Friday, July 31, 2009

Fearless Friday

I am having trouble with putting up Angie's meme for Fearless Friday - Angie is an online friend from Free Spirit Haven.  I love the idea - we share about what we are praying about and spread the word so that others can join in our prayers.  For those of us who are Christian, we all know the significance of this.  I don't know about you but for me, there is such power in knowing that I am not alone.

I asked Angie to include us on this week's list.  Things feel like they are healing but I can always use some help.  I thought I would share some of the other things I am praying for right now:

1.  Angie and her husband who have been struggling with the loss of her husband's job and the stress that puts on a family

2.  A very close friend from church who was in an emotionally abusive marriage who got up the courage to leave and is now having to endure the indignities of our divorce system when the custody of children is involved

3.  Another friend from church whose husband's business is teetering on the brink and they face the possibility of losing everything

4.  A friend from work whose struggle with infertility and her husband's drinking are putting a serious strain on their marriage

5.  Baby Stellan (see the post on my other blog)

God hears our prayers and while we do not always receive the answers we want, we can rest assured in the fact that we are not alone and that He is always faithful.

Gratitude 7

I am grateful for people who don't judge.  I went for tea yesterday with a friend from church and filled her in on everything that has been going on. I worry, especially about church people (sadly, in my experience, Chrisians, rather than being the least judgmental, often are the most judgmental).  This friend was wonderfully supportive and when I thanked her for not being judgmental, her response was, "What position would we be in to judge other people?  Our finances are a mess."  I think it was in a Beth Moore study, I read that Christians need to work harder to be honest about the troubles we are having so that others can see that belief doesn't mean we get to always travel the easy road and so that others can see that they are not alone in facing struggles.  My friend did that for me yesterday.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Gratitude 6

Well, I think this one should be obvious... I am incredibly thankful for good friends.  One of the good things about going through tough times is that you really get to see how special the people around you really are.  I have had such support from my friends, blogging and otherwise.  To those blogging friends, thank you so much.  You have really blessed me in a time when I was feeling so afraid and alone.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Friday, July 24, 2009

Gratitude 4

I am so grateful that I live in Canada and that we have a public health care system.  Last night, while I was making dinner, I cut myself very badly.  It was gushing blood and looked horrible and as soon as I did it, I knew that we were going to have to go to the hospital.  I was scared and overwhelmed.  I can't imagine, on top of everything else, worrying about how we would pay for our care or whether our insurance company would cover it.  I hear these horror stories about long waits and our "poor" healthcare system...that hasn't been my experience.  I was seen and stitched in less than 75 minutes AND the kind emergency room doctor was patient about me having Pk lying on me on the gurney while I was stitched (she saw me cut myself and was terrified and would not be separated from me without panicked hysterics).  I was a stupid thing to do and will add complications to my life until the stitches come out next week but at least the hospital part of the experience was good.  Thank you Dr. Lee for your kind and patient help!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Gratitude 3

I woke up this morning to a drizzle going on outside.  I get discouraged when it has rained for days on end but once in a while, it can be really nice to wake up to a quiet rain and to know that today will have to be an indoor day.  We have two dogs who need a run and we usually go in the morning; the rain gives me the chance to stay in bed a bit longer without feeling guilty.  There is a calm to a rainy morning that can be so refreshing.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Gratitude 2

I found a new knitting shop today, Unwound Yarn House.  I have been meaning to go for the last couple of years and with mom being here, we decided to go together.  I love knitting - it reminds me of my Irish grandmother who I adored.  She used to knit me socks, hats, sweaters and, back in the early 80's, endless pairs of legwarmers.  There is something so restful and cozy about knitting.  The best part about this shop is that they sell imported English yarns and patterns (which, sorry to say, are so much nicer than anything North American).  I bought some lovely Sirdar Bamboo Dk and a pattern for a lovely little tunic sweater that I can't wait to make for Pk.  I also signed up for a fair isle knitting class in October.  If I didn't have to work and didn't have so much at home, I would love to sit in their seating area, knit and watch the world go by.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Gratitude 1

If you knew mom, you would know how much this shows that she cares about us - she is paranoid about anything that might be dangerous and fireworks rank right up there!

I am thankful for my mother.  This past week has been a hard one (illness, difficultly with Dh and his family) and she dropped everything and came up for a week, just to give me some support.  Pk adores Gran and Gran is such a model of what a mother should be - strength mixed with gentleness, thoughtfulness, eccentricity and a model of what a wife should be (I adore my father but he has not always been easy and she has shown me the rich blessings that can come from sticking it through).  My mother is also a friend who is as eager as I am to explore the world through Pk's eyes.


I am sorry I have disappeared here.  Blogging seems to be an obsession that can really take over - I have so many ideas and yet I never seem to have the time to get them up here.  This blog has also kind of taken a backseat to the other one I do, Simple Gifts, since that one doesn't seem to involve the emotional commitment that this one does.  It's easy to post happy pics of the family, it's more of a challenge to come up with thoughtful posts, especially when it seems that this blog seems to have become largely about my faith.

Jill, over at Girls Just Want to Have Fun, who I met through our online Bible study (and who has been a great support this spring!), has started a blog called Thankful.  On it, she lists things that she is grateful for.  I love this idea.  My life has gotten to be pretty intense these days and I have had a hard time keeping track of all of the things that I have to be thankful for.  That really saddens me.  There is not a day that goes by that I don't think at least once of something that I am enjoying, loving, being sustained by.  I would like to shift my focus to that and, I hope, I may even bring some joy to other people, as well.  I am going to try to keep going with Sacred Sunday (which I missed this week but there is a post coming) but this blog will focus on my gratitude for now.

And, if you want to get involved in the Gratitude Community, take a look over at A Holy Experience - you will be glad that you did.

holy experience

Monday, July 6, 2009

Sacred Sunday

O.k., so it's Monday.  Sorry about that.  Pk has not been wanting to go to bed (she seems to know we are on holidays - how does she get that???) so I haven't had time to sit down to really think through a post.

I have been pondering today's entry since yesterday morning.  We aren't doing a Bible study at church right now and my personal reading, while church related, isn't Bible study, per say.  I have been going through my pile of books beside my bed and trying to get caught up.  Last week, I started reading "Turning Points: Decisive Moments in the History of Chritianity" by Mark Noll (about several of the biggest events in church history).  It has been a fascinating read but I started getting really frustrated because my knowledge of history from Christ to the Renaissance is really sketchy.  I just didn't know enough about the rise and fall of Rome and the history of the popes.  Mom ended up getting me a copy of "Faith of our Fathers" by Raymond Beynton, a church history text put out for young adults in the 60's that has been great for giving me some of that background knowledge.  Anyway, again, all interesting but not immediately related to a "Sacred Sunday" theme.

What has really come to me this week is a quote that I stumbled across on Saturday night.  It isn't anything terribly profound but I need to think this way right now.  As you know, things at home have been pretty tough for a while now.  They have been steadily improving but Saturday ended up being a terrible day again.  I should have seen it coming - much of Dh's issues come from stress with his mother and sister and how they make him feel.  Pk's baptism is next Sunday and we have had some real struggles with his mother about that.  I don't know how to describe her to you other than to say that she is the QUEEN of withholding approval and trying to control everything and everyone.  Poor Dh - he never has a conversation with her that she doesn't manage to get in several nasty digs and he comes away hurt and angry.  She really knows how to manipulate him and after years and years of it (and the number she did to his self-esteem as he was growing up), he just doesn't seem to know how to defend himself.  Often, his frustration and helplessness turns into anger at me and so often, it happens just before we see them or when something happens on the phone.  The fact that his sister is there right now and he had been calling his parents all week to try and find out when she was going so that he wouldn't call and get her (she is a very mean and angry and damaged person) has him really on edge.  Anyway, I am blathering on, what I am saying in a very long-winded way is that Saturday he was really angry at me all day over silly, petty things and then it blew up into a terrible argument and by Saturday night, I was starting to wonder whether there is a marriage left to save.

I was sitting at the computer feeling VERY sorry for myself and then, on someone's blog, came across the quote that she was working on "blooming where she is planted".  That really hit me hard - that is exactly what I need to do.  I can't change Dh right now.  He has not always been this depressed, selfish, angry man (in fact, has only been this way off and on for a year now and all related to his blasted family).  I DO love him in spite of it all and I do want to find our way through this.  I can't do his work for him and I can't make his family change.  I have to figure out a way to bloom here, since I am not leaving.  

Say a prayer for us today, if you are someone who prays.  Please pray that Dh is able to see that his worth is in who he is and that he is a child of God's and not that his value needs to come from his mother approving of him.  Pray that his mother begins to realise what she is doing to her children.  Pray that I can support him and help him to see that he is a worthy person and that people love and care about him.  Pray that I can learn how to be strong and confident in demanding that they treat us with respect and that I do not allow anger or resentment to taint how I deal with them.  Pray that I can learn to shut my mouth and not respond when he is being difficult because of his pain (I really struggle with this - I know why he is acting the way he is and I try to disconnect but I things just seem to come out of my mouth anyway).

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Do you journal?  I do, off and on.  Usually, I write most when I am going through a really rough patch or when I am trying to get my life under control.  I think I need to burn my journals before I die since, reading them, you might get the idea that I am an angry, frustrated, overwhelmed, etc,.etc., etc... My mother kept journals when we were growing up, again, primarily to vent, and she says that she fears that she will die and we will find them and get a totally skewed picture of her life.  

For those of you who are Christians, do you keep a prayer journal or something along those lines?  I haven't in the past.  It is one of those things I intend to do but it just hasn't happened.  The need to do so has really been pressing on me lately.  I am doing this wonderful Beth Moore Bible study and I get up very early in the morning to do it.  I do my reading and praying and have these amazing insights and intentions for my day.   By the time I am on my way to work, I have forgotten all of it.  I am thinking that perhaps what I need to do is take just 5 minutes at the end of each session and record what I have learned or what made an impression on me.  I am hoping that will help to fix it more in my head.  

I would love to hear about any journaling that you do and get any suggestions.