Welcome to my Blog!

Welcome to my blog! Of course if we were visiting in person, I'd have the teapot out and we could sit and chat.
I'm honored you stopped by to listen to my thoughts and ponderings - and if you have a minute sometime, let me know you dropped by!

You can also find me on Facebook at Grace Notes, Thoughts and Prayers.

I'd love to hear from you.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Sunshine for the Morning

  We walked into the medical lab, thirsty for coffee, having fasted, and ready to give our blood.  It was a task we had put off for weeks, my hubby and I, just routine tests that go along with physicals that we know we should do since we are now over the age of *ahem* fifty.

  I find it crazy that I, a chaplain, who wanders the hospital corridors and frequents waiting rooms always finds it a little difficult when it is my turn... I struggle with apprehension, not so much for the test, but for anything that might be wrong... and 99% percent of the time my fears are unfounded.  But I think it goes with the territory that those who have experienced illness and loss are a little gun-shy.

  So we eased into the chairs, took our numbers and wondered how long we would have to wait...

  I will now confess that I am a people watcher... it fascinates me to watch and wonder about people's lives... but here sitting with her partner was a most pleasant woman.  You know the kind?  With a yes face... interacting with the little girl beside her, smiling to all.  Every once in a while she became preoccupied with her book... which looked like a book about Love and Miracles to me... and I dubbed her the "positive person".  Her sunny disposition was evident, even without words.

  The door blew open and in came a rotund older gentleman... joking to all as he entered, as cheerful as could be.  I wondered if he permanently wore a smile.  He was so cheerful, I immediately relaxed, such was the gift of his countenance.

  A moment in time, an intersection with strangers.  The gift of smiles.  And I was again inspired to think of what I bring into a room.  Is it a smile, a cheerful nod?  Do I spread sunshine where I go?  Or am I preoccupied with the worries of the day?

  On a rainy morning, in a medical lab, the gift of sunshine had been shared and received.  The gift of a smile... it doesn't cost a thing, but must be one of the richest treasures we can receive... and give.



Sunday, August 25, 2013

A Hummingbird Makes a Statement

  Yesterday was the day of the garage sale.  This was the parting of many of my mom's possessions, and although we had kept many for our own memories, dad needed to downsize, and we were dismantling a life-time of memories.  Mom was a creative person... although she lamented that writing and art was difficult for her, she turned out the most beautiful floral arrangements and quilts... the work of an artist.  And the house was filled with tools for the artist, the cook, the business of life.

  Mom also loved nature and the outdoors, and she loved birds.  She had a number of bird houses and she lamented in her later years that birds did not often frequent the town home where they lived.  She also was sad she no longer could hear their singing... with her loss of hearing, came the loss of hearing the birds.  And she mentioned on more than one occasion how much she missed that.

  So I was more than startled yesterday as we were setting up, and I was gearing up for this big day when I felt something hit me... and I looked down, and there on the ground, stunned, lay a little tiny hummingbird.
I was immediately distressed for its tiny life, and we didn't know whether it would make it.  But my brother carefully lifted it and put it on a ping pong bat perch and set it on a ladder that was up for sale...

(photo by Randy Friesen)

  I didn't think about it a lot at that moment... but in retrospect, I began to wonder if this little hummingbird was something more... a message of comfort, perhaps?

  A few minutes later my brother came across this ornament among piles of treasures, and planted it beside me.  In dealing with boxes and boxes of memorabilia I somehow don't remember handling this little piece.  But there it was, appearing suddenly on this day of the garage sale, a beautiful ornament of a hummingbird.

 I decided then and there to keep the ornament... and was rather comforted when I was told the little hummingbird that had flown in and literally bumped into me had also flown out, on it's own steam...

  After the hustle and bustle of the day, with lots of caring people that came to help and buy, I came home exhausted... one of my spoils being the little hummingbird ornament.

  As I examined it more closely, I turned it over and discovered it's source was the Crystal Cathedral in Anaheim, California.  But even more startling was the inscription, which seemed at the moment to be just for me... "For the time of the singing of the birds has come." (Song of Solomon)

  Ahhh... yes.  Mom can hear the singing of the birds...and they sing for me.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Rushing to meet the red light

  I was on my way home from work yesterday, and need to make a quick lane change for my turn-off, which can be tricky sometimes with traffic coming down the hill into Vernon, where I live.  However the speeds are posted a low 50 kph, and usually it is fine.

  However yesterday, I barely squeaked through realizing that a pick-up was bearing down on me, speeding down the hill, followed by two other cars, just as fast... all speeding for the red light some yards down the road.  I shook my head...what was their hurry?  They had to stop anyway, and they scared me in the bargain!

  I made it home, but was chagrined.  And I also thought about my own life... hurrying here and there, and how much I am valuing just slowing down.  Breathing.  And when I take time for those rests, it seems so much better.

  I wasn't home long, and hopped in the car again to head to my dads...and actually I was a little late.  Which always bothers me.  I know my dad loves punctuality!  And at the 4 way stop, a lady was crossing... no, really she was jiving... bebopping to some music.  Totally oblivious to her surroundings she literally bounced across the crosswalk, dancing as she went.  I tried to see (without rudely staring) if she had ear-buds in, but couldn't figure out where her music came from.  It didn't really matter... she was jiving, she was in her own joyful world, and one could almost hear the rhythm.

  Sometimes I wish my color was black.  They really know how to sway to the music!  And I watched in fascination, and then remembered I needed to drive, and I smiled, and the joy was back.

  Often at the hospital I say to the patients there... "It's all about hurry up and wait".  It is so true... the rush of the ambulances, the scurry of the ER nurses, the intensity and trauma... all push up the heart-rate.  And then you... wait.  It isn't easy.  I talk to people all the time who are waiting for tests, waiting for results, waiting for chemo... and on a much brighter side, waiting for babies!  There is no hurry about it.  It just happens in its time.

  And I keep telling myself, in this roller coaster of life, that I don't need to speed to get to the red light.  No, I can stop to smell the roses. I can make room for those cars in a hurry.  I can smile at life and others enjoying it.   I can take time to breathe.  In four breaths, out five, my sister taught me; a relaxing exercise.

  I used to listen to Chuck Girard frequently when I was younger, and I was reminded today about the lyrics he wrote to a song I much enjoyed.  He writes:

In the midst of my confusion
In the time of desperate need
When I am thinking not too clearly
A gentle voice does intercede..

Slow down, slow down, be still
Be still and wait, on the Spirit of the Lord
Slow down and hear His voice
And know that He is God.


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Savoring the Moment

   I sat on our deck this morning.  An ordinary deck, really, in an ordinary neighbourhood in the Okanagan.  Was feeling thankful for the deck roof my hubby and a friend built a few years back...it creates this cozy space.  Even though we are surrounded by neighbours, we have this little oasis.

  We purchased a little fountain a few years ago too... it was a great investment, bought at the end of the season, at half price.  The sound of water gives the illusion that we are near a stream, and it is peaceful.  I love sitting there, and just listening, as the birds flit by.

  The vista we have is amazing.  Today I looked, I really looked.  I saw things I had never seen before.  A barn nestled in a grove of trees, close to Turtle mountain.  I started imagining what was in that barn... and the animals that might be around...

  As I sat, in my housecoat, wrapped in a quilt, I just enjoyed the moment.  Fresh coffee, a fresh morning.  Blueberries in my oatmeal... I savored the taste of them.  It is one of the pleasures of summer.  To really taste the freshness of fruit, so readily available.

  Yes, life can be crazy busy.  And sometimes crazy sad.  And it is so easy to go from one thing to the next, on this roller coaster we call life.  I feel called to the quietness.  We went on a vacation, but I didn't come home rested.  And then I realized, that I just need to enjoy what I have.

  The quiet moments... my deck calls me.  And the busyness of life, the busyness of my mind calms to a restful state, a thankful state... for all we have, for this moment in time.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Sometimes there is not much to say

Come sit with me a while.

There is not much to say.

There is companionship in silence.

So I listen... I heard a cow bellow today as we whizzed by on our bikes... "I heard you", I wanted to say...

I heard the cries of a little grandson... miles and miles away and yet I could touch him via the screen... the wonder of technology.

I listen to the distant sounds of traffic... people busy... going here and there, all in a hurry it seems.

I'm listening for the night sounds... the grasshoppers, the bugs, and sometimes we even hear a coyote's choir in the distance.

And I just want to sit as night falls.

And listen.

Sometimes listening can be a prayer.  To still myself to hear the beating of my own heart...
constant, steady, faithful...

And I pray that God would guard my heart
both physically and emotionally and spiritually...
It is a good prayer

As I sit.
And slow down.
And listen.

Thanks for listening with me.