Just another manic Monday…


Mud bathing at the Standard Spa in Miami Beach, FL

Image via Wikipedia

What’s your biggest goal going into the New Year? What’s your biggest challenge?

I was expecting to feel excited about 2011, but I’m feeling rather ordinary about it all. Sure, Bob goes back to work and the kids back go school and I un-decorate the house, get back into a schedule, but is that it? I mean I know I have a couple of special things to keep going with, like AfterGrad celebrations and all, but what else? Sure, there’s choir… I’m looking forward to continuing with that. And, there’s the date nights that we both organized as Christmas gifts this year, and there’s the 3 birthdays that fall in January and February combined, and then there’s Valentine’s Day and before long there will be Spring Break, but what I’m looking for, what I’m really longing for is something else… something out of the ordinary… something bigger.

Do you feel it too? A certain amount of…

Boredom?

Lack of purpose?

Lack of focus?

My darling treated me to a Spa retreat for a couple of days over the Christmas Break. Our kids were happy to take care of themselves while Bob and I went to the ‘Kurspa’ at  ‘Sparkling Hill Resort for some TLC and down time. It was lovely. We enjoyed steams and saunas, and ate wonderful meals and slept in a bed with a memory foam mattress. Many of the spa treatments were for the purposes of detoxifying the body. From skin treatments like aroma scrubs, to more deep cleansing muds, our bodies were deep cleaned and felt amazing… lighter, fresher, younger, and smoother. What a delightful way to take care of our health and wellness, one we should probably do more often. I also couldn’t help reflecting on how a regular spiritual detox might be good for me too.

So when I see that I’m not heading into 2011 feeling excited and energized, that detox idea is what comes to mind again.

Or maybe I just need to get back on the vitamins? Perhaps  SAD is already catching up with me after a couple of dreary months of little sunshine? A little light therapy, or maybe some tanning, or even a new thing called ‘Hydration’ might do the trick. And making certain I eat healthy and get exercise… out in the fresh air is also a good thing.

But what I really think I need is to set time set aside for solitude and connection with my maker again… very soon. I have this need to get away with God and me to a special place up on a mountain, where I can just be still and listen. It’s something I haven’t always done, but the last couple of years I’ve started I find myself wanting to more regularly, and each time I go I am never disappointed. As I spend this intense time with God, I expose some of the wrong thinking I have inside me, I deal with the things I’ve done wrong, I get vulnerable with him, share my hopes and my ideas, and then I wait for his direction for what comes next. It detoxifies me from the influence of ungodly things in me and around me. It is such a good thing.

And I believe, based upon past experience, that my renewed focus and energy and passion and purpose will come from my time away with God. Most of all I will come back with the knowledge that there’s more to life than just this moment, or any immediate needs. I’ll come back ‘down the mountain’ with a tiny dose of eternal perspective that was given an opportunity to take root inside me.

So yeah, it might just be another manic Monday, but my planner’s open and I’m looking for a spiritual health day asap!

Out with the old and in with the new!

Lesley-Anne

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Mid-week Random Ramble011


 

first miner out

Image by papayatreelimited via Flickr

 

1. October 12, 2010…The Chilean miners are slowly being brought to the surface. The first miner, Florencio Avalos, emerged after a 22 minute trip, from the 28 inch wide capsule, named the Phoenix, at 12:12 a.m., Chilean time. Avalos was chosen to be first because he is in the best health and would be best able to identify any problems; so far, there appear to be none. Incredible technology involved. 33 miracles in the making after being underground for over two months. The world watches in wonder…

2. In the thick of things is a place I want to be. I don’t want to be on the sidelines, or standing by waiting for something to happen. I want to take the gifts that God has, in his incredible generosity, given me, and use them for something more than myself… something bigger.

I want that for my blog too.  And with only 15 more hits, I will have been graced with 4000 visits to Buddy Breathing. That makes me catch my breath… thank you one and all… thank you so much.

I hope that of the 4000, there are some that can say Buddy Breathing changed the trajectory of their day, came alongside with a voice of empathy or understanding, made a difference somehow.

3. We just discovered a new restaurant (well, 3 years old, but new to us) on the side of Gordon Drive at Clement (Sorry for those of you who don’t live in Kelowna!)… Jimmy Ho’s… great service, tasty food, fast, healthy, reasonably priced you can order online to pick up! We were treated exceptionally by the owner, and although we won’t disclose what happened, the experience of working through a small problem is what will take us back there again! Just to experience true customer service along with yummy food!!!

4. For me, ‘Quiet Time’ or ‘Solitude’ or ‘Meditation’ all conjure up pictures of alone, silent, introspective, meaningful moments. My desire for these moments is to focus my thoughts toward God. Sometimes I sit and read my bible. Sometimes I walk and breathe deeply. Sometimes I have my hands in the kitchen sink and wash and pray. Sometimes I can go for days without remembering to include this spiritual discipline into my day. But, when I remember, and when I intentionally set aside time along the way, God meets me in the silence. Yesterday I tried to reinstate a time of silence, and struggled as the dog bounced, chewed, and squirmed beside me. Yet, even with that distraction, my attention was drawn to a verse that spoke to my heart about my personal journey and the character of God. So, I posted the verse on my Facebook profile, and turns out it spoke to others as well.

This is verse 11 and 12, from Psalm 139;

11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”

12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

As I began to read and re-read this verse, I saw something of God’s character that was new and refreshing to me. It says that God sees dark and light the same way. While I go through times of darkness, depression, doubt, despair, God sees into that place and sees light. He sees me in that light. I often lose sight of him when I’m in dark places, but he NEVER loses sight of me. What a beautiful thought to mediate on throughout my day. What a beautiful verse to bring to mind next time I am in a dark place.

5. Parents of grade 12 students in British Columbia are familiar with “Grad Transition Plans”, and the angst created by this B.C. Ministry of Education requirement. Creating a plan for the future is often complicated, especially for some 17 year olds who live and think in the now. So, while our Grad combs through University calendars, discusses and considers various options, wraps his head around financial aspects, considers future lifestyles, pros and cons, we will try to support him in putting together a firm plan for not one, but two options, for his future. I can’t help but recognize that I never truly knew what I was meant to do in life until I was 40!!! I guess this exercise is just that… an exercise that promotes planning and thinking and ensuring that the kids that graduate in B.C. have some life skills in addition to a solid education. But I wonder, how many Grads will actually follow their plan?

6. Made an apple pie on Thanksgiving with some ‘Jonagold’ apples, gleaned with thanksgiving from the orchard behind our home. Each year I ask to glean what is left behind. And each year the answer is ‘yes’, and than I bake a pie for the owner in return for his generosity to us.

The pie was lovely, Graeme used the food processor to slice the huge apples into perfectly thin slices.  Because Jonagolds are an older variety of apple, which stays together rather than turning to mush, (like Macs do) the pie looked more amazing sliced than it did whole. This pie was for our dessert after a traditional Thanksgiving turkey dinner. The pastry I made was a butter pastry, from The Canadian Living Cookbook, 1987, pg. 227. The pie recipe was from Wanda’s Pie in the Sky ‘Apple Cherry Crumble Pie’… without the cherries. It was wonderful, even if I do say so myself!

7. More of Malcolm’s photographic experiments… very cool and creative, Malcolm!

Poetry Friday026


Ironic


It’s almost deafening and definitely distracting, the
flock of sparrows munching with enthusiasm
on a large weed in the last wild corner of the garden.
I sit on the porch with my journal and coffee, listening.

Graeme’s feeders are full
but the sparrows find the weeds more to their taste,
darting into the cedar hedge at any perceived danger,
then back to gorge themselves at their breakfast buffet.

Beside me, bumble bees gather orange dust with a low drone
A sudden movement along the fence top
and the dog leaps up to dash after a squirrel
who is gone in a flash, leaving the dog panting after it’s scent.

A Flicker surveys all from the top of the Oak tree as
the sparrows scatter in disgust.  And I wonder,
how could I have presumed that this abundant kingdom
would ever offer me solitude
or silence?

Lesley-Anne Evans
August 2009