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.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

God is not in a Hurry

We've been listening to Pastor Bobby Schuller of Hour of Power most Sunday afternoons and he has a creed he recites with his church every week.  One of the statements they repeat is "I don't have to hurry, I don't have to worry". 

I have been repeating those words because they are good for me.  The creed goes on to say that our friend Jesus is with us, helping us on the journey. 

"I don't have to hurry, I don't have to worry" are good words for slowing the steps, for slowing the heart, for taking deep breaths, for paying attention. 

Last night I was doing some calendar planning.  September can come upon us like a moving train with all sorts of start-ups and programs.  For years I have felt like I need a holiday after September, there is so much to do, from harvest to meetings, and everything in between.

And I think, how can I do this better?

Deliberately slowing down is a start.  Sometimes I have to break this down, do I take time in between tasks to have that cup of tea, to be still?

Planning ahead has also made such a difference in a full life. 

As I look at my September calendar I can have that conversation with God... where do I take time to rest?  What do I need to prepare for so I am ready?  Do I have spaces in my life so when the unexpected comes I am not exhausted?

These are the questions I ask myself, and wrestle with at times.

And I think of my Heavenly Father, our Creator who is NOT in a hurry.  I see that in the garden, where there is growth, but we cannot see it. 

Sometimes we want to rush God a bit... it is hard when we are in a waiting place and want to see results.  There was one prayer request I prayed that God took twenty five years to answer... and I despaired at times. 

"In His time" is a song we sing... and it is true.  God makes all things beautiful in His time.  If we rush it, like helping a rose to bloom before it is ready, we spoil the beauty. 

There is surrender in that... and peace.  We can relax, knowing that life will enfold as it should, that we can trust God with our very lives.  "I don't have to hurry, I don't have to worry", words I am humming these days... because we can trust our Creator who sees the bigger picture!

Monday, August 20, 2018

An Ode to our Beautiful Province... that is burning

I wrote about smoke last week.

It is the topic of conversation everywhere... smoky skies, fire and how it affects us.

These words came to me today:

Beautiful British Columbia
on fire
My home

there is a heaviness in the air
It seems our world has become

Black and white
We long for colour
We are known for colour!

Flowers still blooming, 

trees rise up to greet the day, 
do they feel the smoke?

Other trees give way to torches, 

lighting up the sky
sacrifices to the great fires that 
cannot be contained.

There is a soberness we feel, 

a somberness
for as we live and breathe, 
we are all affected.

we feel it, 

we see it, 
we even smell it.

this can't be turned off like
tonight's news which just has more
of the same.

clogging our lungs
threatening our health
impacting our world.

This too shall pass

we look for hope. 

grateful for all the helpers
praying for their endurance
and health
and safety.

prayers for all affected.

Beautiful BC
We often take our home for granted
may we have wisdom
to be good caregivers
as we live in this place
of beauty.

smoky skies in Vernon earlier this week
on Saturday they said the air quality was worse that Beijing.

In Northern BC it is worse.

Praying for all our friends who are affected.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Pausing to give thanks on a Smoky Day

There are many tributes and gestures of thanks to firefighters this time of year... and there should be. I can’t imagine fighting in the heat, breathing in the acrid air, charging into dangerous areas encumbered with heavy protective garb and hauling heavy equipment.

This year there are so many fires and not enough manpower. The task is enormous and the threat real.  We can't thank firefighters enough for risking their lives to fight those fires.

We also offer thanks to those who must manage all these logistics... sending out crews, informing the public, making decisions about evacuations. Often a thankless job.

There are so many to thank, if you think of it.

First responders, search and rescue, ambulance crews all deserve our gratefulness. Being the first on tragic scenes takes a toll.

Hospital ER staff, Victims Assistance personnel, and support staff  all experience things we cannot imagine, seeing the rawness of life unfolding.  They respond to tragedy with professionalism and calm.  They are appreciated!

Working in a hospital, I often observe the challenges health providers face.  Vomit basins, bed pans and wound care are  just part of the job. What I am touched by is the sense of dignity a nurse can offer when a patient is most vulnerable. This takes inner strength and compassion.  Doctors make decisions we can't even fathom, the responsibility that rests on them is great.  The body and mind is complex and we expect much of them, not often giving thanks.

A whole blog could be dedicated to social workers; their workloads often overwhelming and the needs are great.. I’d like to thank those who clean surgical equipment (did you ever think about that), and those who keep the hospital clean.

While we are mindful of those who risk their lives, there are many who work challenging jobs that benefit us all. 

After a plumbing disaster last month I find myself very thankful for plumbers. I can’t imagine that is a fun job, but I was so thankful for the help I received that day. Watching roofers working on our neighbours roof last week got me thinking about the risks they face, working on steep roofs in all kinds of weather. It makes me think of my own hubby often climbing ladders up high to paint houses, and I pray for his safety!  These are all professions we can take for granted, but when we need them it makes all the difference.

Have you ever been thankful for a dentist?  Given my love for visiting them, I can’t imagine choosing that profession. But when I get a toothache... a year ago I had a weird growth in my mouth that even perplexed the dentist. But his calm manner and gentle treatment put me at ease and he was able to resolve it.

And then there are undertakers. Have you ever thanked one?  Or a coroner?  They too are touched by tragedy and offer professionalism while caring for bodies that held life...

So thank you... to the helpers. Too many to mention. To those who face the unimaginable, to those who face danger, to those whose jobs might be mundane but keep us safe or healthy, or provide the things we take for granted.

As I sit here on this smoky day, gratitude is a good exercise. Grumbling is easy, gratitude changes our frame of mind.

So, thank you!

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

To the End of the World and the Top of the World

It started with a walk with my grandsons some years ago now; my hubby and I had taken them on a wagon ride in our neighbourhood and at the end of the street, there is a deep gully and magnificent views of the lake and hills.

"Are we at the end of the world?" the oldest one asked.  In his four year old eyes, it certainly seemed that way. 

So the end of the world it became, and we have taken many wagon rides with them enjoying the world of imagination.  I even wrote a little book for them about it, complete with pictures. 

The story is about the little green wagon and how it finds the end of the world.  Of course all the grandchildren want to go, but some live far away. 

This past week two more little grandchildren got to see the end of the world.  They live far away and it was so wonderful to have them here.  The littlest one wasn't even born when I wrote the story. 

"Would you like to go to the end of the world", I asked the five year old?  I showed him the book.  "Oh, we have that book," he said!"  Well of course, I had sent it to them!  But now we dusted off the green wagon and with their daddy's help navigated our way to the end of the world.  So much fun!!

This spring we took three of our grandchildren on another walk on the hills behind our place, and as we climbed, I casually mentioned we might be now going to the top of the world.  Another place of imagination!  

I walked there myself today... the views from up there always stun me; the everchanging cloud formations, the birds soaring overhead, the grasses dancing in the mid-summer heat, the lakes shimmering below.  

It fills me with gratefulness.  And even though I can jest with the little ones that we are on top of the world, I'm also taken in with the vastness of God's beauty, the depth of the skies, the beauty as far as I can see.  And I know this is just a small corner of the world, and an even smaller corner in the vastness of the universe.  

And yet I am seen... and loved... by the Creator who made it all.  "I'm on the top of the world" goes that Carpenter song... yes that is true. Wherever I am, the One who made me is there too.  There is so much comfort in that thought.  

from the "top" of my world, August 8, 2018