Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Welcoming the New Year

It really doesn't seem that long ago since we rang in the New Millennium with emergency plans just in case Y2K was the disaster that had been foretold. But that was fourteen years ago. Back then I was nineteen years old and working in an assembly line in a factory. That summer my older sister was married and I began university in that fall shortly after entering my twenties.

I have since acquired a BA, a college diploma in Practical Nursing, and some life experience that I'd like to think has taught me wisdom. I am now a nurse and just starting out in the foot care nursing field after getting my certification in advanced foot care nursing this past summer. My sister is now a mother of four children and my youngest sister is seventeen and anticipating entering university in the fall of 2014.

2013 was a year of growth and change. At the end of April I stopped working with the client I had been working with full-time. At the end of June I began my foot care course and by the end of August I had my certificate. In September I began working part-time at a school while looking for a job in foot care nursing. This year has been one of personal and spiritual growth, especially in the last twelve weeks as I pursued personal goals with the help of life coach. I am growing closer to God and learning to hear his voice and I am increasing in confidence and gaining a sense of hope and purpose.

I have been spending the last days of 2013 with a dear friend. We are going to welcome the New Year with hopes of good things to come. This year I am planning on doing a devotional study about learning to deepen my level of communication with Jesus; this study was a gift from my mentor. New Years resolutions range from the mundane resolve to floss every single day to the more profound goal to deepen my existing friendships and to make new friends through a more active social life and volunteer opportunities. I also resolve to exercise more, eat less, and lose some excess weight.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Fall Projects

This fall I have working on two life projects with the help of a mentor who is coaching me. One of them is jumpstarting my career as a foot care nurse and the other one is growing my relationship with God. This week something happened that could lead me on a path to discouragement and despair, but thankfully I think I will learn from this event and grow by it. My coach pointed out that were this to happen two years ago, I would have been a basket-case, but that I am not at all the same person I was then. This encourages me that I am making steady progress and that I should not give up. The night is always darkest before dawn.

The passage in "Jesus Calling" yesterday really spoke into my situation: "Leave outcomes up to me. Follow Me wherever I lead, without worrying how it will all turn out. Think of your life as an adventure, with Me as your Guide and Companion. Live in the now, concentrating on staying in step with Me. When our path leads to a cliff, be willing to climb it with My help. When we come to a resting place, take time to be refreshed in My Presence. Enjoy the rhythm of life lived close to Me" (Sarah Young, 338).

Just what I needed to hear as someone who finds a lot to worry about. I am glad Jesus is with me to be my guide, even if sometimes I don't really want to climb that cliff. Living in the now and focusing on the path just ahead of you, instead of worrying what will happen in your future life, is good advice, but it is hard to do. The message to leave the outcomes up to God, gives me a sense of peace and calm, even in the midst of times of turmoil and uncertainty.

I find that as I listen, I do hear God's voice and my relationship with God becomes based less on fleeting emotion and more based on trust and assurance. In the past couple of weeks I have worked on breaking wrong thought patterns, a work in progress which involves recognizing lies you have believed and replacing them with truth from scripture. I have also been attending more times of corporate prayer and Immanuel sessions this fall. Immanuel sessions are times when you, guided by a coach, seek a connection with Jesus in which you can hear his voice and find out what he wants you to know. He might take you to a place or memory that will help you resolve a recurring pattern in your life, or he might just tell you that he loves you, as many times as it takes you to believe it.

I will close with a passage from Psalm 27:13-14 which is referenced in "Jesus Calling" for November 19 and which inspires and encourages me in my journey this fall:
"I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living, Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD."

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Fasting From Facebook

I have left Facebook for an extended period before and I have also blogged about it previously here. Essentially I am addicted to Facebook. Some people might be able to use it casually as a useful social networking tool, using it to schedule face time with friends, or to connect with long lost pals, or to answer the burning question whatever happened to Mary-Lou. But that's not how I have been using Facebook, and some days I was logging in more than 30 times. I had to read all my news feed and some of my Facebook friends who I barely knew when they were my university classmate I now "knew" from their frequent status updates and photos. It wasn't that I was an obsessive lurker of profiles, but if it was in my feed chances are I had read it or seen it. I didn't comment a lot on threads, and I usually only posted a status update once a week and liked several posts or pictures daily. At least that's how it's been lately. There was a time when I posted and commented and liked much more frequently.

It wasn't merely the frequency of my logging into Facebook or the time wasted that is problematic, it is the envious feelings that Facebook helps to provoke. Seeing so many of my peers settled into a life, mother to two or three or four children, happily married for three to ten years, made me dissastified with my single, childless life. Seeing one former classmate land position after position, juggling multiple nursing jobs and advancing in her career, made me feel sadly inferior. Why couldn't I simply be happy for these friends and why must I compare our circumstances? Jealousy had become like a sickness for me and Facebook was assisting its viral spread.

I was well aware of my unhealthy addiction to Facebook and the issues of envy and discontent with my life that it was compounding. So when I received the message "get rid of Facebook" during a time of prayer, while sitting in a church sanctuary, I knew who was asking and I knew why. I told God I would wait until I had finished my current Scrabble games and then I would deactivate my account. In the meantime I continued to use Facebook much as before, and started to wonder if I had really heard from God to remove Facebook from my life. I rationalized and equivocated, but I knew that I needed to follow the directive. So today I began my Facebook fast. I realize that I have issues I need to deal with that go far beyond an addiction to Facebook. However it is the first necessary step in a detoxification process. The duration of the fast and whether I can eventually be a casual user of this social networking site again I don't know. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013


Although I enjoy singing and listening to music, I am not one of those people who can consistently sing in the right key. When I was a child in Sunday school, I was one of the loudest singers, although not the most harmonic and one day a teacher took me aside and asked that I sing a little quieter so they could hear the other children. After that I guess I was more subdued as after a school production, someone (a fan of my joyful noise) came up to me and expressed their disappointment that they couldn't hear my singing, melodic songbird that I was. I took part in a Kiwanis Festival in grade one and I sang a song called "I have a loose tooth". I earned a Silver. Another memory involves a school presentation in which I was the little one in the song "There are five in the bed and the little one said 'Roll over. Roll over.'" Except in my case it sounded more like Woe ovah Woe ovah because I had difficulty pronouncing my l's and r's.

I remember in grade two at my new school shortly after we came to Hamilton, a group of girls were instructed to sing our memory work. My enthusiastic rendition soon left the other girls speechless and they were giggling and listening to me finish the song by myself.

I never joined our school choir as I had heard from girls in my older sister's class that a previous year the choirmaster had had every one close their eyes and had tapped individuals on the head if he didn't like their voices. I remember in grade five I sang my memory work to my teacher out in the hall and she said "you have a nice voice, why aren't you in choir?"

When a very small child, I can recall answering the question about what I wanted to be when I grew up as that I wanted to be either a singer or a missionary. I would invent my own songs as young children do. But eventually I realised I had more enthusiasm for singing than actual talent. Nowadays I occasionally sing in the shower or along to a cd I am listening to, I sing in church with the music happily drowning out my voice, or I join my non-musical family in our horrendous version of Happy Birthday whether at a birthday meal or on the phone to a far away family member.  The other day my client at the school where I work asked me to sing her a song and I sang to her "The Sound of Music" rather quietly, relieved when she lost interest and my voice could peter out. I might not be the songstress I once dreamed of being, but singing can be fun, provided you don't have an audience of discerning critics. I am happiest singing loudly and not being able to hear myself.

Friday, September 13, 2013


At first I thought it was the fact I didn't sound very interesting or that my lack of social life somehow seeped into my profile. Sure I didn't highlight the detail that I still live with my parents or that at thirty-some odd years old, I haven't been in a long-term relationship. But reading between the lines, maybe it was all too clear that my Friday nights were most often spent at home, reading, watching a movie for the first or fifth time or challenging my mother to a game of Scrabble. I have to admit my first dating profile, back when I joined ChristianCafe sounded a lot more appealing than my latest incarnation on Match.com.

Then I wondered if it could be my advancing age? Back then I was under thirty. Or perhaps my profile pictures were not attractive enough? Or maybe my understated expression about the importance of faith in my life was off-putting both to non-believers, who I didn't really want to attract anyway, and believers, who maybe felt it didn't go far enough. A friend had suggested I downplay this emphasis since a previous profile had sounded too religious. 

Maybe if I took a break and tried to achieve a more interesting and appealing life, I could return to the world of online dating and write a better profile? One that would attract some interest and, more importantly, lead to a real-life connection with Mr. Right?

I read some articles and had some discussions about dating websites and Christian dating websites and grew more disheartened. It seemed a lot of guys use Christian websites who aren't who they claim to be and who find Christian dating websites a means to better exploit vulnerable women. And many men use online dating to hook up with no need to commit or settle down and an endless array of women to choose from. It certainly appeared that the only men I was attracting was divorcees and men in their fifties. And then there was that guy who contacted me from an American prison.

In talking to a male friend who wasn't a Christian, I almost despaired of the existence of men of integrity who weren't addicted to porn and who were committed to sexual purity. Almost, but I realised I knew many men who were men of integrity and honour. My friend's view that "all men are pervs" should not cause me to doubt that there were men who were godly, respectful of women, and, even if they were sometimes tempted by lust, had made a covenant with their eyes not to look at a woman lustfully. Men who saw women as more than objects.

In my forays in online dating, I have written many profiles, I have chatted with some men, exchanged emails back and forth, and have even met some individuals in person, many of whom were decent people. I haven't found the One and I have wondered if the One even exists and whether I should even hold onto that concept or not.  I have tried ChristianCafe, eHarmony, and Match.com, moving from explicitly Christian to more secular, and with each new website, I have made fewer connections and met less people. With each attempt I have grown less hopeful. I know dating websites do work for some people, but they haven't worked for me. I realise now with each new profile I have compromised more and been less true to myself and more vague. I should be more confident in who I am, engaged in my life and interested in other people and then, whether I meet Mr. Right or not, I will find more satisfaction in life and success in my relationships. 

Wednesday, September 04, 2013


Sometimes you don't realize how cluttered your living space has become, until you start to clean it and throw out four bags of garbage and six bags of paper... Yes that's what actually happened to me in the last week. It started on my birthday when my sister phoned me to tell me what her birthday present would be for me. She would help me clean and organize my room, which is something I had asked for, but didn't really expect to get.

My sister didn't realize what she was getting into or the state my room was in. We worked four hours solid and made progress but were no where near completion. I had run out of closet, desk, and filing cabinet space, and my foot care nursing and nursing supplies with back packs, tote bags, and my large tool box out in plain view as well as untidy piles of miscellanous items. My book shelf was overflowing with books and my desktop and dresser were cluttered and untidy on the outside and overfilled within. The main problem is how many papers for my many years of schooling I had held onto. Even though, in studying for my nursing exam, I did not review the entirety of my nursing notes which were nearly illegible anyways, I had kept nearly all of them from all five semesters. I was fooling myself that I would ever look them over again and they were taking up valuable closet space. They couldn't go in my filing cabinets, because I had kept so much other paper from my university career and from each year of my life since I was twenty when I had gotten the filing cabinet. I think I had kept 75% of the papers I got in the mail in that time period.

My sister and I started by cleaning my closet and then managed to get my nursing supplies into my closet. My sister tidied up my dresser while I ruthlessly threw out my notes and other various papers from my closet and desk. By this time we were hungry and nowhere near done. After a snack and texting break, we worked some more, until it was suppertime. My sister outlined what my strategy should be when I would, as she strongly hinted, be working solo. I spent the long weekend doing lots of cleaning, sorting, and throwing out and by Tuesday my room was basically clean. It was such a good feeling to have a clean, less cluttered room and to let go off all those papers! It was not as bad as the hoarders featured on tv, but it was pretty unliveable. 

I would like to go through a similar process, except this time with my life! I am sure I am holding onto to a lot of stuff I should be letting go of.

Thursday, August 08, 2013


I have a bad habit of reading my daily horoscope at the start of my day as religiously as I read the daily comics. I don't exactly believe in it, but I find it interesting to speculate whether its vaguely worded pronouncements will really be reflected in the day to come. I used to avoid horoscopes as something with the taint of the occult, so much so that I deliberately remained ignorant of what my sign was. I am a Virgo, as is my father, and I find it amusing that he and I share the same fuzzy predictions for our day, though I am sure he doesn't read them.

I have a better habit of dipping into a daily devotional by Sarah Young called Jesus Calling, though not so religiously. I find I sometimes don't read it until the day is over, and sometimes I read it the night before. That somehow seems wrong like trying to take on tomorrow before today is even over. Sarah Young writes as though Jesus is speaking directly to the reader building on a similar theme throughout each month and drawing from three related Bible passages.

Today's message was a meld of Psalm 42:7, Psalm 95:1-2, and Jesus' words in Matthew 7:24-25 about the wise builder who builds his house upon the rock, a picture of those who hear Jesus' words and put them into practice:

"I speak to you from deepest heaven. You hear Me in the depths of your being. Deep calls unto deep. You are blessed to hear Me so directly. Never take this privilege for granted. The best response is a heart overflowing with gratitude. I am training you to cultivate a thankful mind-set. This is like building your house on a firm rock, where life's storms cannot shake you. As you learn these lessons you are to teach them to others. I will open up the way before you, one step at a time."

~Sarah Young

It strikes me that the voice of Jesus calling is the message I need to being tuning into on a daily basis, and discerning his message for me from God's word and the Holy Spirit, who communicates to my spirit, should replace my daily horoscope fix. I can hear from the Word that was in the beginning, that was with God, and that was (and is) God, and I can hear very directly. This message not in the least vague, but has immediate application to my individual life. I can intimately know this person. Today I am learning more about the importance of gratitude, a message that already should have been driven home by Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts. Somehow I don't readily put these truths into practice. I guess I lack true wisdom. The wind and rain will inevitably come against my dwelling and test the foundations of my life. The promise in the last line comforts me about the gradual nature of the journey and the sure guidance of my Lord.

Sunday, August 04, 2013


On a day when tears are so near the surface, the bitter-sweet ending of a book can provoke me to sobs, when I walked out of the song service, because I just couldn't sing that song one more time, when I told a friend I felt sad and tried to explain why, I have come to a realisation that, despite my current emotional volatility and the circumstances in my life I wish were different, I have much to be thankful for. For one thing that I have a friend who cares enough to ask me how I am doing, who listens and prays with me and tells me to smile.

I am so grateful for the parents I have, who love and support me. They helped me while I went back to school for nursing, and my Mom remains confident that I will eventually find my niche, despite some setbacks. I am thankful for my siblings, my four amazing sisters and one wonderful brother. I appreciate my church family and my pastor, who seem to be constantly giving and giving. So many prayers and so much love and support, even to the point of being willing for me to work on their feet so I can meet the requirements of my foot care nursing course.

 In the process of writing this post, I remembered to call a good friend who I was concerned about. After hearing about her current situation, I was able to put my life in perspective. I might have challenges, but I have so many blessings as well. There are people with much more difficult circumstances, people facing things like cancer treatments or the end of a marriage or the loss of a loved one. Today I needed an attitude adjustment and maybe a good cry.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Three courses in 33 days: A Nurse's Education is Never Done

So it has been a couple of months since I have been working fulltime. I had been working with the same client five days a week for ten months, but it was decided that a male nurse was required as this is the client's preference and best meets his needs. To tell you the truth, the client has a distinct aversion to females and only had a female nurse because a male nurse was not available. Since I finished working with that client, I have yet to get a regular client and only work occasionally. I am still a novice nurse because I don't have a wide variety of experience to draw on. This lack of experience means I am not able to confidently nurse all clients or perform all the needed nursing skills with all clients.

So I am going to remedy this lack of experience by getting more training. This week I have taken a wound care course and also had some training in palliative care and some of the skills needed through my home care agency. In July my work has signed me up for a tracheotomy course and a ventilator course which are all day courses which require hundreds of pages of reading to prepare. I am also studying about palliative care with some online and written resources. But my main objective is a foot care course I have enrolled in that is on Saturdays for five weeks. I am hoping to work as a foot care nurse once I have completed the in class component with its labs and the twenty assignments I must complete in the four weeks following the in class part. I may also work part-time in the area of palliative care shift nursing, starting with whatever assignments I am given in July and building on my training.

I don't know if all this training will be too overwhelming, but I hope I can balance school, work, and home life and learn the material and skills well. Right now I feel quite apprehensive. Tomorrow is my first foot care class session. I have to drive to Brampton in my new (to me) car which is yet unnamed. Cornelius is in the shop to fulfill the conditions for his eventual sale which will happen next week hopefully. I better start preparing for bed and finish some last minute preparations for tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

I guess this is goodbye?

Our relationship began in 2005. At first I thought him rather a throwback and somewhat boring. He lacked colour and life. Then things got interesting when he turned out to be not as reliable as I had expected and he failed at a critical juncture and ruined my future sister-in-law's bridal shower. It was an expensive problem which I had to fix.

I must admit I treated him rather shabbily. I never did the things for him that made him feel special and appreciated. I was careless and sloppy. But I came to rely on him and developed a tender regard for his imperfections.

Now eight years later we have reached the moment where we have to part. I know he suspects something by my uncharacteristic behaviour. It is hard to tell him there is someone else.

Cornelius I love you and I will miss you. No car could ever replace you in my heart.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A Blog Retrospective: The Missing Person

Why is it that your nocturnal revelations are never as profound in the clear light of day as when you have them in the wee hours of the morning? I spent Sunday evening reading through every single blog post of Consider the Lilies. I decided to do it on a whim, with the idea it might give me some insight into my life. It was after 1 am before I was done reading my very first post. By that time my brain was swirling with insightful ideas, and I awakened at 6 am with my mind full of thoughts that would allow no further sleep.

Most of the insights I can't recover with the same clarity or urgency or sense. I have a vague impression that I have changed quite a bit from my earlier blog persona. I don't think I am really the same person who wrote those earnest reflections or who thanked God in the midst of a health crisis. It reminded me of a Michael W. Smith song "Missing Person" in which he sings "there was a boy who had a faith that could move a mountain and like a child he would believe without a reason. Without a trace he disappeared into the void and I have been searching for that missing person." That version of myself is gone.

I was also reading the comments on each post, which used to be more numerous. There were some people who used to comment who I don't even know if they still follow my blog. From my stats for my new posts I don't think they do. The wise and mysterious R; the classmate who shared his spiritual journey and offered help; the young poet from another country who randomly visited my blog.

Some of top posts for pageviews on my blog are rather curious. A popular post is my favourite Bible passages one. Another is the poem I wrote for my sister's birthday. Then there is my post on "dandle and dale" in which I wrote a vignette and a poem on two random words, and my post on eighties fashions and toys. I guess the relative popularity of those posts is somewhat understandable for various reasons. But why a post entitled "My Abrasive Personality" or "The 101st post" would continue to get pageviews I can't really explain. The post that was most viewed was deleted. It was about the town hall meeting that W5 held about the former Dominion Christian Centre, now One Community Church. My sister, who attended the DCC and still attends OCC, was then estranged from the family and I wrote about my impressions and feelings in a post called "Truth and Lies."

In the end, I would have a hard time deleting this blog as I have sometimes considered doing. It is a record of my life and a journal of my impressions and thoughts whether inane or profound. Some of the writing stands the test of time. And while some of my posts are intensely personal and I wonder about having them posted in a public forum anyone could potentially read, I still could not delete this blog for that reason.

Yeah I have changed over the years, for better or for worse. But I still think it is important to "consider the lilies" and I need to be reminded not to worry about my life, but to "seek first" the kingdom of God now more than ever.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Sometimes news hangs more heavily on you than other times. Like when I heard that a former kindergarten classmate had been killed by lightning while on a family camping trip. I hadn't seen him in years, but it was sad to me that he would never go to university, have a family, or fulfill more of his amazing potential. Why did it have to happen? Why was a life cut short?

That's how I felt on Tuesday when I heard the news that Tim Bosma's charred remains had been found. A sinking feeling of hope dashed. I didn't really know him. He was a grade school classmate, but he went to another high school and I hadn't heard he had gotten engaged, or married, or that he had a daughter or anything about his life since grade school. When I saw his name in the news after he went missing, at first his name didn't even register as someone I knew. I followed the story, I watched the media briefings, I posted the missing poster on my Facebook wall, I prayed he would be returned to his family. I believed that God could perform a miracle, but then on Tuesday morning I heard the worst. I didn't cry, but my heart cried out that it was senseless and that it was wrong. Why was a man stolen from his family? Why would his wife never see his face again, his daughter grow up without him?

Today the tears came while I watched a tribute to Tim. No I didn't know him, I didn't know the person he had become, but my heart grieved... I listened to CBC radio and heard his wife's emotional words as I was driving to meet a friend and tears again blurred my vision. I couldn't imagine the grief his wife, family, and friends were feeling. I don't know what it is like to lose a husband, a father, or a son, let alone in such a tragic manner. I have never had a comparable worst day of my life, a day that will change all the days to follow so irrevocably.

I can only pray that the God of all comfort will comfort them, that he will carry them through, and that somehow good will come out of unspeakable evil. I know it will be a difficult road ahead for a long time, and the wound will always be there. I know it is nothing that platitudes can soothe and I don't know why it had to happen. I can pray they can come to a place of forgiveness and I can pray for justice for Tim. I can pray they will be able to fully grieve this loss, this essential part of them that is gone. I can thank God that their faith is strong, that they have a supportive community surrounding them. Still the questions remain.

Years after the death of my classmate who had been struck by lightning, I stood in a ski chalet built in his memory and read about his short but brilliant life. I smiled as my mom snapped a picture. And I remembered.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013


In my memory they live there still in the century old yellow-sided house bordered by well-tended flower beds nestled beside the rail road tracks. I remember the narrow winding green carpeted stair that creaked a complaint when you walked over the uneven steps, the cramped upstairs bedrooms with sloped ceilings, the dark-panelled living room with black moulded wood stove, long tan couch, and Grandpa and Grandma's particular chairs. There is a sliding door that leads out onto the deck and beside it is a shelf of treasured books.

Grandpa must be watering the plants in his greenhouse, and I suppose Grandma is in the kitchen preparing the noon meal. Or perhaps it is Sunday and a pot of Grandpa's famous soup simmers on the stove and Grandpa is reading a novel while Grandma relaxes with a copy of Woman's World.

I still feel we could visit them some Sunday afternoon after church. That we could eat a meal of Grandma's hamburger noodlebake with manderin orange salad and that I could sit on the couch beside my sisters and suck on a Werther's Original candy while reading about how "The Good Old Days They Were Terrible" or how "Kids Still Say the Darnedest things" listening to the conversation.

Nevermind that the old house now has other occupants and that Grandpa and Grandma had moved somewhere less memorable for their final years. I am no longer the child who delighted in a March break spent with my grandparents or who would ask for one more Werther's Original.  Nevermind that Grandpa and Grandma themselves are no longer living, Grandma having succumbed to a cancer and Grandpa following soon afterwards after caring for her so tenderly.

Because in my memory they live on in an old house surrounded by gardens just outside of the settlement of Corinth.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

When Hope Springs New

I ripped my blog post title from a Janette Oke book I read back in my tweens when I was known to devour any Christian historical romance with avid enjoyment. This post doesn't have anything to do with that book which I only vaguely recall.

When Hope Springs New is my theme because I want to write something hopeful about the renewal of life that is often associated with springtime. Basically I want to write something hopeful and inspiring to myself who composes a large portion of my rather small readership of those who follow this blog. Winter can be a bleak season for me, notwithstanding Christmas and New Years resolutions. And while I am of course delighted to have a job, first of all, and to be working as a nurse, secondly, my particular job is not without its frustrations. And then there is my need for a new living arrangement, my lack of romantic prospects, and my spiritual spinning of wheels which has been much canvassed over my years of intermittent blog posting.

Yes this was the winter of our discontent, but lo it is the time when hope springs new and the tree bud and blossom and the brooks bubble and the flowers open their petals in a beautiful display of colour and life. For it is a new day and who says you can't start to become the person who you wished you were. Who says change isn't possible or that new attitudes can't begin to transform you and your life from the inside out.

Witness the personal transformation written of so convincingly in One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. Why if I actually applied even some of her ideas to my life, my life would be unrecognizable within the next year. Not to mention, if I were to apply what I know in my head of the Scriptures to my life, my heart would be made new. The problem is not with the lack of sources of inspiration or the lack of power of all that spring symbolizes to transform and renew life. No the problem is with motivation and perseverance, with ambition and drive.

What will it take to turn a bleak hopeless winter into a vibrant hope-filled spring? What will it take for me to be filled with hope and then to put the effort into achieving the hopeful vision for my life? Part of it has to do with the possession of an unswerving faith that God has a good plan for my life and that he will work in me what I am working out. This infusion of faith is difficult enough, but I also need something far more basic: the desire to change and grow and blossom into the person God has called me to be. Sometimes a prayer has to start with Lord I want to desire to change and follow your ways, help me to desire it and to have the strength to begin to do it.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Update on my January 22 resolution

I am a day late with this update, but I am happy to report I have been exercising regularly for the past two weeks. I have been going on the treadmill for 30 minutes or going for a brisk walk outdoors. On the treadmill I have even tried running for up to 600 metres at a time. I have only skipped exercising four times over the two week period. However, I have not kept a food journal and, although I have cut down on my sweets and snacking, the reform in my eating habits has not been total. I have lost approximately five pounds and I will continue my regular exercise habit which I rather enjoy.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

New Years Resolutions

My coworker has kept his New Years resolution for the past several years. Several years ago he vowed never again to make another New Years resolution! Not a year goes by that I don't make at least one New Years Resolution. This year it was to exercise regularly by walking daily at least a half hour, to snack on less junk, to skip desserts, and in the end to lose at least thirty pounds of excess weight and several inches around my midsection. Also I was going to be more social and get out more.

So far this year I have gone cross country skiing once and out for a walk four times out of twenty two days. Some days there is too much snow and I don't have suitable boots. Some days it is too cold like today. Some days I can't use the treadmill because my sister is in her room or because I will wait until she is back in school or until she is done exams. I can't go out because I might meet a lion in the streets and be killed. I am just kidding about that last excuse, that excuse is from Proverbs talking about the ridiculous excuses a lazy person will make.

I haven't exactly been excelling at the less snacking either, and it shows because I haven't lost any significant weight. By liberal estimates I may have lost 2 pounds, but possibly not.

As far as being more social, I have skipped three Bible studies and gotten together with zero friends so far this year, unless you count the church social I attended.  I have had time however to read seven books and watch ten Due South episodes.

So my New Years Resolution is a failure so far, but perhaps I can make a January 22 Resolution. I do here-by resolve to stop making excuses and go for a walk at least five times a week for the next two weeks and to severely limit unhealthy snacking by keeping a food journal for the next two weeks! Then by February 5th I do here-by commit to reporting on my compliance with these resolutions and the resulting weight loss or gain.

My coworker's point is that you should make necessary changes in your life, but not because it is a New Years Eve. You should do it because it the healthy and wise thing for you to do and you don't have to wait for a new year. He has successfully quit two bad habits and started more than one healthy habit, so he should know.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Getting a life

There is an apt saying all men die, but not all men have truly lived. Sometimes I wonder if I am living a full life as defined by this world's standards, let alone if I am living a full life as defined by Christ. By the first measure, I am sadly lacking in independence, wealth, success, and coupledom. I am single, live with my parents and younger sister, over thirty, own an ancient car and may never own my own home. Although I have dabbled in the dating world, I haven't had a significant relationship or someone I would call my boyfriend ever. I am not sure if I will ever have a child. True, I am educated, am working as a professional in my chosen field, and I would be considered wealthy in the eyes of a significant portion of the world to whom owning a second pair of shoes is a sign of affluence. But definitely I come up lacking by Western standards.

Nevertheless I am a long way from where I have been, and from where I might still be. And I have learned some things from my journeys through the darkness of depression and the living hell of psychosis. I have grown in some ways and I have learned some wisdom. In my darkest times I have found God and found him to be faithful. It is in other times that I lose connection and muddle through life with and without God.

What about life to the full spoken of by Jesus in John 15? This life is not measured by the same standards. Wealth is not important, nor is worldly success, or marital status. Still living with your parents at the age some of your peers are celebrating ten years of marriage is less important than being lacking in love for others. It is important to be connected to Christ as your source of sustenance and life and to bear fruit fruit through the process of discipleship and growth, acts of service and life in the Spirit. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, and self-control should be in evidence. So by this measure I am also lacking. 

But writing this has helped me see that however lacking my life may seem by any measure, there is an abundance of blessings in my life already. And however lacking in faith I may be, God remains faithful. So maybe in this new year I can get a life that overflows with gratitude and with grace. Maybe I can realize what is truly important and be grateful for the blessing of being alive to face another day, overtaken by the goodness and mercy of God.