Friday, 24 October 2014

The Sky by Susan L.

  Yesterday was mostly spent out side working in the garden. The sky was that shade which only blesses us this time of year: a depthless, crystal clear, deep blue that takes your breath away. There wasn't a cloud in sight. The sun lit yellow/red/orange of the sugar maples positively glowed against the rich backdrop of the heavens. Yup, it was a beautiful day, one for the memory bank.
  Memory in a business bank. Where there are forgotten accounts, or ones with compound interest that keep on paying out. Where memory items are stored with charges and surcharges. Or like a nest egg, grows over time: the classic fish tale.
  Where is this leading, Lord?
  If you ask individual people who attended a gathering what they remember, everyone has a different account. The police know this very well. Rarely do two people agree on what happened at say, a bank robbery.
  Ask anyone who has sat through a sermon what the key point was and it will be something uniquely applicable to them and their lives. The Holy Spirit reaches in where there's need for some TLC: tender loving changes.
  Memory is never wrong even though it is shaped because of our experiences, our personalities, and history. It's our memory, our story as narrated by us.
  Here's the neat part, our feelings attached to various events can be changed.
  Most of the worst times in my life have been turned into treasured events where I now find comfort. It amazes me really. It wasn't an easy journey, to sit in the midst of trauma; my memories as crystal clear as the day they happened. But it was worth it because the purpose was to find Jesus in these situations. He revealed Himself every time.
  He has been there every day of my life, good and bad. There's something reassuring to find out there truly has been Someone to watch over me, that He continues to look down out of a clear and unbelievably blue sky.
  "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you." Jn 14:1-2

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Something to Think About by Susan L.

  I want to celebrate being well. This is the first autumn in many years I haven't felt the niggling fingers of depression beginning to work their way under my skin. I don't know if it was the shortening days, the fact that there's many lousy anniversary dates or if it was simply dreading the oncoming winter. Or a combination of all of the above.
  Maybe it's because I am so busy right now there's no time to think, to remember. Could it be the late spring cleaning of the house is helping as well? Purging clutter is purging my soul of unwanted associations. Perhaps it is simply because of the passage of time, the rawness, the power of these memories has finally dissipated.
  The "why" really doesn't matter. All I know is it feels good to be well. Better, in fact, than I've ever felt before. It's funny but that is something that has been said many times along the journey of recovery. Each time wellness blesses me, it's better than ever. "Plateaus of Wellness" might be an apt description. Getting up the sides can be tough work, rife with difficulties but when that safe, flat space is reached....Halleluiah!
  All I know is my heart is filled with laughter, my soul is content, my mind is able to remember and just as quickly let go of the events related to my illness.
  And there's the added affirmation, once again, that I am in Good Hands. The Lord has provided by covering the expense incurred for the fireplace and TV. That deserves another Halleluiah!
  "But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)." Eph 2:4-5

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Fireplaces by Susan L.

  I stopped into Canadian Tire to check out their electric fireplace/entertainment units. They have a great sale on this week. There was one that I really liked that was within the piggy bank funds. The box is huge and heavy. My one concern was how to get it into the house without another pair of hands. Then I realized I can open the box in the car and bring it in piece by piece.
  And so begins the waffling back and forth. Should I? Shouldn't I?
  When I had left my husband and was living in a basement room, the place I worked brought in some faux stained glass panels just before Christmas. They were absolutely stunning. As I pulled a long narrow piece from it's protective packaging, it revealed monarch butterflies against pale purple and pink flowers. Have you ever had something speak to you? The beautiful work represented hope and even though I had no home, no window to hang it in, I splurged and bought it; glad of the employee discount. It felt like a promise of better things to come.
  Then the guilt set in. Or should I say a mental war broke out. Maybe it's part of being a mom: everyone else's needs came first. That was only part of it. A co-worker was going though a difficult time and I was under the impression I was supposed to give the glass panel to her. (Isn't that what Christian's do?) Something didn't seem right. The thought of giving it away nearly broke my heart so I began to pray for confirmation about what was supposed to take place.
  It ended up being a huge leap in understanding and lie breaking. The truth was that it was okay for me to have nice things. And no, I wasn't to give the panel away.
  It hangs in my kitchen window, a daily affirmation of God's love.
  I think I'll pick up the fireplace today. Somehow there's a sense of urgency. Should the power go out this winter, I'll be able to plug it into my generator. Nice things can be practical too! Thank You, Lord, for Your provision.
  "Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors, for whoever finds me finds life and obtains favor from the Lord." Prov 8:34-35