Love and Forgiveness

I heard these two songs within a few minutes of each other while driving tonight. Hearing the second after the first made me so thankful for this advent season and the coming of Love that enables Forgiveness.

 

I barely understand – like I’m standing on the edge something big and deep that I can only see a tiny bit of, but I know it’s something worth exploring. Something about the juxtaposition of these just drew me in.

Road 2 Hope

Winter is coming.

I’m dreading it already.

My mood has not been great lately. I struggle with mild depression, and the past few weeks have been hard. I don’t want to get out of bed, the most basic of tasks seems overwhelming, the smallest glitch in the day can move me to tears. The idea of adding dark and cold to my current circumstances is enough to make me want to hibernate.

I know the things that make me feel better – exercise, sunshine, good music, time with friends. But when I’m in this place moving toward those things – even when I know they’ll make me feel better – seems too hard. Exercise especially. I haven’t exercised in ages. This seems to correspond with my inability to fit into any of my clothes, which doesn’t make me feel any better about myself.
 
 
I was talking with a friend yesterday who also struggles with depression. She spoke about how it’s hard to to muster the energy to do things – even good things that she enjoys. This week she had dinner with a friend, and before they left, they scheduled their next dinner, because otherwise it wouldn’t happen. I decided I need to apply the same logic to exercise. Scheduling it in to make it happen, so that I don’t let my feelings direct my actions (or, inaction).
 
And so…I’ve decided to run a 10K as part of the City Kidz Road 2 Hope Hamilton Marathon on November 1st.
 
sneaker leaves
 
I’ve never run a 10K before…I tried to run 5 on the weekend and discovered that even that was harder than I remembered (it had been awhile), so this is going to be a bit of a challenge. I’m going to have to make a training schedule and stick with it. But I think that scheduled regular exercise is going to be a key component to my being well this winter. And so, as it’s called “Road 2 Hope” I’m thinking of it as MY road to hope as well.
 
…and my road to fitting back into my favourite jeans.
 
                                                                                                                             *****
city kidz
Road 2 Hope Hamilton Marathon is a fundraiser for City Kidz – a fantastic program serving children from low-income families in my neighbourhood. Would you consider sponsoring me as I run in support of this great cause? 
 
                                                                  >>>  CLICK HERE TO SPONSOR ME! <<<
 
Thanks!
 
 
 
 

Let Me Be Singing

A mama friend posted this on facebook last night:

status pic

I was immediately brought back to that place of frustration and desperation, walking the floor with my own wee boys. Her positivity and determination to dance through the difficulty inspired me.

This morning in church, we sang this song, which also happened to be one of the ones she posted following that initial status.

I was struck when we got to the line

Whatever may come, and whatever lies before me

Let me be signing when the evening comes.

Evening isn’t the easiest time of day around here. Our kids are still not great at bedtime, and Ezra hasn’t embraced the transition from a crib to a bed quite as quickly as we had hoped. By evening we are tired, short on patience, frustrated with the kids, and snippy with each other. When we got to those words this morning “…let me be singing when the evening comes…”  it grabbed my attention. Evening. Let me be singing. During the hardest part of my day.

Usually when I get to that line “Whatever may come…” I think grand scale:

Job loss? Whatever may come…let me be singing.

Illness? Whatever may come…let me be singing.

Loss of a loved one? Whatever may come…let me be signing.

It’s easy for me to say resolutely, in those far-removed, possible, but less-frequent scenarios “Let me be singing!” But today, the evening really struck me. What does it mean to “Bless the Lord” and have a spirit of gratefulness and joy through those difficult things I encounter day in, day out. What does it look like to “Rejoice in the Lord always” (Phil 4:4)?

I don’t know, exactly, but I do know that I need to think about it, to check my attitude, and to be reminded in the middle of the daily (nightly?) grind that I can still sing.

And so, to remind me, I made this:

I put it up on the wall outside the boys’ bedroom.

Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me…

Ezra leaving his room for the 34th time…
Haydon telling Ezra to call for Mummy through the vents…
Ezra beside my bed at 1:47am asking for mummy milk…
Haydon yelling from his bed at 2:43am that he’s scared and needs his blankets fixed…

photo (24)

Let me be singing when the evening comes.

*****

(Speaking of singing through hard things, my friend Leanne Friesen preached a brilliant sermon at this year’s True City Conference called “Singing Songs in Strange Lands” you should totally click on that and listen to it.)

*****

Need your own reminder? Click here for a FREE printable PDF!

Something

photo (23)

On Sunday I had breakfast with our fam at the most glorious discovery of a restaurant/bookshop ever (more on that later) and picked up this lovely little gem of a book that is one of those delicious reads – you know, one in which almost every paragraph you can (and should) stop and suck on for awhile. And then I read this and both talked about how art is something we participate in as servants – that we can be obedient to the art that’s calling us or not, and I just need to start obeying. I feel the call, and my insecurity keeps convincing me that I can’t or shouldn’t, but I just need to, meager as it may be.

So here I am, again. I always hesitate because I feel like I don’t have a polished message. Or, the flipside, like I’m vainly broadcasting a false reality. And then I remind myself that I called this place “Journalling the Journey”  for a reason. Perhaps it’s the equivalent of crayons on the page of a kindergarten notebook, but it’s something. Something.

I just finished scrubbing the kitchen floor, after putting it off for, well, too long. Angry as anything at the crazies that we’d been wrestling (literally and metaphorically) to bed for far too long. I scrubbed (anger seems to help scrubbing), and pondered parenting and villages, after a week on holiday with extended family. Today, my first day back to reality, alone with the boys, and no run, and no shower, and just me to do the 3 meals and the 3 meals worth of dishes. There really is something to be said about community…

Aside from the blood-boiling bedtime, we had a pretty nice day, me and those crazies. Library, lunch with friends (ha! want crazy? 7 children for last minute lunch counts, I think), quiet time, outside time. I filled the kiddie pool and they immediately added mud and what do I care if they’re playing happily? I weeded alongside them, trying to tame our yard-turned-jungle while we were away.

It’s still an overgrown mess. But it’s something. Something.

 

 

Camping. Remember.

H Hammock

 

 

 

 

We slowed

and played.

IMAG0105

h fire

 

 

 

 

I watched them,

saw new things,

took delight in the them -

as they are

andE fire

as they are

becoming.

 

 

 

 

 

 

tent sleepers

 

 

I woke early, that last morning,

slipped from the tent

picked up my books

turned my chair

from the fire

to the sunrise.

 

 

 

sunrise through trees

Why don’t we always

turn

toward

the

Light?

 

    *photo source