Friday, February 27, 2015

What I Learned in February

Emily Freeman over at Chatting at the Sky (isn't that just a beautiful word picture of prayer by the way?) hosts a monthly link up to share what we have learned during the past month.  I am excited to join today. 

1. I am an ENFP according to the Myers Briggs Personality Types.

ENFP's are described as introverted extroverts.  This makes so much sense!  I love to be with people, but I stress out about unfamiliar social situations and I definitely crave long periods of silence and alone time.

2. The bar scene is not for me. 

Craig and I went to the concert of one of our favorite bands last week.  We have been to see this band in concert twice before and loved them... They were really great at the last concert we went to as well... What was not great was the 20-something girl in front of me stepping on my toes and whipping her ponytail in my face.  Like hello!  I am a real live human being standing here, please refrain from treating me like I'm invisible.

3. Audio books from the library are fantastic!

4. Forgiveness is giving up all hope for a better past. ~Lily Tomlin

5. I really enjoy working to music. 

A few of my current favorites are:
Geronimo by Sheppard
Never Thought That This Would Happen by Arkells
Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran
Love Is by Adam Cohen

Now it's your turn... what did you learn in February?

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4 Reasons Why I Love the Bible

Photo Credit: Meadow Scott

Wait a minute... Aren't you the girl who doesn't believe the story of Job actually happened? Well yes that's me, but just because I don't think all parts of the bible are historical events, or that everything is to be taken literally doesn't mean I don't love the bible.  Here's why I love it:

I love stories

The bible is a book bursting with story.  From Adam and Eve to Ruth to the story of Jesus birth.  Stories and not all happy ones.  Ruth's and Naomi's story is one of extreme sorrow and hardship.  Both widows in a time when a woman's value was wrapped up in the men of her family.  Ruth leaving behind everything familiar, with nothing except the guidance of Naomi and her new found God to rely on.  It is also an adventure story.  A courageous woman who seeks out provisions for herself and her mother in law.  Gleaning from a stranger's field where she doesn't know how she will be received.  Will the men of the field harm her?  
And then there's that crazy time that she sneaked on to the threshing floor.  A place full of men, most of them drunk and passed out by that point, being a lone woman in a place where the floor is covered in inebriated sleeping men is a dangerous thing even today! 
And what about laying at the feet of Boaz? Bold and brave that Ruth I tell ya.  
In the end Ruth is redeemed... she married Boaz... has a wee baby boy named Obed and eventually becomes the great grandmother of King David.  
A great story right?  And there are many others that I love to read and learn from.

It's the best resource we have to learn about Jesus

Matthew, Mark, Luke and John... although they might not always agree with one another... they've got the skinny on the life of Jesus.  The gospels tell us about the ways Jesus taught, how He treated His fellow man, the things that were important to Him.  They let us glimpse the constant closeness Jesus has with the Father.  And they allow us to imitate these things as much as we possibly can.

The text is rich and deep

I once followed a reading plan of read the chapter of Proverbs that falls on whatever date of the month it is.  For example on January 17th you would read Proverbs 17.  I did this for maybe 3 months highlighting what stood out to me and scribbling notes along side the verses I highlighted.  I found that even though I had read the same words over and over I discovered new things each time I read them.

It's also very interesting to slowly dig down into the layers of scripture.  Take the parable of the prodigal son.  There are so many themes that could be explored here. 
The ungrateful son asking for his inheritance and insulting his father (breaking commandment number 5 by the way). Lesson we take from this?  Don't break your father's heart. 
 Then he squanders his money on things of no lasting value and ends up broke... so broke that he has to eat pig slop.  Lesson learned from this? Be wise with what you have.
Then he decides that it would be better to be a servant of his father's than to live in the squalor he's in. There are so many lessons from that one little part.  Being humble, returning to where you are loved and cared for, not expecting to take the easy road back into someones heart.  
And if we compare this part of the story to heaven, it is better to be a lowly servant in the presence of God than to be without him.  
The parable of course goes on and there are other lessons to glean from it because it is so rich and deep. 

The peace 

There is a peace that enters my heart when I read the bible.  Praying psalms is comforting and it gives me the words to say when I have none of my own. Reading about the love of Jesus and the miracles he did sometimes send me over the moon.  I literally raise my open hands and close my eyes and offer silent prayers of thanks at times.  These words fill me up. 

Do I still struggle with the bible?  Yes, but it's a bit like a marriage, because there is great love the struggle is worth it and I am willing to come back again and again to try to reconcile my discomfort with it's words. 

How about you? Tell me why do you love the bible? What are your favorite stories?

The List

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Thankful Thursday #28

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Welcome to Thankful Thursday!  Feel free to grab a button and link up your own Thankful Thursday list below.
Goats Milk Lattes
Crunchy ice.

This week I am thankful for:

Crunchy ice... you know those thin bits of ice on a puddle on a cold morning that you can shatter with the sole of your shoe.  It's such a satisfying little ritual when I head outside to feed animals and bring in wood.

My Grandma... My kiddos spent two nights at her house this week so that I could have some serious me time.  She put up with some lost sleep and the constant chatter of a certain 3 year old which she is not used to.  Thank You Grandma!

My Dad... He delivered Jemima's new goat pen to my house... and Craig for putting it together.

Audio books... I am seriously loving being able to fill my head with learning while driving.  My favorites this week have been The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau and Daring Greatly by Brene` Brown

Farm fresh eggs... I don't want to jinx it, so I won't tell you that my chickens have been laying really well and I have been enjoying delicious over easy eggs and toast for breakfast.

What are you thankful for this week?

The List

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

What To Write to Your Sponsored Child's Mother.

I know it's only the end of February and Mother's Day seems very far away... but it's the perfect time to talk about what to write to your sponsored child's mother for Mother's Day.

Write about why you chose her child to sponsor

We chose our Compassion International children because they are each close in age to one of our three children and we hoped that would help our children to know what to write to their far away friends.

Tell her you love her child

Let her know that her child is precious to you.  That he or she is a part of your family.  That you are so happy to be their sponsor.  Tell her that you pray for her child often and that his or her picture is on your fridge (or where-ever you display it).

Be encouraging

Thank her for letting you be part of her child's life. Tell her that she is a good mama and she is providing wonderful opportunities for her child. 
Maybe include a poem, a quote or a scripture that relates to motherhood.

What are your ideas?  Are you sending your sponsored child's mother a letter for Mother's Day?

Linking up with Mary over at Giving Up on Perfect for Works for Me Wednesday.

The List

In Which I Get My Hands Dirty

Here we are!  Cup sculptors!

My friend Sarah saw it first... 4 Cats Art Studio was having a workshop called Make a Cuppa so she tagged a bunch of us on Facebook that she thought would be interested... six of us signed up and eagerly waited for our evening to build our own mug.
Now I like to think I'm pretty artsy, maybe craft is a better word if you will... but actually molding something out of clay with my own two hands and a few tools made me feel nervous.  

Then the little gnat of comparison invades my head even before I get there... so and so is WAY more artsy than me and I bet that other so and so already has a million ideas.  She's so creative.
I try to remember that I too am creative, I can make art, I am and have enough.
Cup 1 with a heart handle.

The day comes and I button on my denim chambray shirt... because it makes me feel more artsy.  We are presented with two intimidating slabs of clay.  Eek!  We really are creating these vessels from scratch!

Thankfully Jenny our instructor has rules and one of them is "It's no big deal." ( I may be attempting to adopt that into my home life... stay tuned).

Deep breath and here we go, getting my hands dirty, taking the risk... and it actually turned out!

Were my cups perfect?  No... but they are kinda cute and I may plant herbs or succulents in them instead of drinking tea from them... but that's a success in my books!

Cup 2 with the curly handle.
What is your favorite way to create art? Have you taken any artsy risks lately?

Monday, February 23, 2015

We Did It! Coldest Night of The Year 2015!

Sweet toque selfie!
I must admit I feel a little guilty that our Coldest Night of the Year walk in Kamloops was like 7C and I read that Brampton Ontario was -18C.  I guess it's a perk of living in the balmy dessert?  I'm kicking myself for not getting a picture of our team, but I will vouch that they were there... Thank you for joining me Sarah, Wyatt, Corene, Dad, Shar and Meadow (and Julie L who was cheering us on from home with a sore foot).

Meadow Pre-walk sporting her touque
I am so proud of my Meadow girl!  She raised $85 and walked the whole 5km... refusing grandpa John's offers of shoulder rides the whole way.  When we got home she promptly had a hot bath and I rubbed her tired feet (she giggled and wiggled because she's so ticklish) and she went to sleep for 13+ hours.
Dad and Shar ready to go!
As a team we raised $555.00 for our local New Life Mission and the entire event brought in more that $40,000.00.  Kamloops is a generous place!

It was fantastic to see so many familiar faces in the crowd.  Neighbors and friends and folks I haven't seen in ages!
We're planning to have more people on our team next year so keep that in mind!
My brilliant niece Abby rocking out to the tunes.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Let's Talk About Our Privilege

On Tuesday my sweetie took me out on an amazing date to celebrate Valentine's Day. I felt like I was being wooed and wined (well gin and tonic-ed) and dined. We feasted on muscles and scallops.  Perfectly cooked steak and duck in cherry sauce. Decadent desserts finishing our meal.  We were stuffed and clearly content.  We left the restaurant and walked to the car.  The air outside was way to cold for the thin cardigan I was wearing. My steps were quick and I flew into my seat eager to turn on the seat warmer.

Craig and I talked back and forth.  Sometimes about shallow things, occasionally diving deeper into the pond of conversation topics. Then he said it... with bit of a chuckle and not intending to lay down any guilt he said "We spent more on that dinner than some people spend on food for a whole week."

There is was staring me in the face.  The struggle between being thankful for the incredible gifts I have been given and realizing the overwhelming privilege I have. It is a battle to stave off the shame of indulgence and find joy in the the extravagant when brothers and sisters around the world are trying to stretch their meager food stores to last just one more day.

Raspberry Brownie, Hazelnut Cheesecake and Creme Brulee
Because the truth is I loved that Craig loves me abundantly, showering affection and luxury on me for these extraordinary nights out.  I am thankful for the tiny table and the crunchy creme brulee topped with cinnamon and a raspberry (and the hazelnut cheese cake if we're being totally honest). I'm thankful for the efforts he made beforehand, making a reservation and choosing this lovely restaurant.

Yet mixed with that attitude of gratitude there is sadness for people who don't know those same gifts. Those who don't know where their next meal is coming from.

I'm not sure how to reconcile this privilege with the mandate to feed the hungry right now... Other than to give what I have in each opportunity placed on the path I'm walking and be very grateful for what I am given.

How do you reconcile your privilege with others lack? Is it possible to be both generous and indulgent?