Monday, December 31, 2007

The Art of Longing

One of my all time favorite authors inspires me for this new year:

When you tell a story, the world rushes by you in the same way, leaves you standing silent and alone, your face pressed up against a well-lit window, gazing at something, wanting it fiercely, knowing that you are probably not going to get it, but willing, anyway, to dream, to try .

I’ve decided that telling a story is more than anything else, the art of longing.

Read the complete entry here:

Kate DiCamillo, December 2007 Journal

via Looking Closer

The Human Experience

Just the trailer made me cry - I can't wait to see it.

Thank you CrazyAcres!

Yappy Hew Near!

From the StoryPeople:

Maybe I don't want a Happy New Year, he said.
Maybe I want an intense New Year
with a lot of growth experiences
& I had to admit I'd never thought of that.

Wishing you an intense year with a lot of growth experiences! :)

Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Abomination of Decoration

Okay, it's a little after the season, but made me laugh out loud - thanks Mike, I needed that!

Have an Airy Christmas

Friday, December 28, 2007

Fear of Change

Me luvs them chickens!

New Years Resolutions

My bloggity friend, Penni, over at Martha, Martha picked at topic for the day. I started to comment on her blog, but it became a post and it began to ramble, so I'm answering it here:

are you one who makes resolutions?

Yes, but not in the traditional way. I love the routine that a year cycle brings - so I don't only use January 1st as a marker and make resolutions regularly - but never the kind that are legalistic - only those that are life giving.

do you write them down?

I journal about them throughout the year, blog on them and track them so that I can be encouraged by the changes that are happening in my heart and soul.

do you recheck them a week later (or a month or two) to see how you are faring?

It's not so much about "faring" for me - but as a reminder - kind of an "oh yeah - how is that folding into my life?" I'm kind of A.D.D. so I can loose the thread at times - rechecking helps me find it again.

are you looking forward to the next year?

Yes - I love the clean slate a new year brings. I also am marking the close of Step 10 "Continue to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it" Choosing to actively work this step I have introduced the daily examen each night and find it gives me much life. It has become ingrained into my routine now and love it. I will be starting Step 11 - "Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out." - in January and am excited to see what this brings to my life.

are you happy to see this one come to a close?

2007 was a big year for us - so many major life changes (without having to move!) - we started our Masters Degree, Jacob was diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes and Alinea is loving French Immersion and Middle School. It wasn't always easy, but taking one day at a time we did it all together.

Last year I prayed for a word to focus on and I got "centered" - I used it throughout the year as a touchstone and am amazed at how much I have grown because of it.

My new word for this year came to me just the other day - complete - I don't know what it means yet, but I am looking forward to finding it weaving it's way into my life this year.

Monday, December 24, 2007

The waiting is over

All of these things have tied together for me today:

I wonder, if we were to stop people at random in the street on December 24 and ask them what they want most for Christmas, how many would say, 'I want to see Jesus'?

I believe that the single most important consideration during the sacred season of Advent is intensity of desire. Paraphrasing the late Rabbi Abraham Heschel, 'Jesus Christ is of no importance unless he is of supreme importance.' An intense inner desire is already the sign of his presence in our hearts.

Source: Brennan Manning, Lion and Lamb : the Relentless Tenderness of Jesus

Don't You Sense Me?

I am, you anxious one.

Don't you sense me, ready to break
into being at your touch?
My murmurings surround you like shadowy wings.
Can't you see me standing before you
cloaked in stillness?
Hasn't my longing ripened in you
from the beginning
as fruit ripens on a branch?

I am the dream you are dreaming.
When you want to awaken, I am that wanting.
I grow strong in the beauty you behold.
And with the silence of stars I enfold
your cities made by time.

Rainer Maria Rilke Book of Hours: Love Poems to God


Advent complete.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Angels we have heard on high

Tiffany Stained Glass window in St. Saviour's Church, Bar Harbor, Maine.
Not for commercial use.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Local celebrity dies in car accident

I just found out from Keith that our local country station DJ Perry White was killed in a car accident today. We didn't know Perry from the radio, we knew him from the laundromat.

He was the first person we met from St. Stephen when we visited 2 years ago. He was so personable and kind. He gave us lots of local lore and legend and really gave us a taste for this community. It wasn't long before he introduced us to another Local legend - Dot, the crossing guard - she's probably the biggest celebrity in town and is Canada's Top Crossing Guard for 2006.

He made sure to get our names and told us to listen to the radio the following morning as he talked about our family on the air (our kids were famous!) and that we would be returning from Pennsylvania in January to make St. Stephen our home.

We'll miss you Perry.

Telegraph Journal - Radio Personality Killed

Monday, December 10, 2007

More on Simplicity

We simplify our lives.
We live gladly with less.
We let go the illusion that we can possess.
We create instead.
We let go the illusion of mobility.
We travel in stillness. We travel at home.
By candlelight and in stillness,
In the presence of flowers,
We make our pilgrimage.
We simplify our lives.

Source: The Prayer Tree, Michael Leunig

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Oh the glory of a good nights sleep

When I spoke with Jake's doctor last night she said some beautiful words "Since he's not going low in the middle of the night, let's cut out the 3:00 a.m. blood check." Music to my ears! I really would have done it for the rest of my life if necessary (she said we'd probably only have to do it for a couple of weeks) but the difference it made to be able to go to bed and not have to get up until morning was glorious.

I felt like a new woman.

We have an early communion/celtic liturgy service that I had been attending and so missed last week that was fuel for my soul this morning and then Joel did Cockburn's Mary Had a Baby for worship and it somehow felt like Christmas again.

So I guess I just needed a long cry, a good whine and a night's rest to have some sanity restored.

We also had a celebration dinner out last night. We went to the local steakhouse/pub across the river and had a sandwich (and I didn't have to cook). We celebrated Jake's health and Alinea's amazing report card (she's doing so well in French Immersion - we are so proud of her!) and just had a fun, giggly night out together. Life feels much more manageable on all fronts.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

More like Easter than Christmas...

If it wasn't for all of the snow and two munchkins constantly reminding me about present lists and advent calendars I wouldn't really even know it was Christmas. It must be all of the needles, blood and exhaustion, but in my heart it feels a lot more like Lent than Advent right now.

This has become my life. Middle of the night blood tests and doing more math in two weeks than I do in a year. Constant thoughts of meal plans, supply lists and telephone calls to endocrinologists who should be more tired of this than I am but don't seem to be. The celebration of the holiday is just lost on me. We're supposed to get a tree this weekend, but I can't say that I even care. It seems like way more work than it's worth but maybe it can kick start me into the holiday season. I truly doubt it though.

Keith is sick and has pushed so hard to get the Activity Center ready for the grand opening yesterday. He doesn't have the resources right now either. Poor Alinea is getting the dregs and is showing the signs of all of this change too. The hardest part is that we don't have grandparents or any family to come in and save the day. It's not like we ever really have. We did two babies alone for their whole childhood. I should be used to this by now, but it just seems so real in the shadow cast by the "joy of Christmas". Having the energy to fake through this holiday to make others feel better right now just isn't possible.

I don't know how to get from Lent to Advent this year.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Granolier than thou...

Wise words from inward/outward today. Simplicity has been a watch word for our family for a couple of years now and we have noticed this creeping into our conversations at times. It used to be "holier than thou" - how quickly it can become "granolier than thou"... living that organic, simple life can be a source of pride too...
Simplicity itself can become an idol resulting in judgmentalism and self-righteousness. That which was initiated out of inner simplicity becomes an external effort to "keep down with the Joneses." That which was meant to be liberating becomes a rigorous list of "simplicity do's and don'ts." That which sprang from a desire to express compassion for those with so little becomes a tool of judgment wielded against those with so much.

On the other hand, simplicity, when combined with genuine Christian spirituality, offers a prophetic, culturally-challenging alternative to the good life. Simplicity stands in quiet contrast to our culture's dominant messages. It reveals and challenges the idols of our day and calls us, individuallly and societally, to live lives of compassionate integrity.
Source: Simpler Living, Compassionate Life, Michael Schut

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Home Safe

We have been home for almost 24 hours now and it feels SO GOOD! Jacob is doing amazingly well for all of the changes he has to face. I kept him home from school today as the teacher didn't need "oh and by the way I have diabetes" first thing after two snow days.

I am meeting with the teaching team tomorrow at 2:00 to help them all be on the same page. I have to admit I'm a bit intimidated, but I know that it's for his care and that the Diabetic nurse on Jake's team has already done a teaching time at his school earlier this year - I don't have to teach them about diabetes - I have to teach them about Jacob, and other than him, I guess I'm the expert :)

It truly changes everything though. Gotta run and get supper on (on time!) The routine is starting to sink in, but it's a bit of work. Keep praying for us all (Alinea included) if you think of us - it's quite an adjustment we're all making. Thanks for your encouraging notes and prayers!! Much love!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Getting back to himself

Well, the diagnosis of JD isn't the best in the world but knowing is WAY better than not knowing. I feel the weight of the world off of my shoulders and shared by so many of the staff here and the doctor is amazing.

He looks like himself again and although we're tired and not sleeping well things are progressing. I think we're here until Wednesday though, so please pray for sleep if possible.

Thanks so much!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Please pray for my son Jacob

We have noticed in the past week that Jake has lost a lot of weight and he's always thirsty and we have suspected he might have Type I Diabetes. My father is type I and after reading an update email my friend Gracie, who is an RN in Australia and who's son is 12 and was diagnosed last year called me on the phone and told me to get him to emerg. Keith took him and they're doing bloodwork. Please pray he gets the help he needs.

Pray for me too as I'm a bit freaked out. I'll keep you posted.