Monday, 29 July 2013

Time Off by Susan L.

I am heading down to Sarnia today to spend a couple of days with family. There will be some beach time and maybe a brief trip to the U.S. to shop. It will be nice to get away. It's been too long since I've seen my grandchildren. Last time I continued to blog. This time I'm not. Precious and rare moments with family need my full attention. I should be back Thursday morning. Maybe not rested but home. "Peace to you!" Jn 20:26

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Routine by Susan L.

I've lived most if my life without a lot of modern technology: internet, cell phones, etc. In fact, I dragged my heels for a number of years before breaking down and actually getting a mobile phone. For some reason I couldn't get wireless reception until late last night when I thought to turn the troublesome phone off and restart it. Ta-da! Internet! That's about the extent of my capabilities to troubleshoot and fix electronics. What amazed me is how lost I was without having access to the net or email at my fingertips. It irked me as well not being able to post my blog first thing in the morning even though there are times I don't anyways. But that's my choice. Last weekend's power failure didn't frustrate me half as much! I wish...I hope...I pray my relationship with the Lord never reaches that taken-for-granted state; that there is never a disconnect. I've lived in the desert, a hollow, lonely existence and I remember it well. Just as I remember the moment He entered my life. The moment I so desperately invited Jesus to be my Saviour. Oh, how His presence has filled me and connected me to His spiritual internet. "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down;For the Lord upholds him with His hands." Ps 37:33

Friday, 26 July 2013

More Thoughts by Susan L.

I got thinking about surrender in relation to my simple human understanding about the nature of God. The comment yesterday about surrender implying defeat has made me realize why it isn't in the Bible, at least my King James anyways. Surrendering negates our own free will. It means we're backed into a corner with no choice but to give up or give it up whatever "it" might be. The God I am growing to know would never do that to His children: force us to do anything we weren't a) ready b) able c) willing to do. Yet, at the same time, if we are open to the process, He gently molds us and shapes us so we ARE ready, able and willing to do as He asks;to give up things, thoughts, habits or whatever stands in our way. Forced capitulation is both legalistic and an horrific breach of trust. This is where sacrifice, sacrificial offerings, come in to the picture. More times than I can count, I've unwillingly/willingly uttered the words, "I choose to forgive..." sacrificing all my negative bad,sad, toxic and rage filled emotions to God's will. That is the paint sealed window opening. I can testify the Lord has guided me along the joutney of recovery, or as I like to say discovery, never pushing, never hard, never condemning. That stuff came from me. I think I've said this before although it isn't my idea: Jesus' life and resurrection turns the ten commandments into the ten promises. That is the power of love beyond measure, the power of an offering and a freely given sacrifice. "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Saviour." Lk 1:46

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Redirection by Susan L.

Yesterday's therapy session was an opportunity for me to debrief about all I'd learned over the last month. Life lessons, faith lessons were solidified. There were a lot what with the kitten, the AGM speech, and the power failure. The best part of these sometimes not-so-gentle lessons is being able to surrender to the Lord the things I no longer need to hang on to. It just dawned on me why surrender is such a difficult concept for me. Typically on the battlefield, the one who surrenders has been defeated; has failed to achieve victory. That is a very human perspective isn't it? Surrender, in a faith sense, is synonymous with sacrifice. It is admitting we can't go it alone but need the Lord thus sacrificing our pride on the cross. Surrender is like throwing open a once painted shut window and letting the fresh air in. I've written all of this but maybe I'm missing something. In my search for today's scripture I have discovered the word "surrender" is not in my concordance and therefore not in the Bible. Offer/offers/ offered/offering/offerings take up page after page. I like that. These words represent true victory. They are words of love. "O God of my salvation." Ps 27:9

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Cleanup Completed by Susan L.

It was much quicker getting rid of the piles of branches than I had anticipated. I'd burned some Monday and finished the rest yesterday morning. My two neighbours got out their chainsaws last night and cleared the big branches that were left hanging over the fence and resting on my shed. There are still people without power in the hardest hit areas. Fallen trees, snapped hydro poles and wires lay tossed like a bowl of spaghetti. It's been a summer of violent weather here and in the U.S. The term, global warming, is on everyone's lips. Another frightening sign I've noticed is a lack of bees at my flowers. The fact they are dying at alarming rates has been in the news. Which brings the question to mind: what exactly are we doing to this planet we call home? "Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it." Gen 2:15

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Threads of Friendship by Susan L.

A friend called last night who I hadn't talked with in ages. She had moved, I wasn't well so we'd lost touch. The Lord must've heard me wondering about her this past week and nudged her to call. There was no shame or guilt about being absent on either side. We simply picked up the threads of where we'd left off. Our "status reports" were updated: kids, work, family. It's nice to hear she's doing well. I'll never forget the day she grabbed me in a bear hug as I was fleeing church. My mind was in a full blown panic attack. At that time I didn't know what was happening. All I knew was I needed to get out ASAP! I didn't know her name but she wouldn't let me go until the worst had passed. It was the beginning of an amazing friendship. Thank you, Lord, for our Simons, the friends You bless our lives with for the days our own crosses are heavy. "And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them." Jn 17:26

Monday, 22 July 2013

Automatic by Susan L.

I've had a chuckle at myself over the weekend: flicking useless light switches, putting bread in the toaster, but Saturday night took the cake. I'd plugged a fan into the generator to cool my room, glad the worst of the heat was over. It concerned me that I wouldn't be able to hear if the generator stopped. Silly me, the fan would have stopped too! I had no water either, being on a well with an electric pump. It's surprising how often we turn on the tap in the course of the day. Thankfully the water filled sump pit provided pails of water for the throne room to function. My little barbeque was utilized to cook up the thawed meat from my freezer: a bit of bacon and a couple of ready made burger patties made for a high cholesterol breakfast. All these perishables were tucked into an ice packed cooler. Memories of camping! We got power back Sunday afternoon. My back yard is piled with branches from the downed tree. It was quite something to watch the hydro folks clear and repair the line. Watching the news last night, others got hit by the storms a lot harder so it might be a couple more days for them. We North Americans are so blessed. All the things we take for granted: power, running drinkable water, cheap gas for our generators. We have a hydro company with men and women who often risk their lives chopping trees, repairing fallen lines so all of us can use those little receptacles in the wall. Concidering there were tens of thousands of people impacted by the storm here and in Quebec, to only be a few days without is amazing. Thanks to those who are working night and day. "But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much patience, in tribulations, in needs in distress." 1 Cor 6:4

Saturday, 20 July 2013

The Inevitable and the Incredible by Susan L.

It had to come. Six days of heat wave were lifted as two waves of massive thunderstorms swept through late yesterday afternoon. I've never seen anything like it. A couple of trees blew down, snapped like pencils in the wind, across the power lines in my back yard. The transformer blew with a mighty flash. I've no power. The house is okay. Not too sure about the shed, it's buried. Its days were numbered anyways. I started bailing the sump pump pit in the basement by hand but soon realized it would be an all night endeavour and for who knows how long. The hydro repair folks are probably swamped by other downed trees and snapped lines. Our situation is safe: away from roads and pedestrians. I raced out to the store to buy a small gas generator to power the pump. Just as I was about to get gas for it, I remembered I'd left a burning candle on my dusty workbench. My heart was in my throat as I sped home, fearing the house would be burning. It wasn't but it sure shook me up! I woke in the night (a rare event) in time to put more gas into the generator. I woke up this morning to find it had stopped but in time to fire it up again. The basement was still dry. My heart and soul is full of gratitude this morning on so many levels: for the candle, for the money to get what I needed, for the neighbours who helped set up everything, for the Divine alarm clock, for a refreshingly cool morning and for a good cup of coffee from Tims. "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen." Phil 4:23

Friday, 19 July 2013

Heat Wave Hazards by Susan L.

There's an absolutely delicious breeze this morning. A sign the stifling +40° heat of the last five days is going to break. Whew! A heat driven, massive thunderstorm swept through yesterday in about fifteen minutes. It was accompanied by tornado watches and warnings for our area. It's rare for us. Tornadoes normally travel twenty minutes north and west of here. Tornado alley: the edge of the snow belt. I used to live over that way. When towering, black thunderheads turn the sky green, when the temperature plummets in a matter of seconds. You watch the skies. Carefully. These storms stir up a mixture of fear and fascination. I've never seen a tornado, a good thing perhaps, but I've seen the damage they can do first hand. I've had some incredibly vivid nightmares about them that leave me surprised to find my house standing when I wake up! My house now is relatively safe, being nestled in a river valley, more of a bowl actually, with protective, rolling hills all around the area. Okay. There's still a piece of the little girl in me that was frightened by thunder. "Praise the Lord from the earth...Fire and hail, snow and clouds; stormy wind; fulfilling His word." Ps 149:7

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Seeds, Shoots and Roots by Susan L.

The meeting went well. Thanks to all who prayed for me. I was deeply honoured because as I shared my story, you could have heard a pin drop. It is a huge blessing to be able to plant the seeds of hope in someone who may not have thought recovery is possible. I was approached afterwards by several people who thanked me and to give/share/need a hug. "This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine..." Amen! We had a bit of an adventure getting there. My coworker who drove had picked up a huge bolt in her car's rear tire. We were stranded three blocks from the church listening to the last of the air come hissing out. I know it's prayers which stopped that tire from blowing out as we travelled a hundred plus kicks on the highway. (Scary thought!) I got picked up because I was speaking. My two coworkers waited for roadside assistance. It meant a slow drive home on her spare but at least we weren't stranded in the city! Someone at the meeting asked me if I had Native blood in me. I confess, I've been asked that before. It struck me as rather interesting in light of July 6ths blog about blood memory. Maybe I need to seek out an answer. I'd be honoured to have a connection to Canada's aboriginal people. I wonder if it would show up in DNA testing...Ancestry.com offers it I think. Something to pray about anyways. "I will not leave you orphans;I will come to you." Jn 14:18

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Lost For a Moment by Susan L.

The Lord has brought up an incredibly vivid and powerful memory from my childhood this morning. I was little. Maybe four or six or somewhere in between. My mom and I were standing at a jewelry counter in what I assume was a department store. Don't know why we were there. It could have been near Christmas. Shopping like this was a rare event. The fluorescent lights overhead made everything sparkle. The jewels were at eye level as I stood, utterly mezmerized by the play of light. Simply moving my head a fraction of an inch made everything dance. The rustle and bustle of other shoppers faded into silence. It was one of those seconds-feels-like-forever moments. I reached up my hand, still studying the fascinating display, to take my mother's hand. Something didn't feel quite right! Startled, I looked up just as the woman beside me looked down. Did she smile? I think so but my little brain was in full panic mode. "You're not my Mom!" I thought, "I'm lost!" Frantically, I searched the crowd, finding my mom only a couple of steps away. I ran to her as fast as I could, so relieved that I wasn't lost after all. I've had children do this to me a few times. Most often standing in the check out line. Confidently they reach up and take my hand only to realize their mistake. When I see the panic in their eyes, I remember how it felt. I've been lost a few times over the years: physically, emotionally and spiritually. This is the good part: now I am found, oh, amazing Grace! "Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men." Ps 107:31

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Back Pain by Susan L.

I hurt my lower back on Sunday. Wrenched the muscles hanging laundry on my clothesline of all things! Wheelbarrows of dirt, tree limbs, heavy things like rocks can all be hefted and moved around easily. Give me a T-shirt and clothes pegs? Ouch! Pain aversion training. That's what it is! "Manly" stuff: good. "Womanly" stuff: bad. Not that I need pain to know that of myself. I'd much rather get sweaty and mucky in the garden than dust furniture. I know, I know...When something's heavy I am careful NOT to hurt myself by using proper lifting techniques. Bend the knees, don't twist, etc. Silly me felt the strain as I leaned and twisted to clip the pegs on the line. I didn't think it was an issue. Silly me again. The cat, Pumpkin, probably had a better sleep last night. I couldn't thrash around the bed as easily as I normally do. He quickly needs to perform defensive maneuvers every time I turn over to avoid being flattened. At least someone is benefitting from my suffering. "This is the bread which came down from heaven--not as your fathers ate manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever." Jn 6:58

Monday, 15 July 2013

Garden Shed by Susan L.

I'd been talking about (verbal wishes) building a bigger shed to house all my gardening paraphernalia. The current one is too small. Winter tires and my lawnmower use all available floor space. When you put the word out, things happen! I had already scavenged some old wooden, arch topped windows in excellent condition. A friend, after hearing me dream, dropped off a big, solid cedar door with a nine pane window. Another friend is having a fairly new gazebo dismantled and has offered all the wood from that. I have no problem pulling nails. The majority of my projects have been built that way. I will start haunting the local Re-Store for more second hand building materials. I have a good understanding about wall building. The roof? Only a vague idea but I have had an offer to help with that part which I will gladly take. That isn't something to safely do alone anyways. This isn't going to happen overnight but it sure is fun dreaming and sketching the ideas of what I'd like to see. "Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.' 1 Cor 10:31

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Eden Connection by Susan L.

My friend and I went to the Wye Marsh yesterday, about an hour and a half north. We spent a delightful six hours walking through, watching and enjoying being in the outdoors: God's carefully choreographed, natural garden. The park astounded me by its size, 6000 acres and I am sure most of it was wetlands. I've never seen anything like it! Mile after mile of nodding cattails. My favorite part was the boardwalk that takes you into the marsh. It was an amazing opportunity to see the wide diversity of life that calls the water home without getting my feet wet! The place was teeming with life. From cute and cuddly, two day old trumpeter swans swimming peacefully beside their majestic parents to golf ball sized bullfrog tadpoles. Dragonflies, butterflies and damselflies danced all around. We even saw a young, beautifully marked water snake simply enjoying the sun. The water lilies perfumed the air, the sun was warm, the humidity not too bad, the mosquitoes only made brief appearances. Just as we were leaving, we shared the path with a woman, sharing with each other about the day's enjoyment. Her parting words were, "God bless". Words that touched our hearts. All in all, a perfect day that washed away the last shadows of sorrow. "Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and Your dominion endures throughout all generations." Ps 145:13

Friday, 12 July 2013

Making Peace by Susan L.

Soot didn't make it. I did all that I could. His death created a hurricane of emotions: guilt, regret, self condemnation, grief, loss, shame, and a deep sense of failure. The ghosts of animals gone rose up to haunt me. Farm life is life and death. I could never truly numb myself to the sense of defeat stirred up in my heart each time a lamb, a calf, a chick would die. No matter the circumstances. And there were many. It was really bad with Soot, that sense if failure. God is good! He revealed a fundamental truth about who I am setting me free from believing this little kitten's death was somehow my fault. It cascaded over all the memories of other four legged deaths. Simply put: I tried. I answered the kitten's cry regardless of knowing what it would take to care for him. Even though I knew there could be sorrow. That"s all that matters. The rest was in God's hands. I am once again forever changed. The burden I have carried since I left the farm ten years ago has slipped away. A mantle of peace has wrapped itself around my shoulders. "A man has joy by the answer of his mouth,and a word spoken in due season, how good it is!" Prov 15:23

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Reality: Sometimes Grim by Susan L.

I am torn about what choice to make. The mineral oil got Soot's bowels moving. He's hydrated but has lost weight, too much. The milk replacer doesn't seem to agree with him. I've seen it before. He didn't wake me in the night although I woke at five because he hadn't called out. He was very still and cold. Alive, yes, but weak. He hasn't been interested in feeding, either last night or this morning. I have managed to get some milk into him but I fear it's not enough. I am terribly torn about what to do because this morning has seen the fight gone out of him. DNR. Do Not Resuscitate. We make this choice for our loved ones or they make it for us. It's a tough call. We only want what's best, don't we? The reality is: this little kitten who fits in the palm of my hand sounds like a respiratory problem has taken deeper hold. That, too, I've seen before. It is just another challenge he's had since I found him muddy and soaking wet. I could hear it but hoped...well, just hoped... There's nothing more I can do and that's a hard and bitter pill to swallow. "Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my Strength and Redeemer." Ps 19:14

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Four A.M. Thoughts by Sussn L.

It's still touch and go for Soot but I thought late yesterday he wasn't long for this world. As I awoke to his cries at the crack of dawn, he reminded me of one simple thing. All God's creatures have within them, within us, the irrepressible nature of life. I've seen it over and over. February lambs who were born on -30° nights laying frozen stiff and barely breathing. At those temperatures it doesn't take long. Ten, fifteen minutes. Simply an hour with the hairdryer and being cuddled by the roaring fire of the wood stove would see them bright eyed and calling for breakfast. I've seen this same spirit in all the people I've met in the PREFER program and at the centre. Against the odds, in spite of limitations slapped on them by the medical system, they live on. But it's more than an existence. They, we, thrive and accomplish great things in the face of adversity even if that great thing was simply getting out of bed. We all know someone who has beaten the odds stacked against them. It might just be the person looking back at you in the mirror. Not all the lambs survived but that, too, is the nature of life. Accidents, coyotes, and illness took their toll. In life, is death. One balancing out the other in a plan and design which is far larger, far more beautiful than anything I could ever imagine. "Those who dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall be revived like grain and grow like a vine." Joel 1:5

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Survival Skills by Susan L.

Soot is still fighting. He's slowly getting the hang of the bottle but I have a concern. Milk replacer can constipate babies. I have had to give a baby goat an enema on more than one occasion. If Soot doesn't poop soon, I'll run the idea past a vet. Mind you, there might be some delay because who knows how long he went without eating before I found him. Just like human babies. We fret about what goes in and we fret even more about what comes out! I was a girl of the suburbs. Having this kitten reminds me of all the things I did on the farm where I spent the latter ten years of my marriage. It was a steep learning curve. It began with raising a pair of goslings. I helped perform a c-section on a dwarf goat. Witnessed countless lambs, kids, foals and calves being born: singles, twins, triplets and quads. Bottle raised numerous babies, a pair of raccoons and a llama were the most unusual. I've been there for tough, vet calling calf pulls that ended badly. I've found legs and heads that were bent back and learned to reposition them inside the mother. Thankfully that was successful more often than not. The losses tore at my heart. Let's see...castrations, de-horning, tail docking, euthanasia. That also tore at my heart. I learned how to give injections: vitamins, antibiotics, vaccines. Walked colicy horses for hours on end. Changed the dressing on a bull's abscessed foot. He had been a child's 4H project and was a gentleman. I discovered the horse whisperer's language works with cows. It made dealing with my small herd that much safer. Most of the time I was alone. Then there was the mechanical side but that's a whole other entry. Let's just say I learned to work miracles with baling twine, fence wire and a hair dryer. I am so glad those days are done! "I know that whatever God does, it shall be forever. Nothing can be added to it, and nothing taken from it." Eccl 3:14

Monday, 8 July 2013

Surprises by Susan L.

Late last night, the plaintive mews of a kitten had me searching the yard. I found a young, week old (?) kitten inside a vertical piece of metal, stainless steel chimney that I use as a retaining wall/garden decoration. He (?) was wet from the rain, hypothermic and crying loudly. It doesn't bode well for his feral mother who I haven't seen for a couple of days. For a baby animal of any kind to cry so loudly means there hasn't been any contact with the mother for quite some time. Hopefully I found him soon enough. My farm skills have come in handy. Using a hair dryer and vigorous rubbing, he warmed up nicely. A quick race to the 24 hour grocery store got lactose free milk. I'd wanted goat's milk because lactose is toxic to most animals. It's been a long time since I did a 4 AM feeding. He hasn't had much but he's still alive this morning.... LATER IN THE DAY I popped into the local pet food place and picked up kitten milk replacer. And a teeny, tiny bottle. The eye dropper makes too much mess. Wet, warm tummy rubs have gotten his bowels moving. Young kittens need this stimulation and I have to do what momma cat would have done until his eyes open and he can use a litter box. My friend had just given me a small pet carrier for Pumpkin. Again, Divine provision. It will keep the little one safe until, God willing, he gets bigger. So far so good. He's a feisty, pure black kitten who now has the name. "Soot". "Even so it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should perish." Mat 18:14

Sunday, 7 July 2013

No Second Guessing by Susan L.

The strawberry patch/box/fort got ripped out yesterday. I'd been feeling guilty because there has been no time or energy to pick the fruit or make jam, not that there were enough berries anyways. The plants were huge but that's probably because they didn't get enough sun where they were planted. There was just enough grass seed left from when I seeded the vegetable garden to cover the bare earth. Divine provision that affirms it was the right choice. It has taken me a long time to get to the stage where "I can't" is in my vocabulary. A close second is, "I don't want to". It's been hard to accept I have limitations...no. That's the wrong word! I have the right to live accordingly and do or do not, or make the decisions I need to make in order to stay well. If that means no strawberry jam this year, then so be it. Besides, there's always the option of buying fruit. We'll see. "At that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in Me, and I in you." Jn 14:20

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Blood Memory by Susan L.

I had an amazing chat about North American aboriginal beliefs in which the topic of blood memory came up. I understand it is about what we would call genetic predisposition, the "memory" all of us carry. There are gifts such as creativity and musicality passed down through the ages. On the flip side, curses like alcoholism, mental illness and physical things like heart disease are inherited, too. Blood memory is about our roots, our heritage, the inheritances running in our veins. I love my parents very much but as an adopted infant, every once in a while unanswerable questions pop up. Many now are medical especially as I grow older (gasp!). It's simply the age old question all children have, "Where did I come from?" Most of the time I fully embrace my adopted heritage. It is a gift and all I have ever known. I have a long wall covered with photos: great grandparents, grandparents, parents, children and now grandchildren. Sometimes I ask the question because the only blood relative is my son. Why now? Why is this important, this need to connect? To know. Yet, at the same time, the thought of seeking out the woman who gave me life scares the pants off me. I do know there's English, Scottish and French Canadian blood in my veins. I was born at Carleton County, Ottawa on April 18, 1964 and weighed 5 1/2 ounces at birth. Maybe that's enough but nevertheless I surrender this, Lord, to Your will. "Having predestined us to adoption as sons (I am going to take the liberty of including daughters in this quote) by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved." Eph 1:5

Friday, 5 July 2013

Circles of Women by Susan L.

My morning coffee never tasted so good. A busy week, an emotional week and restless sleep means I am tired today. The ever present circles under my eyes have developed a whole set of luggage. Where's cucumber slices when you need them? There is a great treasure in my life. It is the love of the women who gathered around, listened and lifted me up this week. Especially after art therapy last night. It was a tough one. These wonderful women are my peers, my life sisters. There are times when I, in turn, am blessed to help hold them up because that's what friends do for each other. So much is said in a hug. In the midst of sometime tears, much laughter, shared stories and recipes lay the beloved mother heart of God. Wisdom has a way of revealing herself, too. Insights about the cooling effect of cucumbers on the eyes, discussions about faith, family, hopes and cares...little things and great things are shared and taught and learned from each other. It has taken a long time to build trust but it took longer for me to find the courage to try trusting. These women, my friends at the centre, in my writer's group, waited patiently for me to enter into the circle. I am truly and immensly blessed. "Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name." Ps 103:1

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Speed Bumps by Susan L.

Yesterday was emotionally intense. I worked on my story and later met with my psychiatrist. He had the paperwork filled out that I needed for the government. He's a great doctor but because he's so busy, it has taken a couple of months to get it ready. That's okay. The parts I had to fill out had me very overwhelmed. Getting his gave me the incentive to do mine. Like I said, intense. It's tough writing out your challenges. When I read his part it drove home the fact that without medication who knows where I'd be. Definitely not blogging or sleeping, or paying my bills or grocery shopping or anything. Yes, I have an arsenal of coping strategies. The meds grant me the stability to use them. It's a partnership. One of my meds, the most expensive one, now has a generic option. Up to this point the pharmaceutical company that manufactured it was very generous in giving my doctor free samples. He then gave them to his patients who could not afford to buy them. Now it is generic, the company stopped doing this. There's no marketing incentive to push their brand. Public wellness, caring for the poor, is not on their mandate. Profit is. To the tune of billions of dollars. What's a handful of pills to them? Thankfully there's options. A private, paid for drug plan or switching my meds to something less costly. My track record of adverse reactions makes me reluctant to change what is working. Actually, a med change is terrifying. I will trust in the Lord, casting my cares upon Him. He has provided for and guided me faithfully every step of the way. "Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." Mat 6:10

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

New Neighbours by Susan L.

The people next door have moved, returning to their native Hungary. A young couple has bought the house and moved in this weekend. I have had a brief over-the-fence chat with both of them, welcoming them to the area. It's nice to see how quickly they have begun cleaning up the rather neglected gardens and yard. The young man, in our brief introductory chat told me he is an auto mechanic and said if ever I needed anything, just ask. Nice. In my chat with his partner,I offered to answer any garden questions she might have. She laughingly said she might need help identifying weeds. Neighbours. That's what it is about. I had to smile though. My first introduction was when I was at my scruffiest: baseball hat on, hot, sweaty and dirty from working in my own gardens. You know what they say about first impressions! I'm wondering, too, if I am identified as the older lady next door! Ouch! "Everyone helped his neighbour." Is 41:6

Monday, 1 July 2013

Canada Day by Susan L.

For all we Canadians complain about the weather, the medical system, the school system, road repairs and pot holes, and of course taxes. We live in a great country where we have the ability to complain without fear. In the grand scheme of things, we are incredibly wealthy although the cost of living is high. Our social safety net, over burdened, cumbersome and difficult to navigate is nevertheless there when we need it. We have fresh, clean water. That in itself is a blessing beyond measure. Most medical care is free. Wow. We have plenty of access to green spaces, even in our cities. Our mosquitoes aren't deadly. Roads are plowed in winter. Trash is collected. Mail is delivered. Internet is available to all. We have the freedom to worship. We have the freedom to travel in and out of the country. Our police serve and protect. We have ambulances and firemen. Women can do that job if they want to! There is an astounding amount of food from all over the world in our grocery stores and food banks. We can grow our own in clean earth. It's even safe to dine on the food growing at the side of the road: fiddleheads, asparagus, leeks, apples, black and red raspberries, just to name a few. There's fish, too. A virtual feast! Yes. We have problems. Our treatment of aboriginal people needs to change. We have homeless. There have been terrible abuses of power that need to be put right. Yes, we have many problems...too many. Happy Birthday, Canada. I will pray for you and our leaders. "Save, Lord! May the King answer us when we call." PS 20:9