Faith from the Edges

Faith and life from the perspective of me.

Archive for the month “December, 2012”

Words for 2013

I don’t do resolutions, at least I don’t do ones now. I have found that for the most part they don’t work for me. However last year I found something that did work for me.

A year ago I chose three words to guide me through the year. I wrote about  my choices a month after I had started this blog.  We have come to the cusp of a new year and it is time for some new words to give me direction for this year. Before I let you know what the words are for this year I want you to know that I am planning on keeping the words from last year around (courage, joy, voice) as they have fed me in ways that I didn’t expect them to and I know I will need to remember them again.

Words for 2013:

Beauty – I want to look for beauty each day. I want to have beauty feed my soul. I want to share beauty with others as I find it in odd and interesting places (so expect some interesting photos from time to time). I want to be surprised by beauty. I want to pay attention to beauty. Beauty needs, for me, to be part of regular life and not something that is saved for special occasions or extraordinary times.

Gratitude – I am aware that gratitude is becoming a daily thing for me. However this word is speaking to me so I know that I have to be much more intentional about it. I must admit the catch phrase ‘attitude of gratitude’ puts my teeth on edge. I find it too simplistic for what I am thinking about. I don’t want to just find the good parts of my life to be grateful for – that is the easy part. I want to find the way to be grateful for those parts of my life I just can’t stand. The grief I have been through, the physical pain I feel everyday. I want to find a way to be grateful for those things and for the learnings that have come about because of them.

Faith – I started this blog 10 months ago because I needed a way to talk about my faith, a faith I was living out on the edges of the church, a faith I was struggling to figure out again, a faith that seemed to have taken me into exile. This next year I want to take time to explore my faith from inside the church again and remember how to be vulnerable in it, how to be open to the Spirit again. I want my faith to be open again. I want to grow in my faith.

A small thing of beauty that I found while camping this past summer with the dear one.

A small thing of beauty that I found while camping this past summer with the dear one.

What do you do to get you motivated for the upcoming year? Where is the Spirit leading you?

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Good-bye 2012 …..Hello 2013

When I look back at this year, I am so glad that I am looking at it from our new home and from the perspective of the dear one having a new position. If we were still living in Kenora under the circumstances that we had been living in I am sure that I wouldn’t have had much to say that was good about 2012.

2012 was a hard year that I am really happy to see the back of as it drifts off into the sunset. As the dear one said the other day if we had known two years ago that it was going to take so long for him to find a new position we might have just curled up and given up. Thankfully we did neither.

Instead of dwelling on what was not great this past year, here is a brief synopsis of what was lovely, beautiful, blessed and gracious in our lives:

  • Eldest daughter got married to wonderful son in law – so much celebrating was done that week!
  • Next daughter made a decision about her future and found her passion – going into international development – the next part of her journey begins soon.
  • Son and youngest decided to go to university and has been at the University of Manitoba since September.
  • The dear one and I got lots and lots of skills built up in doing home renovation work and design – I am ready to do some more painting of rooms when we get a new home.
  • We had a lovely last summer in Kenora with both of  our younger children home with us – probably the last time ever.
  • A bishop reached out to the dear one and he now has a parish and we have a new community to live in and we have moved.
  • I learned who our good friends are and who will always be our friends. I am so grateful to all of them.
  • I started this blog and have found a way to keep on writing, reflecting and reaching out that is just for me and no one else.
  • I chose three words for this year – voice, joy and courage – kept them in front of me and used them regularly. I remembered what it meant to have a voice, hence this blog. I looked for joy and discovered it all over the place. I found courage to hold onto my faith when it seemed like I was going to lose it.

Here is what I am looking forward to this next year:

  • Choosing three new words to guide me through this next year.
  • Selling our home in Kenora and buying a new one here in Wetaskiwin.
  • Getting to know more people in the parish and figuring out, with God’s help, what I am supposed to be doing here.
  • Finding a job that is fulfilling and flexible – a big order I know, but it can happen.
  • Joining a community choir – to be able to sing and meet new friends.
  • Taking more time to get in the pool and get regular exercise.
  • Having time with the dear one making a new home and learning how to be a couple with adult kids.
  • Planting a new garden while at the same time learning what is in the one we will inherit from whomever we buy our new home.
  • Getting to know more about this part of Alberta and doing some fun exploring with the dear one.
A little blurry but here is the dear one and I after the Christmas Eve services this year. One of my favourite pictures of 2012.

A little blurry but here is the dear one and I after the Christmas Eve services this year. One of my favourite pictures of 2012.

Faith and Dragonflies

A Christmas gift from my son in law.

A Christmas gift from my son in law.

I love dragonflies. I love their tenacity, strength, beauty and fragility. I love how they eat mosquitoes both as larvae and as adults. I love how they dance with the wind and in the sunshine. I love how they make me feel when I see them dancing around flowers in my garden or darting through the woods when I go on walks. I love their different sizes and colours. I love how they inspire me to see good and hope in the world on days when it doesn’t seem like anything is going right. I love dragonflies.

I have a wonderful son in law, who is also a blogger.  I have so enjoyed reading his adventures of training for triathlons and running races and sometimes just about his life in general.

The painting above was part of his Christmas gift to me this year. I opened it up and it made me cry. It made me realize how much I have come to love this young man and how important he is to our whole family. I am impressed by how much he knows me and that he cares for me so much to do a painting of my favourite thing and realizes how important the dragonfly image is to my faith life.

The dragonfly for me has become a symbol of resurrection and God’s amazing grace in the world. Dragonflies reminds me that sometimes I need to let go and go with the wind of change, that I can be strong even when I don’t think I can be. They also remind me that sometimes you just need to rest and let the sun warm your wings before you move on to the next thing (something my family is very aware of). Dragonflies also point me in the direction of beauty and blessings and that I need to look for those everyday no matter what else is happening around me.

The gift of the dragonfly has fed my faith and made me a better person. The dragonfly feeds my wonder as a child of God in me daily.

I am full of gratitude for this gift   from my son in law. I am full of gratitude for the blessings of this new town to live in. I am full of gratitude that my faith has survived the bruising that the last two years has presented.

I am looking forward to finding a place for this painting in our new home, when we get a new home. In the meantime I will place it in our bedroom and remember to look at it in the morning and in the evening and give thanks for my faith, for dragonflies and mostly for the wonderful man that my eldest daughter fell in love with and married and brought into our family.

Living out my faith on the edges with dragonflies and gratitude.

ADVENTures of Moving

We have moved, at least we have moved us, our cats, some of our clothes, our computers and one box of books. And 2 boxes of Christmas decorations so that we can celebrate with a bit of us around us. The rest of our belongings are still on a moving van in Winnipeg waiting to get the call to come and be delivered here to our new home in Wetaskiwin.  That is why I am calling this the adventures of moving. This has been and continues to be a real adventure for the both the dear one and I.

We don’t have a new home yet, we are still waiting for the old one in Kenora to sell so that our offer can be finalized here. We have also had to deal with a water leak in our old house and all the insurance details that go with that. We have been blessed by a dear friend in Kenora who has been keeping on a close eye on everything while this has been going on.  In the midst of that unsettledness we have been blessed by our new parish. Someone found us a mostly furnished place to rent and it has just enough room so that all of our family can be here for Christmas.

I have been thinking about Advent during this unsettling, settling in, in between time as well. Seems to me that Advent is a lot like moving. A time for preparing, getting going to a new destination and not being really sure of what is coming next. A time to strip down to the essentials and figure out what is really needed. A time to pay attention to the blessings that show up when you least expect them to.

This Advent has been a blessing for me. It has had less distractions and less flurry than in the past. Since I don’t have all my kitchen supplies we have had to limit what we make for goodies, although we have done well with what we have had. We have kept our tradition of lighting our Advent wreath each day with our family at supper time. We have been adding to our nativity set each week and adding to an Advent calendar everyday.

Keeping Advent in our temporary home.

Keeping Advent in our temporary home.

This Advent has made me realize that slowing down and keeping it simpler is a good idea. I am hoping that I can remember that next year when the calendar fills up with activities and social commitments that taking it all slowly and simply is good for my soul.

I am looking forward to having Christmas with my family around us. I am looking forward to hearing the dear one’s Christmas story at the Christmas Eve service for the first time in 3 years. I am looking forward to whatever is coming next in this adventure of moving (at least that is what I am going to keep telling myself).

How has Advent been for you, if you keep it that is? When have you found that slowing down has actually made life experiences better for you?

Merry Christmas everyone! See you in the New Year when I will back with more of my faith from the edges.

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