Sunday, March 30, 2008

what i won't do to travel. . . and other random things

a couple of years ago i won a trip for two to a 5-star resort in Mexico.
It was a DREAM holiday and we LOVED every minute of our grand prize trip!!!

I was sitting on the couch the other morning, going through the grocery, store flyers and i saw a coupon/special offers booklet with a nice-sounding travel prize. .

I yelled out to Rob, who was in the dining room, "Robbie! We need to travel again. Look up the website!" He did and its one of those 1 entry per person per day. I like those. . the more entries the better. I guess it sounds lame that i think entering contests is our way of going on trips!? but it worked once. . it could happen again?!

The name of the contest campaign is a little unfortunate. . .

"Be Kind to Your Behind" sweepstakes. .

its sponsored by a manufacturer of toilet paper

i figure i can be kind to my behind by giving it another chance to sit in a 5-star beach chair! I wish!

and now for the random --

My granddaughter told me the other day: "Nana, I'm marrying Connor." I feigned surprise. . "Oh, really honey?!" Eri sounded nonchalant: "Yeah, i was going to marry Donovan, but he moved to Preston and I changed my mind." Oi! she's 4!!!!

An observation. ..

Canadians are crazy. . I say this with utmost love and all, being Canadian myself.
It can be fffreezing outside in this part of Canada in March, like it was today.
The sun shines and jazzes everyone. . and people start going outside with bare arms while there are still piles of snow everywhere?! It makes no sense. . but then again we're a desperate lot.

I watched a bit of a TLC show last night. . a thin British hypnotist was telling an audience of unthin people that they could control their impulses by tapping on their cheekbones, then collar bone, then cheekbone again, then the outside of their hand, while humming the first couple of bars of "the Birthday Song", looking down to the right, down to the left, around in circles one way, then the other -- don't stop tapping. . and voila, impulse is diminished? umm, yeeeah. Then came the call (host) and answer (audience) : "What should you do when you're hungry?" "EAT!" "What should you eat?" "WHAT WE WANT!" "How should you eat it?" "CONSCIOUSLY!" gosh. . i don't even know what kind of snappy, smart-ass comment to insert here!! If i consciously eat whatever garbage i want, every day will that do the trick? People are desperate? stupid? This guy's a sheister. . huckster, he's laughing all the way to BIG money, profiteering by making people tap themselves black and blue, rolling their eyes and singing Happy Birthday ?! BAH!!

Friday, March 21, 2008

just another day off work?

Good Friday
day off work and school
everything is inconveniently shut down
less time to buy marshmallow bunnies and hoola hoops

does a massive hush spread over the globe in honour of the most pivotal moment in history?
hardly at all
the liquor store is closed and no one can buy their beer

some people don't know anything about Good Friday
why is it called good?
what does that mean?

for me it means imaging what it would be like to be universally supreme
and amazingly not obliterating anyone who displeased me
even more amazingly, loving the ones who tested my love to the limits

it means agreeing then to be born into a mere body
growing up human, with all of those frustrations
still retaining my pure, uncompromised holiness
teaching and breathing reviving love
into the ones i created, who had died in their spirits. . . cut off from me
and having my heart wrenched and torn in the process and my body beaten and broken for them

it means bearing the collective tonnage of their sin, past, present and yet to be committed. . .. having it suffocate and invade my holiness. . .
genocides, homicides, wars, despair, grief, mental and physical disease of the billions, all manner of degredation, every heinous, vile act against every victim in the world's history piled high upon me, squeezing out my life, faces, voices, cries in my head, before my eyes

knowing that this was the only way to break sin's chokehold on them was the only thing that kept me strong enough to bear it

they were so worth every drop of blood,
not a drop was wasted. . . in my eyes their value is infinite
i could not leave them enslaved by independence,
shackled by pride
perishing and unaware
they needed me and i loved them deeply, to the death
and beyond

for me this is the heart of Christ on Good Friday.
this is what the Bible tells me about Good Friday
this is what happened
this is good??
this sounds bad
this should be Black Friday
my daughter thinks 'murderous mob Friday' (all the ones shouting for his death)

you may say this is hard to believe
you may not be comfortable
you may think i'm crazy
you may not care
you may be in tears, thinking of him
you may want to kiss his feet

however you feel,
belief or disbelief,
nothing changes the truth
not rejecting it
not ignoring it

nothing diminishes Love
not disregard
not pride
not indifference

Today WalMart was not open
no cheap chocolate was bought
the grocery stores were dark
the dollar stores were empty
But the sacrifice of Christ was reflected upon and appreciated by many
and that is good but the joy of Easter isn't in the death
for there is nothing joyful in that.
its in celebrating the resurrection,
and that is really good.

Monday, March 17, 2008

St. Patrick's Breastplate. . . an eloquent prayer

When i was a kid, all i ever thought of at St. Patrick's Day was wearing green and Shamrock Shakes at McDonalds.

When i was a young adult, all i ever thought of at St. Patrick's Day was the day i delivered our stillborn daughters.

Now, as a middle aged woman, I have discovered there is more to this day than what i associated it with or how i felt because of it

Patrick (Padraig) was captured as a teen, sold into slavery. He escaped after 6 years of slavery and made his way to France, where he became a monk and returned to Ireland in 432, as a missionary. He made many converts to Christ among the Irish tribes. This is only a bare bones summary of his life.

I love the prayer of "St. Patrick's Breastplate". . its lyrical and beautifully spiritually authentic. This is my prayer, i love it - I have excerpted it here . . its quite long.

I bind unto myself today
the strong Name of the Trinity
by invocation of the same,
the 3 in 1, the 1 in 3

i bind this day to me forever
by power of faith, Christ's incarnation
His baptism in Jordan river,
His death on cross for my salvation
His bursting from the spiced tomb
His riding up the Heavenly way
His coming at the day of doom
i bind unto myself today

i bind unto myself today the virtue of the starlit Heaven
the glorious sun's life-giving ray, the whiteness of the moon at even
the flashing of the lightning free
the whirling wind's tempestuous shocks
the stable earth, the deep salt sea around the old, eternal rocks

the power of God to hold and lead
His eye to watch, His might to stay
His ear to harken to my need
The wisdom of my God to teach
His hand to guide, His shield to ward
The word of God to be my speech
His Heavenly host to be my guard

against all Satan's spells and wiles
against all false words and heresy
against the knowledge that defiles
against the heart's idolatry
against the wizard's evil craft
against the death wound and the burning
the choking wave, the poisoned shaft
protect me, Christ till thy returning

Christ be with me, Christ within me
Christ behind me, Christ before me
Christ beside me, Christ to win me
Christ to comfort and restore me
Christ beneath me, Christ above me
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger
Christ in hearts of all that love me
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger

I bind unto myself the Name, the strong Name of the Trinity
by invocation of the same, the 3 in 1, the 1 in 3
by whom all nature hath creation
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word
Praise to the Lord of my salvation
Salvation is of Christ, the Lord

23rd birthday

Today is the 23rd anniversary of our twin daughters' 'birthday'.
I often feel sad on this day.
Today is new, but so far I don't feel sad.
We will never forget Keely and Fiona.
One day we will see them both at last.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

right down to the real nitty gritty

there's something about being squeezed in the vice of pressure.
you'd think you'll be crushed
and in some ways you are
but paradoxically, you may feel as if you've never been stronger.

i've had occasion to step into another person's shoes literally for a week and a half.
i have 'become' her for all intents and purposes and i don't think i've ever had more respect for the myriad of things she does in her high pressure job. you know that old saying about never really knowing someone until you walk in their shoes. . . so true.

funny thing about being pressed to your limits,
you discover things about yourself that you would never know otherwise.
things like:
i can make it through this day
i can do this
one task at a time
prioritize or be paralyzed
call upon the knowledge you've taken in
don't be afraid to fail
if you do, get back up
take help
learn from your mistakes
don't give up

as i've been thinking through what all of this is teaching me both professionally, emotionally and spiritually i feel depleted and worn, but at the same time, more vital and energized.
at some rock bottom moments, when panic tries to overtake me, boggles my mind and threatens to shut me down. . . i reach past it and i ask for help. . . on the job to others who can help me and in my spirit i reach to God who gladly gives me strength at my absolute weakest. . .
I'm still in a swirl of chaos, but in it i am changed and able. .
it feels nothing short of miraculous.