Category Archives: WHITE: Thoughts, mostly of a spiritual nature

Almost every thing I ponder about on this blog stems from my Christian faith and belief in the saving power of Jesus Christ and His great sacrifice for me – and for you. Light is white, but when you catch it through a prism you see that it is really many colours, including the other colours of my parachute.

Catching up!

I haven’t paid this blog much attention for a while, and it shows.  I’m not sure I’m getting healthier (at least my knees are complaining more than usual), my savings are going down a little too quickly for my liking, and wisdom – well, according to Designing Your Life failure is part of the journey of life.  It allows you to reframe and try something different.

April 4, Health:  I ate reasonably well, starting with a smoothie for breakfast.  We brought a snack for “running errands” time – an apple and a banana.  Lunch was rice pudding left over from breakfast.  We are trying NOT to throw food away, but I don’t want to have two breakfasts!  Supper was a “butter” chicken recipe without butter. We used coconut oil instead.

I took the dogs for a walk – each one individually, so that added some steps to my day.  While my goal is to get over 10000 steps, I made it to just over 7000.  The lesson I have been learning over the past month is that I need to be more intentional about what I eat AND how much I move in a day!

WEALTH: Since arriving home from China, I have been spending my savings.  I needed some time to regroup, but now the job hunt is on.  As a family we are collecting our receipts so that we can see just exactly what we are buying.  I’m enjoying access to Value Village again, just to get clothing in my size.  

WISDOM:  From Designing Your Life, try stuff.  Take a chance.  Fail. Try something different.  Test alternatives.  But never, never, never stop moving.  

See you tomorrow!

Marcia

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Babette’s Feast – Finally

I’ve made three Babette blankets of various sizes – and I’m working on the final panel of a fourth – but last night I was finally able to watch the movie.  I remember it being recommended to me many years ago – possibly more than 10 years ago even – but getting the movie from the library and actually having time to watch it?  That combination has been long in coming.  And of course it goes off the radar for a while and then comes back on.

However, I have at last been able to sit and enjoy the movie – while at the same time enjoying my own feast of sorts – sushi, red globe grapes and chocolate mint ice cream.  Quite delicious, but certainly not what the villagers enjoyed!
So, was it worth the wait?  Were there lessons to be learned from this movie?  I certainly think so!

babette 2

First of all, good things – really good things – take work, time, resources (in this case a lot of money) and patient practice.  Babette was an amazing cook who worked from the view that cooking was not just something to do, but something to do well.  She saw it as ART, not housework.  Yesterday my daughter made an omelette and she added a sprig of kale and a mushroom to the middle to make it look nice for the picture.  That’s the extra  mile that makes the mundane beautiful.  That is all over not just this meal, but every meal that Babette cooks.

 

 

Secondly –  you may have to go away to find the ingredients that make up the ART that is your life.  I’m reminded of the woman in Proverbs 31 who scours the market place.  My Pinterest board is evidence of my scouring and searching for things of beauty that may possibly add joy to my life!

babette 1

And because a good essay or sermon always has three points, I need to make one too.  While Babette was busy in the kitchen, paying attention to all these details, making everything “just right”  her guests had no clue as to what they were being offered.  Thank goodness the General came to help them discover the truth.

The people of that village had chosen to close their minds and to deny the sensation of taste that was offered them.  They deliberately turned the conversation towards the mundane, rather than fully enjoy the good things that Babette had prepared.  This is, I think, the point of the story.  I can choose, deliberately and completely, to ignore the abundance of good things that God in His grace has provided for me.  By pre-judging, I deny myself the possibility of a good friend, a new turn of thought and an opportunity to grow and learn.  I deny myself a fuller, broader, more experienced life.

 

 

All of my Babette blankets have been made with “stash” yarn – the stuff I have on hand.  I wonder, what it would be like if I deliberately sought out the colours that make my heart sing and one day, made a blanket that is truly a “Babette” feast for the eyes and the body.

Please take this post as an encouragement to enjoy this film.

Marcia

(Still learning to fully live!)

 

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“There’s no Win in Comparison”

My church, Hope for Life, here in Calgary is listening to a series of sermons by Andy Stanley.  The theme of these talks is comparison.  And I have to say that I do a lot ofimages (1) this.  When I think back on thoughts I had as I compared my single, single parenting, under the poverty line, overweight, house-cleaning, home-schooling, “survival-jobbing” life to those of others, I always felt “less than” .

emma

This is not to say that my life was awful – because it wasn’t.  It was great (for the most part – as most everyone’s life is) and we had lots of fun.  Looking back on it, there’s not much I’d change – except the envy part.  That I do regret.  I know that when envy creeps into my relationships, they don’t thrive.  They falter.  And I’ve been blessed with many special friends,  that have enriched my life in so many ways.

What I’m learning now, and trying to practice daily – is the art of looking in at myself and UP to my heavenly Abba who simply loves me. And has a plan for my life that isn’t the plan He has for anyone else.  Envy and comparsion lead me down the path of discouragement, when I so want to be encouraged and to encourage others.  I also want to move forward in my life, instead of hanging back because I might not be good enough.images

That’s where God is speaking to me just now, and maybe someone else is feeling the same way.  So here’s a link to “The Comparison Trap” and I hope it helps.  (I”ll also need it for future reference when I stumble into old thinking.

His mercies are new every morning, afternoon and evening – every moment of my day.

Marcia

 

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Small Things….

Today I posted on my Facebook that I could use something stronger than a sherry right about now – and I could.  It’s been a tough day.  I feel like I’ve been stabbed in the back, and it hurts.  We’ll leave that there, except to say that there was one small thing I should have done (and forgot to do)  and now things are kind of messy and I’m drinking sherry – which feels very nice, Victorian and Miss Marple-ish all at the same time.  I so enjoy Miss Marple and her sherry!

Shortly after I posted that and responded to a comment that I felt was a bit uncaring, I realized that I was making the same mistake twice – and that was this:

Doing the RIGHT thing.

In this case, the real right thing to do is to pray.  The real right thing to do is to move forward as best you can without making things worse (and in my experience, most things stronger than sherry do make things worse – at least for me.)

Sadly, I don’t always think of the right or appropriate thing right away.  (Are there too many “right”s in this sentence or does it make sense?)  Maybe that’s true of most of us – the easy fix so that we can be on our way to the next thing on our list.  Well, that’s what got me into this situation in the first place.  I know (now, and well after the fact) that I should have done something else.

In the meantime – I suddenly have a gift of time that I wasn’t expecting to have, time that I can use to begin doing more of the right things.  For me that doesn’t include another bottle of sherry, or something stronger.  It does include spending some quiet time alone with my God and seeking His will in all of this.

pray

 

It’s funny how one small thing can become something much bigger.  The thing WAS made right and I moved on.  Someone else read the situation differently and life changes drastically.  However, at this moment I will use this time wisely and I will trust in my God that He will work things to His glory.  I will also strive to remember to do the right thing instead of the easy thing.   (That always seems to be my downfall)

I hope this post can be an encouragment to someone who is also in a difficult place.

Have a good one!  The Scrabble picture comes from this blog: http://inspiredness.wordpress.com/ which is also encouraging.

Marcia

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Happy Birthday #54!

Birthday Greeting 1910http://treasures-n-textures.blogspot.ca/2010/04/vintage-birthday-wishes.html

This is the site where I found this lovely card and it quite suits the mood I’m in at the moment.  It’s been a lovely day for the most part, although I did a  lot more walking than I had intended.  But that’s a story for another day.  Thankfully, it was a sunny day, and I had time to do some thinking.

I turned 54 today.  I had to think about that a bit – I guess part of the aging process is that you forget how old you are!  I just seem to forget that I’m getting older.  The days go by, most of them fairly similar in tone.  Work gets done, bills get paid, a few books get read, something gets knitted on…. and so it goes, all in all a fairly mundane kind of life!  With a cruise thrown in for the fun of it – and I guess lychee martinis aren’t that mundane either!  Delicious though, one at a time.

As I was walking, I reflected a bit on the progress I was making in my life, dividing it into the 5 colours that I’ve chosen to represent it – and that’s what I thought I’d share while the last minutes of this delightful day wind down.  I also have to finish this lovely glass of wine!

WHITE:  I always feel that my relationship with my God is not all it could be.  I’m not consistent in so many of the things I want to do – reading, studying, praying, contemplating, meditating.  Something always seems to get in the way of that.  Mostly Facebook, I suppose, but I love the community I share there – and sometimes someone shares something that speaks to my soul and makes me think about my own relationships with people and creation.  I guess I’m just wishing it would be more than it is – and that comes with time – not just time as it passes, but time being active and aware – mindful time.  Something to strive for in the coming years.

BLUE:  My creative pursuits are not the priority they once were.  I find I can go for a few days without yarn in my hands, but I do enjoy the glass jars full of yarn.  I still haven’t written a  pattern for something, but I have been playing with dishclothes and making those “easy squares” more interesting.  And I finished the shawl that I’d been working on for 5 years.  My goal over the next while is to finish more projects than I start – and that will be tought!

GREEN:  Green is my money management – both earning and saving/spending.  Most of the last year and a half was spent saving for a cruise.  I’ve written a bit about that – but the reality was that I came away with no debt – and wonderful memories that I was able to share with my mom, aunts and cousins.  I still have one smallish kind of debt – my line of credit.  This was sitting at around $5000 last year, and even with the cruise, that’s diminished to just over $3000.  I’m planning to be debt free by age 55!  And earning more money!

Which brings me to YELLOW:  I’ve spent the last 5 years busily becoming qualified to teach ESL.  Last year I completed the CERTSEL program at the University of Saskatchewan.  I volunteered at the YMCA, subbed at the Y and this week I started teaching a regular class at the Y.  I am so excited.  While I had planned to be teaching overseas somewhere in September, family keeps me in Calgary for a while longer!  But it is exciting to be moving forward and gaining experience.  (And I have to start preparing for a Masters in TESL in a few years – money and experience)

Finally there is the RED.  Most of my ramblings on my blogs have been about the RED side of life – my health.  I’m still taking the blood pressure medications.  I still weigh over 200 pounds. I still struggle with eating late at night.  And…believe it or not…I still struggle with going to the gym.  It’s even worse lately, and the only positive thing is my commitment to moving at least 5 minutes every day.  That I can do – even if I can’t make it across the street to the gym!

So there you have it!  A bit of a review and a bit of goal setting for the future.  Wouldn’t it be nice if all facets of life moved forward at the same pace?

But it is bedtime, and my wineglass is almost empty.  If it’s your birthday when you read this – have a good one and I hope it inspires you to make some plans for the next year.  If it’s not – have a happy un-birthday kind of day and make some plans anyways!

Goodnight, rest well, and may God bless and keep you!

Marcia

 

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Amazing Souls

AMAZING SOULS

I get a lot of pictures and sayings on my Facebook page.  I don’t share every single one of them, because…Well quite frankly, too much of a good thing is just too much!  This morning I posted this.  As a comment, I wrote:

I am already surrounded by amazing souls, but the ability to love fiercely requires some thought.

Or do you find that out when life gets ugly?

You see, I know that wonderful people surround me – my family, my friends, people I work with… And I am always meeting wonderful people.  Do I love them fiercely?  I don’t know.  That’s what got me thinking, and is probably why I re-posted this.  I struggle with how I love.  Especially in my relationship with God.  Do I really love HIM fiercely?  My thought at the moment is this – that when it matters your love will show up – fierce, determined, feisty

Then my friend wrote a comment:

And if those souls are less than amazing and even unlovable in ones eyes…for any reason? Then what? Life does get ugly.

Because I believe that we all are created in the image of GOD Almighty, no soul can be less than amazing.  This includes everyone, including those that hurt me, hurt others, hurt themselves…The drunk students on the C-train, the rude customers at work…(There are an awful lot of …’s in this post!)

Anyways it’s time for me to go and enjoy worshipping – and I’m still in my pj’s, so I will quickly copy the rest of the dialogue, and post this.  I hope you will feel free to join in via the comments!

ME:   DOes amazing eliminate unlovable – I don’t think so. But there are those souls (people) who have chosen to deny how fearfully and wonderfully they are made, and some try to pull my soul down with them. I haven’t met very many souls I couldn’t love – but I don’t always keep them close to me. Thanks for the dialogue. Love it!

MY FRIEND:   i hear you! seeing the amazing in others – even when they are unlovable is a key. I think that the more we know our own “amazingness” (ie, value, worth, dignity) we are bettter at being ok with those that struggle with their own amazingness! (i don’t think thats a word) and so the group that we surround our selves might grow/change from time to time. I think of Jesus with his band of disciples. of course, Jesus knew they were all amazing – and helped them to understand that. He loved them fiercely!!

Marcia!

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The Ripple Effect.

Tonight I had plans.  They were fairly fluid – as plans made to include a young mom and baby need to be.  Babies, even one as delightful as Sharae is, have their bad days – days when they just need to be home.

Today I shared in laughter with my friends.  I did my work-out at the gym, prepared food, enjoyed a milk and oatmeal bath (very soothing for my skin which is suffering from the change in weather).  I went about my day as if nothing was wrong and everything was right in my world.

And then, I got a phone call.  My daughter was in tears, weeping because of the loss suffered by people she doesn’t know and may never know.  She couldn’t drive.  She didn’t want to drive.  She just needed to be  home.

I’ve been reading the  comments of my friends on Facebook.  Some question their own choices in video entertainment.  I’m not into that so much, but I know people that are.  Some notice that most of those that break out like this are men, and that perhaps women should have control of the guns.

 

Travers in his most memorable role, as Clarenc...

Travers in his most memorable role, as Clarence Odbody in It’s a Wonderful Life (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

And then, I watched “It’s a Wonderful Life”  and the Andy Griffith show (The one where Otis, the town drunk, gets to be a deputy – Second season if you’re interestd, and they have them at the Calgary Public Library).

This is one of many awful things that have happened in our world.  It’s not the first time that people have been killed in this way.  It probably won’t be the last.  Bethlehem comes to mind as I write this, and Rachel weeping for her children.

The fact that we, thousands of miles away from this tragedy, can weep, mourn and pray for these families, speaks to me of HOPE.  My friend Jean shared this prayer on Facebook today, and I’d like to share it here.  Two of my friends have lost parents in the last little while.  Others have lost family members.  That we can grieve along side them is part of the grace of our humanity.

Prayer for Those Who Suffer:

For those who suffer,
and those who cry this night,
give them repose, Lord;

a pause in their burdens.
Let there be minutes
where they experience peace,
not of man
but of angels.
Love them, Lord,
when others cannot.
Hold them, Lord,
when we fail with human arms.
Hear their prayers
and give them the ability to hear You back
in whatever language they best understand.

~Margaret A. Davidson

It’s been hard for me to process the reality that life goes on, even in the midst of sadness and loss.  I guess I just needed to write some of it out.  In the end I am grateful that we are not so hardened that we shrug it off and go on with our days.
It is still a “Wonderful Life” because we can still do those small things that make a difference in our world.  Thank you God for this great mercy.
M

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