Saturday, 28 February 2015

Sun Dogs by Susan L.

  Thursday, late afternoon, as the sun was heading towards the horizon, a brilliant halo of light surrounded its watery brilliance. The halo was punctuated by sun dogs, mini-suns: a reflection generated by the amount of moisture in the air. I shuddered. They are an omen of snow within twenty-four to forty-eight hours. The brighter they are, the more snow can be expected.
  I've seen them before this winter but this is the brightest they've been.
  Today has dawned with a cloudless but somewhat hazy blue sky so we'll just have to wait and see if the old wives tale is accurate. It usually is. That and the forecast for tomorrow is five to ten centimeters of snow. Hopefully that's all we'll get. Weather people aren't known for their accuracy!
  I'm a weather junky. Most Canadians are. It's talked about a lot. The record breaking cold this month has a lot of us muttering uncivilized comments. I don't mind the cold...much. At least it's been sunny.
  And my sump pump has stopped running for the first time in two years because the groundwater finally froze! Bonus! A bit of hydro savings.
  I'm starting to feel a bit better, weak, but better. Tomorrow should see a marked improvement due to the antibiotics. Meanwhile, I'll hunker down and enjoy a quiet day.
  "When it is evening you say, 'It will be fair weather, for the sky is red;' and in the morning, 'It will be foul weather today for the sky is red and threatening.'" Mat 16:2-3

Friday, 27 February 2015

Help by Susan L.

  Lord, You have proven so faithful to my prayers. You are an amazing, loving God. Lord, it's Lent, the season before Easter. It has always been a season of surrender and letting go through Your ever faithful guidance. Every year You have helped me become better than I was in these few short weeks. It's all You.
  How I need Your help. I really struggle with taking control of a situation. It is difficult when I am facing loud, aggressively speaking people who dominate a conversation with harsh and often cruel attitudes, issues and condemnations. That's a huge trigger for me. Guide me and set  me free of this fear based response. Forgive me that fear.
  Help me take charge with love and grace. Help me set boundaries and limits. Help me not judge them for judging others. Help me not be afraid of them, or afraid of stepping up. Guide me with Your wisdom and Your words so that what is said will touch the hearts of those who hear.
  Help me begin a habit of praying over my workplace every day I am there. Help me draw a line in the sand in the world unseen that only seeks to destroy and divide.
  In Jesus' name, Amen.
  "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." Eph 6:12-13

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Diligence by Susan L.

   I took a trip to the local medical walk in clinic yesterday. Turns out I have bronchitis so a course of antibiotics is in order. Hopefully that'll turn the tide on this cough of mine.
  When the pharmacy went to fill the prescription, the pharmacist noticed a conflict with one of the other meds I take to stay mentally well. The antibiotic would have impacted how it worked. Not a good thing. I'm glad the head pharmacist caught it.
  I have been thinking that once I am better to try and cut back the dosage on one of my meds. Ironically, it was the one that had the conflict. My psychiatrist would like to see me off of it as well because it is very hard on the liver and kidneys. I'd done a small reduction a couple of years ago but found when the dose was too low, chronic anxiety moved in. This time, I'll take it even slower.
  It's a bit of a rock and a hard place. Constant anxiety can be even harder on the body than the meds. It taxes the adrenal system because anxiety is basically the fight/flight instinct on overdrive. Eventually, the body begins to break down by attacking itself to find the energy to maintain this primal response. Illnesses like fibromyalgia, constant muscle and joint pain, can take over.
  Diligence and balance: being aware of the risks and being aware of what's happening internally and mentally. Any changes need to be done slowly and methodically. It takes weeks for psychotropic meds to work. I will take weeks to do even a small reduction.
  This is something to be celebrated. I have been consistently well enough for long enough to even think about making changes. In saying that, there's no hurry. Part of me is still weighing up the risks involved. If no changes are made, that's okay, too.
  It isn't a matter of success or failure. If I need these medications to stay well, then so be it. I'll stick with the rock.
  "And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, "Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?" When Jesus heard that, He said to them, "Those who are well have no need to go to a physician, but those who are sick." Mat 9:11-12

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Savage Beast Soothed by Susan L.

  The piano has sat silent for a few weeks. My finger tip was raw from being pricked by the needle which meant the sewing needed a break so last night I played for a couple of hours. The break had done me good. The worship songs I'd practiced so hard after getting the piano came easily. The improvised accompaniments were dressed up even more as more of the keyboard was included in the fancy stuff.
  I still play a bit like an organist (that's what I learned) but it works nicely with a setting of piano and strings combined. An organist holds down the key to make a note last. That means the strings continue to play as I pick the piano melody out with other fingers. It gives my heart a thrill to play an orchestra.
  The formal, classical, stiff backed, non-moving organist posture is disappearing. The playing is becoming a dance which adds to the enjoyment immensely. It also makes it easier to connect emotionally with the music. Such freedom!
  Monday's blog about grief had stirred up some memories and emotions. Mostly it was plain old sadness and perhaps a sprinkling of anger. The music released those feelings as I gave them back to the Lord in songs of gratitude. Just like Joshua and his trumpets, the walls came tumbling down.
  "It shall come to pass, when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, that all the people shall shout with a great shout; then the wall of the city will fall down flat." Josh 6:5

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Vote by Susan L.

  The vote on Sunday was a no go for the plan the elders had put forward. I'm struggling with not judging those who chose not to follow the direction of the elders. The leadership handled it with much grace although I am sure the answer was difficult for them to hear. I am extremely grieved by the rebellion because it is blatantly against God's word and design for His church.
  Still...I am guilty of behaving outside of God's word on a regular basis, too. I have no right to cast stones. Forgive me Lord for my own rebellious heart.
  The elders will arrange a meeting in about three weeks to give the congregation a chance to put forward ideas about what they would like to see happen. I guess that's a "we" now, not a "they".
  I've been thinking more about why the Lord asked me to step up in trust and become a member. I believe a good whack of it is about respectful submission to leadership. Having spent so many years being controlled, authority figures can create a lot of anxiety. My gut response is one of survival: distrust.
  Oh. Here's a lie, "Those in authority have the right to hurt me." Forgive me, Lord, for believing that load of nonsense.
  NO. They don't! Hmmm, I thought that particular belief had been cast aside a long time ago. I am surprised to see it rear its ugly head again. Old ideas sometimes die hard.
  Submission is not the same as subjugation. In the latter, fear is used to maintain control and dominance. Submission is opening yourself up to growth through the guidance of wiser, more experienced people. There's room for discernment. All good teachers are themselves open to growth and learning.
  Bruxy Cavey calls it two chairs facing each other. It's a wonderful metaphor.
  I guess submission is also about conversation, vulnerability, honesty and an acceptance that none of us have all the answers. But then, working in community with the Holy Spirit as guide, those answers can be found.
  God can use all things. Maybe this is an opportunity for our church to come together as a unified body in order to find an answer about what to do next. I pray there will be many two chair conversations over the next few weeks.
  "Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen." Mat 6:9-13

Monday, 23 February 2015

Of Tears by Susan L.

  I read a blog post by someone who faced her first Valentines Day without the love of her life beside her. She shared how she wept, how sorry she felt for herself. All I wanted to do was hug her.
  Why do we associate the tears and pain of grief with self-pity?
  As one who has done her own share of grieving over the last ten years, I discovered the truth behind the pain. There's no shame in grieving. Each tear pays honour to the memory of what was loved and lost.
  There's no timeline for grief. The Victorian one-year-to-wear-black has shaped our own cultural beliefs as to how long it should take to recover from a deep and personal loss. That's wrong. Sometimes it takes less. Sometimes it's a lifetime journey. Sometimes healing won't be complete until the day the Lord takes us home.
  I also learned the five stages don't fall in a systematic order.
  Grief is complicated. I often had to revisit a painful event or loss in my life. There were many facets to the impact they had in shaping the woman I was. Each time I grieved, another layer of healing took place. The truth to my identity began to emerge.
  For a while, I was a victim because I needed to be. It helped set me free of the false burden of responsibility which I had taken squarely on my shoulders.
  When I first left my husband, I walked around the bed in a strange bedroom. As the corner of the mattress brushed against my left leg, I automatically looked for my beloved dog, Duke, who always slept on the floor beside me. He wasn't there, of course. I had to leave him behind. A basement was no place for a farm raised 120 pound Shepherd.
  All I wanted at that moment was to wake up from the nightmare my life had become. This simply drove home the fact that my circumstances were real. The mattress triggered an agony of my soul that tears couldn't relieve.
  It was about far more than Duke. The Lord has taken me to that moment time and again as I worked through the countless losses that brief event represented. I was no longer a wife. I was no longer married. I was no longer in my home. I no longer had the future I thought would be there. (It's way better!)
  As I said there have been bouts of self-pity but that, too was part of the healing process. It's only when we allow ourselves to stay a victim that self-pity becomes a toxic emotion.
  "And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away." Rev 21:4
  There is one more scripture that helped bless me with the permission to cry, that all I had been through was worth crying about:
  "Jesus wept." Jn 11:35

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Done Deal by Susan L.

  I had my meeting yesterday. It was more of a casual conversation where I shared a bit of my testimony. It went well so today I'll be introduced as a new member of Faith Community Church. That gives me the right to vote today on the future of the church. There are two other people joining as well which is a good thing. There's hope for the church even though we are without a pastor at the moment.
  Have you ever felt when you do something out of the ordinary that it feels like it is exactly what you should be doing? That's how this is for me despite the nervousness I always face when making any sort of commitment or decision. This whole situation is way outside my comfort zone. Surprisingly, I am okay with that. There's definitely a Divine Hand at work despite the nervous anxiety that is niggling away at my subconscious.
  One of the questions on the application form was about the area of ministry I felt passionately called to serve in. That was a tough one for me to answer. My response simply was that I had a willingness to serve wherever or whenever I could as I was able. "I hope that's enough" was how I ended my answer.
  They were fine with that. A willing heart is all that is required.
  Isn't that all God asks of us, too? To have a willing heart that is open to the leading of the Holy Spirit? It means we can change and grow as people. It means allowing the process of healing and restoration to take place. It means we can let go of control and hate and all the things that are toxic to our lives. It means we are willing to be corrected and ask for forgiveness. It means we are able to embrace that forgiveness and be forever changed.
  Our God is an awesome God! Amen!
  "For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame."" Rom 10:10-11

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Meeting by Susan L.

  I'm taking the leap to become a member of my church. There's a meeting scheduled this morning with a couple of the church elders so we have a chance to talk. I guess it's like a job interview, at least my stomach is treating it as such. It's a ball of nerves!
  I decided to join so I can, hopefully, be in a position to vote tomorrow on the future of the church. It's a bit last minute but having not been well...who am I kidding? This is God's timing!
  I quickly filled out the application form last night and emailed it out so they would have a chance to read through the written part. That's part of the tummy knots. Filling out forms is not my strong point and any time I need to fill one out it generates a whack of anxiety. They are a bit of a trigger that stirs up the memories of filling out lengthy application forms that are the sole domain of government. Every aspect of my life had to be laid bare. All that was missing was a signature in blood! Those forms saw their fair share of tears as I came to terms with needing help in the form of disability.
  That was another journey into grief. Never in a million years did I think I'd be in such a place. But God is good. He's helped me to forgive those who played a part in me ending up in such a vulnerable place. He's forgiven me for the contempt I held for people who seek government assistance. I am much wiser now. Having been through the experience I learned many things that have helped me be a better peer support worker.
  All to God's glory, amen.
  "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds." 2 Cor 10:3-4

Friday, 20 February 2015

Writer's Block by Susan L.

  It's frustrating when something that usually comes so easily eludes my finger tips. I tried writing the column yesterday but had no success. Maybe it's because I'm trying to force the writing. That never works anyways. Like the art, it's something that needs to flow through me. So technically it isn't a block, its more of an ego getting in the way.
  It's taken practice to learn how to set myself and my own agenda aside but the old take control ways pop up every once in a while. I'll have another go at it today only this time try and let my Lord do the talking! It is so much easier when the process of writing, or drawing, becomes a living, organic thing with a mind and purpose of its own. All I do is put the results down on paper.
  Maybe I need to rethink the "spring cleaning" theme. Or not. I won't know until I sit down in front of my work laptop. I am open to changing it if that's what is needed.
  To You be the glory, my Lord!
  Forgive my pride.
  "I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, " I will confess my transgressions to the Lord," and You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah." Ps 32:5

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Column by Susan L.

  My deadline is today for the newspaper column. At least, it's the deadline I have given myself. That way the paper has it before the first of the month. It's proving challenging to come up with a topic each month focusing on mental health and awareness. February's column was all about psychosis although I haven't seen it in the paper yet. Hopefully it'll be in today's because it's a subject that frightens the pants off a lot of people.
  The media does a good job of feeding the public fear of psychosis by portraying violent crimes as the sole domain of a psychotic break. I did some research for this and discovered many other reasons for psychosis. It is simply the mind checking out of  conscious awareness. Things like a high fever or Alzheimers can cause such a break. Drugs and alcohol can do the same only it's called a black out when that happens.
  It's far more common than I thought. It's such a blessing to do something that gives me a chance to learn as I go along.
  Not feeling well, I was in a bit of a quandary about what to write about for this month so with some gentle nudging from within, aka the Holy Spirit, I asked the centre's visitors for ideas. One of them came up with the idea of "spring cleaning". It grabbed my imagination so that's what March's column will be about. I'm not quite sure about the details but they'll come once I sit in front of the laptop and get down to the business of writing.
  "Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass." Ps 37:5

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

One Day at a Time by Susan L.

  This bug is taking more out of me than I realized. Yesterday was a work day but I left early. Today saw me drag my hind end out of bed about fifteen minutes ago after going to bed around ten last night. Thankfully Pumpkin was happy simply to snuggle in with me.
  I work tomorrow and Friday so energy conservation is crucial. I won't be going to my Bible study tonight. It feels like I could go back to bed again but I won't. Wouldn't want to end up awake all night.
  That's my update for today. Hopefully I'll be back to normal soon.
  "There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His." Heb 4:9-10

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Good Sleep by Susan L.

  I think getting a good sleep is one of the finer things in life. I slept until one thirty in the afternoon yesterday and was back in bed and asleep by eleven last night. This cold is giving the old body a run for its money. A couple more rests like that and hopefully I'll have the thing licked.
  My new crazy quilt is giving me something sedentary to do to help pass the time. It's coming along nicely as I've sat watching movies, sipping tea and sewing merrily away. It's surprising how much is done. It doesn't take long to develop calluses on the ends of my fingers and thumb from holding the needle. It makes me appreciate the seamstresses of days past before there were sewing machines. The hours it must've taken to sew a dress!
  I haven't quiet figured out what I'll do to fancy up the quilt. It has a floral theme so maybe I'll embroider some flowers or possibly leaves on the plain fabric pieces. There's the recent purchase of butterfly sequins that could be added as well. I've got purple buttons to join the layers together, in this case a polar fleece blanket will be the back. Beads and baubles add their own decorative touch, too.
  One step at a time! Let's get the top pieced together and double stitched.
  "A time to tear, and a time to sew; A time to keep silence and a time to speak." Eccl 3:7

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Wrong Side by Susan L.

  It's been one of those mornings when you wonder why you even got out of bed but then a cat tossing up a hairball isn't the best alarm clock. My friend called shortly after asking me to come over and see if I could fix her lack of water issue. I couldn't. The lines must be frozen between the wells and the house.
  Silly me had parked my car nose in to the wind. It's about minus forty with the wind chill today. Not good for cars. A few grinds and a few choice words later it finally started. No, I am sorry to say, they weren't prayer words. My humanity slipped. Good thing I wasn't there longer or the whole thing could've frozen solid!
  I hadn't planned on going anywhere today or tomorrow hoping another couple days of rest would get this cold finally licked. It's better than it was but now, even without the hit-the-ground-running start to the day, I am rather fed up and cranky. Grrrrr....Good thing I'm not working today I'd probably bite someone's head off.
  Grrr. Grr. Grrrr...Grr!!  And another Grrrr for good measure.
  And that's enough of that nonsense!
  "I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the Lord." Ps 116:17

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Happy Valentines Day by Susan L.

  The view out the kitchen window this morning is rather gray and dull. Tiny snowflakes zip past driven by the same stiff breeze that is making the tree tops sway high up above. The cedars are dark, their mantle of snow stripped away by the high, bitterly cold winds of the last couple of days.
  Gray, white, dark green, a monochromatic scene against a glaring sky. Except there's a single, tiny burst of colour: the bright red body of a male cardinal who has hunkered down amongst the cedar branches.
  And there he goes. Exit, stage left. A flash of crimson glory.
  A Valentine flower in a sleeping garden.
  "And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name." Jn 20:30-31

Friday, 13 February 2015

Art Auction by Susan L.

  There was a show on TVO last night about modern art. They showed bits of an auction being held at one of the more famous high-end auction houses. The prices being paid were staggering, numbering in the tens of millions of US dollars. All I could think was how much that money could have helped those less fortunate. It could have fed hundreds of needy mouths. It could have housed many homeless. It's a shocking amount of money spent so a person could have a piece of an artist hanging on their wall.
  Is this a status thing? A greed thing? An insecurity thing?
  Is this blog a jealousy thing?
  No. I don't think I'd like the responsibility or the publicity that comes with being so wealthy. Having paparazzi stalking every move, people pointing and staring if I was out shopping. If I showed up in public having a bad hair day, the most unflattering picture will be televised and mocked. Being barefoot and getting dirty working in the garden would be a social faux pas. It would put an end to taking the garbage out in my PJs...oh... I wouldn't put out my own garbage would I? I'd have staff to take care of that.
  Definitely not for me. I like my garden. And getting dirty because it feels so good to be cleaned up when a day's work is done. Amen! Hurry up Spring!!
  "A satisfied soul loathes the honeycomb, but to a hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet." Prov 27:7

Thursday, 12 February 2015

An Every Day Miracle by Susan L.

  It wasn't a big thing.
  It ended up being huge.
  I stopped at the grocery store yesterday on my way into work. Wednesdays are a short shift so it seemed a better idea to go then instead of this morning. The grocery store I don't like has the best store brand, family sized lasagna so in I went to get it and the makings for a salad. Not feeling so great, the store felt even more massive than it is as it took a hike from one end to the other to pick up my two items.
  The lasagna was on sale! An unexpected bonus!
  Heading to the check-out, I thought it would be nice to have some garlic bread or crusty rolls to go with the rest of lunch. It would mean re-tracing my steps. It didn't take long to realize there was no energy left for that. The thought of the additional purchase fell to the wayside.
  I arrived at work and unlocked the door. As I turned the alarm off, a black shadow whipped past the corner of my eye. It would appear that a squirrel had moved in. I opened the front door wide hoping he'd run outside but it appeared he had gone down into the basement.
  As I went to unload the groceries from the car a community member pulled up concerned that the front door was lying wide open and...this is the good part...she wondered if I might like a donation of bread for the centre. She had been given a trunkful but had no freezer to store it. There were bagels, croissants, and a great big bag of dinner rolls.
  I smiled, grateful for the donation. Inside, the smile was even bigger, knowing that God had orchestrated the whole thing. And true to His nature, He had filled my need a thousand fold.
  As for the squirrel, my co-worker had gotten a hold of a pest control company. There was a live trap in the back room which I moved over to near the basement door, re-baited and re-set. I wonder if he'll regard the crackers and peanut butter as his own manna from heaven? At least until the trap slams shut!
  "I have heard the complaints of the children of Israel. Speak to them, saying, "At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread. And you shall know that I am the Lord your God."" Ex 16:12

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Recovery Road by Susan L.

  A good sleep in, a couple of lazy days and I feel my strength returning. Still not quite up to snuff but hopefully by the end of the week I'll have the worst of this bug licked.
  I'm supposed to make the community lunch tomorrow at the centre. One of those family sized lasagnas seems like a good idea. Toss in a Caesar salad and it's a good feast to serve without a whole lot of fuss or time spent in the kitchen.
  I work today so a good dose of cough medicine before I go in should take the worst of the symptoms away. I have Bible study tonight but don't think I'll go. Strength conservation is my top priority. As is being able to work the next three days.
  As I've been dozing off and on, my thoughts have drifted to the application for membership at Faith Community. There's a short questionnaire to be filled out and one of the questions asks what I think it means to be a Christian. It'd be easy to slip into the list of what a Christian "should" be...the legalistic parameters...the box. The one that is too difficult for anyone, short of Jesus, to live up to especially if we try and do it under our own power. Even with Christ's help I've often missed the mark. I am ever so thankful for grace.
  Maybe that's my answer or part of it anyways. Being a Christian by having embraced Christ as my Saviour means I don't have to go it alone...ever. It means I have a Helper, the Holy Spirit, who will help me be more than I could possible imagine. If I fall short? And I do. Frequently. It doesn't matter because God is a God of grace and forgiveness. He will help me learn and grow from my mistakes without condemnation.
  How cool is that?
  "Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another." Rom 14:19

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Not Well by Susan L

  This is one nasty bug. I slept the day away yesterday only emerging around five o'clock when a terrible headache moved in. In a stroke of fevered genius I realized it was probably due to caffeine withdrawl. I normally drink a fair bit of coffee during the course of a day but hadn't had the strength yesterday to even get out of bed. Thankfully, a cup did the trick and got rid of the piercing agony that had settled in behind my eyes.
  Even with the coffee I was back in bed shortly before ten and slept more or less straight through until eight this morning.
  I still feel pretty lousy and won't go to writer's group tonight which I am sorry to miss.
  I'm also scheduled to work the next three days because my boss is away. Hopefully I'll be significantly better by tomorrow. Perhaps another lazy day will help.
  Prayers would help too!
  "When Jesus heard that, He said, "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it."" Jn 11:4

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Thoughts by Susan L.

  The snow has fallen steadily since yesterday morning. It's been mostly tiny flakes except for the odd burst of giant clumps. They're the kind that should be reserved especially for Christmas morning. The driveway needs shovelling today at some point. Probably when I get home from church if I decide to go.
  The bug I've got is settling in so I don't know if anyone would appreciate me going and bringing it with me. But then, it must be everywhere. Perhaps a good dose of cough medicine might get me through.
  I don't want to miss another week.
  An email arrived from one of the elders with the forms needed to apply for membership. They included the church's mission statement for me to look at and a questionnaire to fill out about my own faith and walk with the Lord. I glanced through it yesterday but need to spend more time reading.
  Yes, there's a bit of a struggle going on despite what was said at the meeting about wanting to join. I think I shared that what was said was all God because it's the last thing I had in mind or even wanted to do. But then, this is an answered prayer: that the Lord gives me what I need, not what I want.
  It all has me feeling rather anxious. Help me, Lord, set aside the anxiety and walk true to Your desires for my life in faith. Lord, I ask for affirmation that this is the path You want me to take. In Jesus Name I pray.
  "He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust."" Ps 91:1-2

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Tickles by Susan L.

  It's an oh-oh kind of tickle: the one at the back of the throat and deep in the sinuses. There's been some nasty bugs floating around this year that have laid many people low for a number of days. Hopefully this is all the symptoms of a cold or flu or whatever it is I'll get. Hopefully whatever my grandchildren had isn't catching and this is something else.
  Before I was diagnosed with depression, I got really sick. I had a debilitating chest cough that lasted for nine months. Antibiotics didn't touch it. Rest and fluids didn't help either. Trips to the ER were fruitless. It was my family doctor who realized I was suffering from depression; that the cough was masking the real issue. The dark and terrible journey to find the right meds began.
  Feeling a cold coming on triggers a good whack of concern. Although I've had a few regular colds since then but none, thank the Lord, for the last couple of years or none as long lasting or severe.
  I'll try not to whine too much if it gets worse!
  My plan for this morning is to watch last Sunday's sermon by Bruxy Cavey. I'm not sure which one it was but the link should be posted on my church's web site. A few comments about it have drifted my way from a source that hasn't been particularly reliable.  I feel I need to check it out to find the truth of what was said for myself. Being informed is rather important at this stage of the game regarding what's happening in church.
  I just might snuggle up on the couch with my laptop and a hot cup of coffee. What better way to spend a snowy Saturday morning!
  "Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name." Ps 86:11

Friday, 6 February 2015

Home Sweet Home by Susan L.

  The three and a half hour drives to and from Sarnia were uneventful. I arrived there Sunday just as a snow storm was blew in. It dumped about a foot of fluffy white which made the sunny drive home stunning. Everything was covered by a pristine, glistening blanket. It amused me and helped pass the time as I drove to notice the animal tracks marring its surface. It would appear there are plenty of deer and rabbit and possibly coyote or fox who seek shelter in the bushy areas the road passes through.
  Most of my time away was spent babysitting. My two grandchildren were not well. They are both struggling with upper respiratory infections. My granddaughter slept the first two days pretty much solid. It's hard when the little ones aren't well and there's nothing much to do for them. I'd forgotten how quickly children bounce back once antibiotics kick in. She was almost herself yesterday. Her brother was about to start a second course of medicine because he was still struggling to beat his.
  Thank You, Lord, for these medicines.
  Me being there meant my son was free to work on the house while his wife was able to go to work. I did manage a few hours over there on Wednesday, painting the inside of the kitchen cupboards. Oh, and I helped with some show removal on Monday via a snow blower. Aren't they a great invention! Gotta get me one of those. Maybe next year!
  Telling stories, reading books, and playing with Play-doh was a whole lot more fun!
  I was blessed with a good story that needs to be written down. My granddaughter listened to the bare bones of it, utterly enthralled, as I made up a tale about a boy who lost his lucky socks. When a three year old gives you her full attention, even without illustrations, that's a sign it's a good one.
  I'm not too sure about her reception of the brick story. She wasn't really that well. Her brother was quite taken with it though and asked me a few times if the story was real. I assured him the next time they came for a visit, I'd show them the brick with the cat paw print in it.
  Pumpkin was glad to see me and needed a good whack of fuzzy love. He's not too keen on the static electricity in his fur that shocks us both and crackles as I pat him. I wonder if there's fabric softener for fur...
  "And the heavens will praise Your wonders, O Lord; Your faithfulness also in the assembly of the saints." Ps 89:5

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Away Again by Susan L.

  This is going to be a short post.
  I'm heading down to Sarnia this morning for a few days. It'll be a mix of working on my son's new house, visiting, babysitting my grandchildren and watching the Superbowl tonight on TV. I'm excited to be going. Especially the babysitting!
  The drive should be okay. It's overcast but not snowing. Here anyways.
  I need to get going. I want to leave in about an hour and there's a few things left to organize.
  May you all have a blessed week!
  "Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; Let such as love Your salvation say continually, "The Lord be magnified!""