December 1st, 2021; Rush To The Finish Line!

I awoke this morning with the thought that maybe December should be a month of “inventory ” as apposed to the final push to the finish. I thought maybe a pause to see and remember all of the accomplishments, and count all the items yet to be finished, and an account of what worked and what didn’t go so well.

December can be such a busy month, with all the holiday cheer, decorating, cooking, gathering, fun.

Would a pause now, break the pace? Or would a “water break” give us the energy to finish the year stronger?

Jesus while sitting by a well resting in Samaria, asked a woman for some refreshing water. As the discussion continued He told her that “if she only knew who He was, she would ask Him for a filling of living water”.

I personally think I could use a drink of living water, to finish this 2021 race strong. How about you, do you need a water break?

Self care, pause, rushing through life.

How quickly we can be swallowed fully into life.

We rush around forgetting to breath, forgetting to pray, just going through the motions.

The mind, the heart, the soul needs time to pause, to reflect, to catch up with the body.

In what way will you give yourself permission to pause today? How will you disconnect from life, to listen to hear the desires of the Lord connecting with your soul?

What

The Last 30 Days:”Live like you were dying”

What if today you found out you have just one month to live?

Hold on a second though, as your mind shifts into overdrive, a few parameters before you answer. One you are relatively healthy, meaning, you can do everything that you usually do. Two you have relative freedom. Three you only have your normal resources to work with.

Would your mind immediately start making a list?

What would be on your list?

Would you have all the jobs you have yet to complete still on your things to do list?

Would God come into focus, with all your screw ups that you suddenly feel an overwhelming need to repent of?

Would there be people you would want to reach out to? Mends to make? Love to show?

How about your spouse and your kids?

Do you need to explain anything, any action or inaction?

Would you finally clean out the clutter from your life?

Would you pursue every pleasure for your sight, sound, taste, smell and touch?

Would you try to bury any “ugly stuff” or would you clean it up?

What would you do with one month to live?

How would you, in the words of that ol’ country song (Tim McGraw), “live like you were dying”?

Surprising bursts of beautiful colour!

Purple

I have got to admit, although you may already know, I struggled through this summer. Because I struggled, and let my peace slip slowly away, I am tired.

What I have learned though, through this journey in life, is that when you are low, the Lord will send encouragement. Resources to lift you up, and encourage one more step.

Sometimes they seem to show up when it almost feels too late. It might be a brief encounter that flashes some heavenly light, but then leaves you wondering, “did I see that”.

Summer is over, though the beautiful weather lingers on, as a blessing to complete all the chores that have been left undone.

God is still good, His joy renews my strength. I may be tired, but I am not defeated. In His mercy and grace I will push on!

If you feel tired and weary, may my Lord grant you peace and rest, may He renew your strength, and raise you up, may His love fill you and be the energy you thrive upon.

Working on my creative space

Treasures inside, finches fluttering outside!

My treasures are not silver and gold but gifts given by my children, my family, and my Creator.

Surrounding myself with beautiful things… now to reach a level of peace and flow.

Keeping the clutter from drifting back in, in the physical and the soul, a challenge in a home that is full.

Fighting Demons

I want to write a book, publish a story, place interesting, thought provoking content on my blog.

As a thought, it’s okay, pretty easy and everything is calm. BUT…

One line, one chapter, one attempt and it wakes the demons from their slumber. “Your not good enough!” “Who would be interested in that?” “Can’t you see the world falling apart around you?” ” In the big picture, your words, your thoughts, who cares!”

Sometimes it’s a careless comment, or an attitude that crushes the soul a little more, time after time. Silencing the muse, because if the closest people don’t care…

Then the Voice comes, “what if it’s not for them? Go ahead write it anyway. The dance of your soul is the delight. Just go ahead and write!”

Today I fought the demons off! Today I chose to write.

Finally paddled the canyon

We live very close to one of the natural wonders of Ontario, Canada, the Barron Canyon. Crazy thing is I have only been there twice in the past nineteen years, once on the top, and now by canoe on the river.

Funny story, we talked about paddling the canyon (or any where) many times. I had loved canoeing when I was younger, but Tim had this friend that he had taken canoeing and let’s just say, she wasn’t the most stable person to ride with. A long time passed with no canoe trips. I lived in the shadow of a memory of another girl, lol.

Well I have finally broke free of the memory. We packed up a picnic, our friends, some towels, and the fishing gear and set off on a bright Saturday morning.

We arrived at Squirrel Rapids and got our flotilla unloaded and launched. We meandered along on the still waters, casting a line here and there and just enjoying life.

We came to the portage fairly quickly, but took our time exploring the little waterfall and catching and releasing a few bass and white fish.

The portage went fairly smoothly considering both Tim and I are struggling with pain.

Some of the kids took the opportunity to jump in a cool off before we continued on.

We had to take extra care here as the river is strewn with deadheads and rocks, still very navigable though.

We found we were not the only ones enjoying the fine September day, as we were delighted to see many painted turtles practicing their yoga poses and sunning themselves.

We decided to join up our flotilla and share a snack and some chat. The kids thought this was great. All to soon we continued on.

Sometimes we would playfully race each other, there was laughter and joy. My son Fred would greet almost everyone he met along the way.

We found a camp just on the edge of the canyon. We pulled into shore, stretched, used the rustic facilities, ate our lunch. The kids loved diving and jumping off the underwater ledge into the deep beyond. Tim enjoyed catching some little small mouth. I think all the kids cast a line here to “fight a bass”.

We surrendered our site to a family that wanted to camp over night. Packed up and launched off to continue our adventure.

I find it very hard to find words to describe the beauty and magnitude of the rock walls that surrounded us. There is something awe inspiring about the size of those cliffs and how tiny we are. I spent a lot of time trying and failing to capture it with my camera.

Soon we were to the other end and at the encouragement of my friend turned around and started our journey home. Funny thing was she thought it was later than it was, because she forgot she was wearing her sunglasses. Lol.

She was right though as after a long day paddling, the trip back was more challenging.

When we got back to the portage we learned what great friends we had. After a trip or two across the portage, Tim’s hip slipped and our friends helped carry across the last canoe. (I was not much help all day beyond carrying “stuff”, as my foot is still a mess.) Luckily lots of hands help. Team work at it’s best!

The last bit of the trip we were taking our time. The flotilla was stretched out quite far. Then the rain started and we hurried hard, dug in, made it to the landing.

I was sad to see the end of the day, but was certainly looking forward to falling into my bed after our adventure.

Seeking Solace

Last week was an unusually stress filled week. I was dealing with negative things I could not control. It was so negative, I actually went to the dentist just to relax!

I am usually a glass half full/overflowing type of person. I can distract myself with blessings and gratitude.

Last week I tried, I faked it, I reached for crutches, but really my insides just churned, and my body rebelled.

Saturday I was engaged with my daughter and her disc dog. That was fun. A bit of distraction.

Two 2nd place wins, happy girls

Sunday the family headed for “my happy place”, Algonquin Park. Usually I can sit and reflect, and feel the love of God through the beauty of creation wash over me.

This week surrounded by nature I struggled to find that peace. In fact I was grasped by such depression as I haven’t felt in a long time. Hopelessness in fact!

How can one feel so negative when witnessing such stunning scenes?

My journal didn’t help. Despair came over me. It held me in it’s claws!

I know in my heart, “be anxious for nothing, give it to God in prayer, with thanksgiving.” Sometimes it’s really difficult to do. Even when your faith is strong, your circumstances on this earth can be trying.

The moment that finally broke through my misery was when God gave me a fish. The fight, the surge of adrenaline, the success. Wasn’t a huge fish, but it was a fun fish. My smile in that moment became genuine.

Kickin’ bass!

For awhile it felt good to be alive. The trouble disappeared from my mind, and I found myself firmly planted in the moment.

As we packed up to come home, we all agreed what a great day it had been. No one knew of my struggle.

Exhaustion set in, it was hard to stay awake on the trip back. Something I try to do, to watch out for the eyes of animals along or on the road. The moon guided our path.

I fell into bed, crashed for the night.

I woke up thankful for a bass, that for a while, brought my heart and soul back to the present moment and gave a little burst of joy, a moment of solace.