Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
10 Moses said to the LORD, "O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue."
11 The LORD said to him, "Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD ? 12 Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say."
13 But Moses said, "O Lord, please send someone else to do it."
Exodus 4:10 - 13
I so totally relate to this. I feel like Moses, whenever I am in a position to speak for God or to share my beliefs, I get "slow of speech and tongue" and I make a mess of it. I get so disgusted with myself, I want to share what I believe and the difference it has made in my life but somehow, I just don't seem to be able to do it.
For those friends here who aren't Christians, I am sorry if this offends anyone. I know my friends are all respectful and considerate and if my being a Christian really bothered you, you would have checked out long ago. I worry so much about offending, though, that I hesitate to say anything at all. Then, I feel as if I have betrayed myself, since my faith is so critical to who I am. I feel a bit like I live a double life, at times. I worry that it might seem that I am ashamed of God or my beliefs or the general cultural unpopularity of Christianity and that couldn't be further from the truth. Quite frankly, in some ways, the fact that the wider culture is disdainful of Christianity actually makes it more appealing to me. Since I started therapy, I have been working hard at trying not to worry so much about what others think of me and I do think that I have made a lot of progress. My reluctance to speak isn't about not wanting to be identified as a Christian, it has much more to do with 1. not wanting to make someone feel like I am overstepping boundaries and 2. not wanting to speak badly and drive someone further from God.
For those here again who aren't Christians, it probably isn't all that clear WHY we Christians are always wanting to talk about what we believe. For some, it is about converting people and feeling like that is our job. While I do think that the Bible calls on Christians to be "fishers of men" and to speak the Good News, for me, at least, there is more to it than that. You know when you find a great restaurant or see a great movie? You want to tell everyone so that they can enjoy it as much as you do. My faith brings me so much comfort and joy and a sense of belonging that I want that for everyone, especially the people who mean the most to me.
Last night, we had a good friend here. We have been friends for years and we tend to talk pretty frankly. I know that she is not a Christian and has no interest in God. I had been talking about some stuff going on at church and she said something really interesting, "I don't want to do the whole God thing but when you talk about church and the people and stuff, I would love to be a part of that. It would be so good to feel like I belonged and to have that kind of meaning in my life." I was stumped. I felt this incredible pressure to say something, ANYTHING, to share God with her when she was obviously open to it. I tried, in a cautious way, to open up to her and talk a bit about God and church means to me. I referred her to a resource that works for me (I am LOVING the podcasts from North Point Church and often, Andy Stanley says things that sum up what I believe in words that I could never have). At the end of the conversation, though, I really felt like I had failed. I guess, in one sense, I can feel good about the fact that my life and my talk about the role of my faith and church in my life makes it seem appealing to someone else. On the other hand, though, I wish I had been able to share in a way that really reached my friend.
Some of that is the fault of the churches I grew up in. We didn't do testimonies or talk about our personal faith much. In fact, it was almost seen as being unseemly. We all believed and I think, in many cases, peoples' faith was very deep and pervasive but for some reason, we just didn't discuss it. It would have been rude. We did the Alpha course at our current church a couple of years ago and it was so great to get to talk about issues that I had never discussed in a church of our denomination. That was really liberating. I listen to the Focus on the Family podcasts and I hear a lot of talk about the apologetics conferences. That interests me but I wish I could get that elsewhere. I commend Focus for stepping out and offering something that is so needed. On the other hand, there are elements of the politics coming from Focus that I personally find offensive (sorry, I am Canadian and can't stand all the pro- George Bush and American foreign policy rhetoric - guess I probably offended every else now). I wish I could find more information on how to talk about my faith in a way that doesn't offend people but also doesn't sound weak and pathetic.
Ultimately, though, the burden lies on me. I need to be confident and say what I think. I need to speak proudly and if I mess it up, oh well. It's easy for me to say that but to do it is another thing. If you have any good resources, I would love to hear them. North Point has a great sermon series on itunes right now, actually, it's a North Point Sermon Series available on the Connexus Church podcasts called On Location and that helped a bit (it's all about being Salt and Light in the world) but it's just a start.
Pray for me. Pray that God gives me the words and the chance to use them. It's such a shame to hide light under a bushel. And in the meantime, I am going to try and be more public about my faith. I will probably start here since it's a good place to practice. To my non-Christian friends, sorry if I offend you :-) but I think you will understand. Feel free to ignore those posts.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
Be Thou My Vision - Selah
The angel armies of the sky
Look down with sad and wondering eyes
Ride On Ride On In Majesty - Performance Artist
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Monday, September 7, 2009
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Friday, September 4, 2009
I love the way the warm fall colours bring out the warmth in our pine furniture as it ages. It seems to be getting more and more golden.
I won't do anything with the front stoop for a few more weeks. I haven't seen the hay bales or the corn stalks on sale yet...
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
When it comes down to it, for me, fall is all about colour and light. There is just something about the sun that goes from a hot white light in the summer to a warm, golden glow in the fall that makes everything look prettier. As things chill outside, it is so wonderful to bring that warmth indoors.
And of course, I can always rely on Dh to keep things from becoming too serious...
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
On Oprah a while ago (quite a while ago, I haven't watched her in years), I saw a feature about a woman who died of cancer and in the months leading up to her death, she worked on a series of videos for her daughter, teaching her about all the things that she would need to know and that her mother wouldn't be able to teach her. That inspired me and it has been in the back of my mind for a long time that I wanted to create some kind of legacy for Pk that if something ever happened to me, she would KNOW that she was loved by her mother. Yes, I am being totally maudlin here but her being left alone and not knowing how much I adored her is my greatest fear. My plan, if I can stay on top of it, is to write her a letter every so often and to put the letters into a collection. If all goes well, I can give her the letters when she is 18 (or when she is a teenager and I need to remind BOTH of us that I love her). This morning, I wrote her first letter. It probably doesn't sound anywhere near as powerful to anyone else as it does to me but as I sit here typing, the tears are streaming down my face. Yes, I am maudlin and I don't apologize. Here is letter number 1.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Dear P. K.,
Today is your second birthday. How can you be two already? I feel like the time is flying by and I want to savour every moment. I don’t want my girl to grow up too quickly.
I am writing because I want you to know just how much I love you. My greatest fear is that something would happen to me and that you might grow up not knowing just how much your mother loved you. I am going to try and write letters every so often and then I will put them away. I don’t know that my letters will ever be able to convey the depth of my feeling but maybe as a collection, if I am ever not around to tell you how much I love you, these letters will help you to know that you are cherished and adored by your mother.
At this stage of your life, there are so many things that you do to bring intense joy to those around you. Every night, as you get out of the bath, you and I have what you call our “tuggle tuggle” (it started out as a “towel cuddle”). I wrap you up in two towels and we hug and hold onto each other. It makes for a very beautiful moment. You fill up my arms so perfectly and as you hug me, I always think that I have discovered what life is all about. I live in fear of the day when you don’t want to hug anymore.
I love the way that you giggle that laugh that Grandma N. calls your “dirty laugh.” It rocks your entire body. Being kissed by a dog, playing Ring around a Rosy, being tickled under your arms and being dropped onto our bed all can bring on that laugh. You live life so fully - there is no half-way with you, you do everything to its fullest. You provide me daily with lessons on how to face life and reap all of its benefits.
We sing songs together. At the moment, your favourites are Jesus Loves Me, Our Time (from Kindermusik), Head and Shoulders, Twinkle Twinkle, The Itsy Bitsy Spider and Rock On, Larry Boy. Each night as you drift off to sleep, I sing Jesus Loves Me, Amazing Grade, The Lord is My Shepherd and The Aaronic Blessing to you, just like my mother did with me. I still have these songs in my heart from my childhood and I treasure every moment in that quiet time with you.
I have so many wishes for your life. I want you to be able to truly appreciate that you are God’s child and to revel in the marvel that he created you to be who you are. I hope you can live with joy and confidence and that you never feel the need to apologize for the way that you are. I dream that you will know what you want to do and that you will have the strength, the wisdom and the commitment to achieve your goals. I want you be surrounded by people who love you as much as I do and I want you to bring the joy to others that you bring to me. I want you to love God with all your heart and to desire to shine as Hss light in the world.
Your birthday comes at a bittersweet time for me. I don’t want the new school year to start. It means being away from you. It is my greatest desire to make sure that I create moments every day that we can treasure and so that you always know that I love you fiercely, tenderly and enduringly. You are my special girl and whatever happens in our lives, I will love you more than you can ever know.
Happy birthday, little girl.