  Today, the circle was bigger, but just that much more sweet.

Blessings my friends, may your 2012 be filled with reminders of God’s faithfulness to you – and may you be quiet and still enough to see and hear it.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on January 7, 2012 in church life, News and Updates

 

Thoughts for the Day after Christmas

Another borrowed post from Ann Voskamp, a woman whose words touch my very core –  http://www.aholyexperience.com/.

Know this my friends, because of the infant we celebrated yesterday – we have a promise of eternal victory through the King who reigns with His Father.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 26, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Worth the Wait…

I don’t wait well – never have, but I’m trying to learn how to do it better.  Waiting in line, waiting for an answer, waiting to go on vacation, whatever – I get quite antsy with anticipation, all the while needing to know the outcome.  I suppose I could say that it’s a product of living in an instant gratification society – but really that would be an excuse.  Sometimes, the waiting is good for us, and can make the end of the wait really special.

Last night, my beloved surprised me with an early Christmas present.  He had been telling me for about a week now, that we had to go “get” my gift on Friday, and the only clue I had been given was that I probably wouldn’t want to wear jeans and a T-shirt when we went.  Despite my frequent asking, and trying to get him to tell me what we were doing – he didn’t give it away until the last possible minute.  Now, I must admit, my curiosity got a hold of me, and I tried very hard to figure it out.  I looked at websites for tickets, for concerts – but nothing twigged as something that we might be going to.  We left the house, with my still not knowing, all the while my excitement growing.  Our final destination was a wonderful surprise, and seeing Canadian jazz artist Emilie-Claire Barlow was an absolute delight.  (If you’ve never heard her, check her out on iTunes or YouTube).

Last night’s events got me to thinking…isn’t that just like God?  Have you ever been in prayer over a situation in your life, and it seems that God is not answering, or that the answer is coming in stages?  I’m in a season like that right now.  My last entry told the story of a situation I’ve been praying about for more than a year.  God gave part of the answer in a very clear way – but I know that there is more to the answer.  I’m waiting, and I’m trying not to jump ahead of where He wants to take me in this.  I know that the end will be worth the wait, and will be better than I could imagine for myself.

Waiting on God is not a new thing though, and as we end the first week of Advent, we are once again reminded that God’s people were waiting for the Messiah to arrive and bring true freedom.  For hundreds of years, the Saviour promised in the Old Testament seemed not to be coming.  It was as if God had fallen silent – but what a wonderful plan He was preparing to bring about.  Then, in a very humble shelter – God sent The Answer that the world was waiting for.  The plan was better than anyone could have imagined.  People had been looking for a grand entrance on a white stallion, who would bear a sword and free them.   The gift that arrived was God himself – as a helpless child.

Jesus came so that we could learn from his example, and to experience a real, living relationship with the King of the Universe.  And that baby would not only be Saviour to the people he lived among, but all of us!  He came to set you and I free.  To make a way so that we can live forever in relationship with God.  The wait was worth it – more than anyone could have imagined.  This advent, don’t lose sight of the importance of waiting.  Watch with childlike anticipation for what God has planned for you.  Celebrate the coming of the baby born to be King of Kings!

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 3, 2011 in News and Updates

 

Tags: , ,

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.