Saturday, April 30, 2005


Ok, so daisymarie tagged me in a blog game. Here's the deal: I have to pick 5 or more of the following occupations and post my answers here. Then, I tag 3 other people to post their answers on their blog. Got it? Sounds like fun, huh?

Here goes....The "questions":If I could be a scientist...If I could be a farmer...If I could be a musician...If I could be a doctor...If I could be a painter...If I could be a gardener...If I could be a missionary...If I could be a chef...If I could be an architect...If I could be a linguist...If I could be a psychologist...If I could be a librarian...If I could be an athlete...If I could be a lawyer...If I could be an inn-keeper...If I could be a professor...If I could be a writer...If I could be a llama-rider...If I could be a bonnie pirate...If I could be an astronaut...If I could be a world famous blogger...If I could be a justice on any one court in the world...If I could be married to any current famous political figure...

1. If I could be a librarian I would pay special attention to the children who loved to live in the library. I would take an interest in their lives and what books they liked to read. I would try to be someone who made a difference in their life. Libraries were safe and special places for me when I was a kid. I managed to read almost every book in the youth section of the library when I was a teen.

2. If I could be a professor I would encourage my students to think outside the box. To look at life through a different lense. To not be afraid of a differing point of view. I'd want to be a professor of a subject I had a passion for. I'd want to communicate that passion effectively enough that it was caught by my students.

3. If I could be a doctor I would listen to my patients. I wouldn't pretend I knew it all. I'd teach my patients to listen and trust what their body was telling them. I would know that healing comes in many forms, not all of them medical.

4. If I could be a musician I would play the piano. I would feel the music so deeply that it resonated in my very being. It would come across as if my soul was playing the music not just my fingers. Playing the piano would be an expression of worship.

5. If I could be a missionary I would honour the culture of the people I was working with. I would not expect them to become some north american version of a Christian.

Here are three people I would like to tag in blogland.....Michael and Ginger and Matt.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005


Moving day is coming soon. There's a lot of stuff to get rid of before that happens. A garage sale is on the agenda for the weekend. I'm not sure, with day time high temperatures forecast at just above the freezing mark, that the turnout will be any good but I am willing to gamble on it. It helps that my neighbour just down the road is having a farm auction the same day.

The home we are moving into is about a third smaller than our current one. It's forcing me to sort and toss. I look at my possessions and ask myself if I can live without this or that item. I am finding more things I can let go than I ever thought possible. I am just as sure there would be some head scratching as to the 'whys' of this choice over that one. I feel a bit like the Irishman in Braveheart who said, "It's my island!" It's my stuff.

If I find one more container full of papers to shred though I may be tempted to make a nest in the shreds and hibernate for a bit. The weather seems to indicate that would be a good choice.

As I sort and pack I think about the elderly who are often forced to make the transition from having a lifetime of stuff whittled down to keeping just the most precious of them. Letting go must be hard. I wonder why we wait until then to keep only those things we can't or don't want to let go of. I think then of the final letting go of all earthly possessions. I find myself getting a tad cynical and wanting to chuck it all right now.

But I know the attachment is really in my mind....that there is nothing wrong with having stuff and nothing wrong with being attached to it. I do wonder when does it become too much stuff. Too much attached. Maybe there is no such thing as too much of either.

I think of my in- laws who watched passively as some of their most precious possessions were thrown away as 'junk' by some of their children. What did it feel like to have a lifetime of hard work dismissed as a truck load of garbage dump material? What IS the point of accumulating just to let go of it all in the end?

I used to attach a spiritual signifigance to material possessions. The less you had the more spiritual you were. I took pride in having nothing. I was so far from spiritual. I was 35 before I admitted how much I liked pretty things. Admitted it was okay to not only like them but have them too. Admitted how much being surrounded by pretty things nourished my soul. I'm not willing to live a spartan life anymore. Or at least not willing to attach a spiritual price tag to it.

I will continue to sort and pack and toss away. I imagine it's the journey we are all on. In all areas of life. Sort, pack and toss away. Around and around the cycle goes until the final transition.

Spoonless in Canada

I'm just too weary to blog. Never ending days of packing for a move and not enough spoons to go around. I'm not taking the time to sit and reflect. It seems one thing follows another and the day is done and yet so little seems done. This too shall pass. We have gone from getting an eviction notice to signing preliminary papers on our own little farm in just over 3 weeks. 10 days ago it looked like we may have to change communities entirely plus move from country to town. God did a miracle and we are only moving 2 miles down the road. And for the first time in my life I am beginning to wrap my head around the thought that things happen and I am no longer going - "if I do this.." then "God will(must) do that". Grace is such a hard thing to grasp. It is much easier to think that God does certain things in our lives because of our actions. Phooey. I don't know about you but if it really worked that way I'd be in big trouble.

Thursday, April 21, 2005


Falconbrother is one of my favourite people who post at the Brennan Manning Message Board. He always gives me food for thought. I love how he says it straight. Here is one of his most recent posts on the board about vulnerability. Enjoy!

"It seems to me that Christ calls us to be weak (vulnerable) so that He will shine through.

It’s in the honesty of vulnerability that people see the love that was proclaimed. It is in that brokenness that lives are healed. The thing is, it’s like others have already said here, it’s trusting enough to disconnect from the outcomes.

Vulnerability is a testimony. Don’t you think? It’s saying “this is what’s happening in my life. Do what you will with it.” Then, it allows the other person to be gracious or an #######. In graciousness they learn to become more gracious and steeped in joy. In assholeness their inner struggle is exposed to the light of day (it’s the “you don’t have to tell a fat man he’s fat” theory). Either way, if done in the spirit, it is a gift.

It’s like a law or something. When we give we receive. To bless another with our honesty often reaps blessings far beyond what we gave.

There’s this lady in our church, she died yesterday. But, on Sunday she stood up and talked about her fears and she cried and just got honest before the whole congregation. We all cried with her and that moment became infected with the Holy Spirit. We didn’t know she would die so soon. Neither did she. However, in her vulnerability seeds have been planted. Some will grow and be harvested.

The beauty of a person is, in my opinion, is found in their tender use of honest expression of community and tenderness. As long as we defend our mask and neurotic need for ego control issue crap we work counter to the efforts of the ministry of the Holy Spirit."

Monday, April 18, 2005

The Wind Blows

Such weird thoughts come into my head at Mass. Sometimes I wonder if God wants me there just because I seem to get quiet enough to listen. And some days I wonder if I just truly make it all up and have this split personality where one of them is a pseudo God who whispers weird thoughts in my head.

Yesterday at Mass I was kneeling after communion and as I felt the breeze others made on my face as they went past me back to their pews this thought came into my head, "The wind blows where it will Cheryl. Even in ********." Which was the name of the church where my husband and boys go. I immediately thought of the Holy Spirit and how it is described in the Bible as wind. Point taken, whoever You are.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

The Spirit of It All

I remember how shocked I felt several years ago when a friend of mine talked about the spirit of a passage in the Bible as opposed to only the words. Could a person actually do that? Wasn't that dangerous? Wouldn't it lead into error? It was a totally new concept to me. Imagine sifting the Word for the Spirit of it all. Scary (and scarry) stuff. You have to read great chunks of it to get a glimpse of the Spirit of it all. A snippet here and there just won't do it.

I was reminded of all this as I was reading the recent posts and comments at both the Boar's Head Tavern and the Internet Monk. Knee jerk reactions to only the words and no room for the spirit in it all is what I see happening. Snippets read here and there will not do it here either. And how we all long to have people get to know us well enough so that they can read between the lines of what we say and see our spirits.

I've read these two sites for several years now. It may be an illusion but after a while a person thinks they might know the posters just a bit. Be able to predict the kinds of posts and comments they will make. What impresses me is the spirit in which it is all done. Controversies abound. Differences of opinions. It doesn't detract from the unity of spirit. Yes, there's occasional slap up the side of the head. Some days I imagine I hear "what a jerk" whispered under someone's breath but done only by people who know they also look in the mirror and say the same thing. Some days in my imagination I see a dimly lit pub with the clinking of glasses and an occasional "here, here" being proclaimed. I watch as one of them leaves the pub. The rest may talk yet they truly wish each other well. More than the need to prove a point is the desire to get the point of it all.

Who would have thought you could find the church in a pub? Not in my reality. But to see it you have to be willing to discern the Spirit in it all.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Can It Be Mine?

Last night in the candle lit darkness I was listening to
this CD by Andrew Peterson
and wondering what it looks like to have joy in every circumstance. What does it look like? Is it possible? Is it desirable? Can it be mine? There are so many times that by the light of candles I can be full of what feels like total peace. Turn on the lights and the reality of life hits and *poof* the peace disappears like a genie down a lamp. I want the peace in the dark to match the light of day. I used to have a little saying in my purse that said something like this: "Everyone is agreeable if nothing happens to be annoying him at the moment." Oh, for those moments!

What does it look like to be content when life's circumstances aren't what you wish they were? How does one juggle being real and truthful with contentment? I think of those smiling faces of little ones in third world countries, ones who have nothing but the joy in their hearts. How does one get that? What does it look like to truly "Let Go and Let God"?

I have the feeling that there has been more times than I care to admit where I stuffed my reality down inside so that I could appear agreeable to life's cirucmstances. I want the joy to be the real thing.

All these thoughts are going through my mind lately because we are at the edge of a major life change and I don't want to go through it. But because I have to anyway, I want to go through it well. I want to make the best of what looks like a bad situation but I don't want to be pollyanna-ish about it without it being the real thing. I think of the saints of the spiritual life that I admire and I know that their contentment and peace did not hinge on circumstances being what they wanted them to be but in spite of them. Last night I told God, "Ok, I want to be like that."

Sunday, April 10, 2005

The Sweeping Arms of Grace

Do you ever wonder what grace looks like? I think in my mind it is like a huge weeping willow tree - arms of grace sweeping the earth, sheltering us all. Today I wanted to kick someone out of its arms until they could smarten up and be what I wanted them to be. I long to be a gracious person. Someone who is so secure in whose she is that she has no problem extending that grace to all, especially those who she doesn't want to be gracious to. I so ain't there yet.

Today was too hard to be Catholic in a sea of Protestants. That is too general of a statement. Not totally fair. Maybe I just make too big of a deal of it all. See in my mind I feel like I should be able to extend grace when I am getting spiritually puked on. Or hand out baby wipes at least. I would tell you all the details of a private conversation I had today but I know my motive would just be soliciting sympathy for my point of view. There is just so much misunderstanding amongst believers and it is unnecessary. We don't need to focus on it yet I find myself doing it too. I want to demand grace for myself yet not give it. Ugh.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Pieces of hope for this Hope gal

It is such a joy to read posts from other bloggers that give me hope. I tend to see the dark side of everything first and have to really stretch to see the light. Here are a few of my favourite recent posts from other bloggers that give me hope. Enjoy.

Amy over at amy loves books has a beautiful post about hope on March 31st that brought tears to my eyes. Her students are richly blessed to have her in their corner. Teachers like Amy are the kind that got me through high school and some pretty rough times.

Crystal from digital paper writes the most beautiful, heartfelt poetry.

Beth from file this ... has two recent posts here and here. I love an honest girlfriend even when I don't.(You know what I mean)

These are just a few of the recent gems I have come across in the past few days. The blogs listed on the side of my blog are just a few of the blogs I read daily. Some are common listings on several blogs and some are unique. I glean something from them all.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Jockeying For Position

I don't know if this ever happens to you but it happens to me. Something tells me I should rejoice but to cringe and slink down in my seat is my first reaction. Truth shall make me free but first it shall fill me with dread.

A few Sundays ago I was sitting in church - the one we have gone to for many years. I've explained before that I am a recent convert to Catholicism but still go to this Protestant church with my husband and boys. Some Sundays I just wish the Protestant pastor could hear the homily at the Catholic church so he could hear how clearly the gospel is being preached. Some Sundays I hear very similar sermons between the two churches. Some Sundays they are miles apart in spirit and truth. Anyway this is getting off topic.

So, a few Sundays ago I was in church and all of a sudden this clear vision comes creeping over my shoulder and plants itself in my head. You know those times when you feel like Truth has snuck up on you but it is too late to block it? There is no delete button. And as often as I would like to think of Truth as spam well, some could argue that is the problem today - people think Truth is spam and delete it before they consider it for what it is. I can welcome Truth much more readily in my life when it appears to be about someone else and about just about anything else but myself.

I was sitting there when Truth showed me that I have spent my whole life, spiritually and otherwise, jockeying for position. I am rarely content to be, as I am, right now. Like being in a jostling crowd, I am constantly trying to jockey for position. Ugh.

I don't know what kind of vision you have of yourself as an old person. I know I want to be warm hearted and wise. I want the kind of countenance that shows I have learned to love well and freely. A countenance that draws people in and points them to Him. I want to become all that I was created to be.

Truth is jockeying for position in my life so that I can become all I was created to be.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Out of Spoons

I have posted about the Spoon Theory before and I am not trying to sound like a stuck record but this is the second day in a row where I have woken up with maybe 2 spoons for the day. The day after tomorrow the boys and I leave for an 8 hour trip south for more medical appointments. Thank goodness the boys can both drive. Whatever is going on with me these past few days it is involving my lungs which are compromised already.

On a cheerier note we have two new lambs in the barn today. I used up a spoon going out to check on the labouring mammas. It was worth it.