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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Something I Will Not Miss about Life in Canada

See this?  This is Faith's sock drawer.  Notice the lack of matching pairs.
I will not miss finding their non-existent matching friend.
I will not miss wearing them.
I will not miss folding them (ok I've mostly given up on that anyway)
There are many things (most of them people) that I will miss about life in Canada, but socks is NOT one of them.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Uprooting the Mighty Oak Tree

Nine Years ago when Phil and I landed back in Canada I had the itchiest of feet.  I wanted to get on another plane and live somewhere else.  Not that I didn't love my family and friends here, but I felt so disconnected, and I longed for a life of adventure.

When we got married and Phil still had not gotten a job anywhere, the realization that we might be here to stay started to trickle in.  We would have to find somewhere to live other than my sisters attic.  I remember the feeling that getting an apartment, signing a one year lease felt like such a commitment, a root being put down and I was fighting against it, HARD.

This morning I trudged through the 'surprise winter isn't over!' snow, kissed Luke good-bye for the day and then walked Faith into the school where her class was waiting in line, out of the cold.  Faiths' classmates all greeted her with happy hellos, and then I heard a small voice say, 'That's my best friend'.  My breath caught in my chest.  It was Bella.  She and Faith are like night and day, she is so quiet and Faith so boisterous but yet they have found a great new friendship.  As I walked across the blustery school yard on my way back home, I fought tears.  The reality of leaving everyone we know and love cuts deep, and I try my best not to go there if I can avoid it.  But hearing that little voice say 'That's my best friend' ripped open the hermetically sealed emotions like a knife through a water balloon and I found myself an hour later with all the water rushing out in heaving sobs on my bed.  This doesn't just affect us it affects our kids and other peoples kids.

I started to think about all the friendships we have formed in the last nine years, and the ones that have been there for many years but have grown richer as we have experienced marriage, the birth of our children and the death of loved ones together. And don't even get me started on the bonds within our family-especially those we have shared a house with for the past four years.

The root we put down when we rented that first apartment has grown into a mighty oak, uprooting it is really painful.

As I lay there on my bed, giving myself permission to feel all the rawness of the emotion of saying good-bye I prayed and asked God again 'Are we doing the right thing?'  And at that moment a memory came to me.  In November, my sister and I took my kids and her son to Disney.  I realized that time was short and I wanted to make some memories.  The night before we left, my son was crying, sad sad sobs because he was going to miss 'Zero the Hero Day' at school.  I felt bad that he was so sad to think about what he was missing, but at the same time I knew what we were about to do would be so fun.  Luke, however, having never been to Disney had no idea what he was heading into, all he could think of was what he would miss.  I felt like there was a message in that memory for me.  Although I will definitely miss all our friends and family here more than I can properly express in words,  I am trusting that God knows what is ahead, and that what He has planned for us is good.

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Living in the Moment

I am not a short blogger.  This is what I am discovering.  So, hopefully I don’t lose you all with my ramblings.  The past two weeks have felt a bit like an earthquake in our lives.  The ground just doesn’t feel as firm beneath our feet.  We are seeing everything and everyone around us with new eyes.  Hugs are more frequent, kisses last longer and my husband and I who are not cuddlers by nature, fall asleep hands entwined, just wanting the warm assurance of the others presence.  Our world has been rocked.

In times of trouble, may the Lord answer your cry.” Psalm 20:1

But through the sorrow and the pain we feel and see God at work in our lives and the lives of those who loved our dear friend, Rob Hall. Over a thousand people attended the funeral/life celebration.  I have never experienced anything like it.  It was such an incredible tribute to a life well lived.  Seeing a family truly live out their faith 'not my will Lord, but yours be done' is so overwhelming, inspiring.  We heard stories about his life, sang songs of worship, wept and laughed, it was beautiful, heartbreaking, joyful and uplifting.  The presence of God was palpable in the voices of 1,000 people singing ‘He Loves Us’ from their souls.

Our church has prayed and feels unanimously that moving to Brazil to help those in need is  God's plan for us, the Xtreme Mercy board for Xingu Mission has voted unanimously,  we are on a track now, we are trusting God and His plans for our lives.  It's a scary place some days but it's also an exciting place to be living in.  The journey before us has taken on new meaning and new significance.  Not that it wasn’t meaningful before because it was, but I guess we’ve just had a stark reminder that our lives can be so much shorter than we realize, there’s no guarantee here.  If at first it made us recoil and want to stay here, where everything is comfortable and ‘safe’ where we have an incredible network of friends and family whom we love intensely, it has now made us realize that this life we’ve been given it truly is a gift and should be used to it’s best potential.  

This is not to say that if you are not packing your bags and selling your house to move to another continent to help those in need, you’re wasting your days, but what I am saying is that when opportunity knocks at your door you need to answer.  And opportunity knocks in your neighbourhood, in your workplace, in the coffee shop.  Every day we have the opportunity to make the lives of others happier, to make our own lives fuller.  But we have to live in the present, in this moment.  In his blog Rob wrote, ‘Lean into the things in front of you and there you will find God’s Kingdom’, yes he was a wise man.   It is so easy in our lives to be constantly living a week, a month even a year ahead of ourselves, blind to what is right in front of us. WE ARE SO BUSY.

‘God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts.  Use them well to serve one another’ 1 Peter 4:10

So I issue a challenge to you, as you get through your day today, notice someone in need and see how you can fill that need.  That’s it.  Then, do it again tomorrow and the next day. Every day be present in the moment.

May you have ‘Ears to hear and eyes to see-both are gifts from the Lord’ Proverbs 20:12

Be blessed and bless others.

For more information about Rob’s family and how you can help fill their needs visit: