Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Busy. Does that word sum up your life? Could you add descriptors like chaotic, crazy, out of control, over the top, hectic, frantic, or demanding and come up with an even more appropriate description?

I can relate. In the last six weeks I’ve driven over 10,000 km for work, been home 15 ½ days (including weekends) and travelled around three provinces. The mileage is actually a new record for me in my work travels. Sadly setting this record wasn’t exactly on my bucket list! (For those of you not familiar with the movie “The Bucket List” you can watch the movie trailer here http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0825232/)

I’m writing this while away over the weekend, knowing I’ll get home Monday night only to turn around and head for Winnipeg on Wednesday afternoon. To be perfectly honest the mere thought of leaving after only two nights at home dismays, disgusts and horrifies me to the point of gagging...literally...GAK! But, it has to be done so I’ll go.

My travel schedule isn’t usually quite this hectic and if I’m honest with myself (something I don’t always like to be) I have to admit it’s starting to take its toll. The dark cloud of anxiety lurks around the corner like a serial killer.  Mind numbing panic hunts me like a wolf stalks its prey. I know I need to slow down, allow myself time to relax and enjoy life. I’ve been down this road before and the only place it leads is the dead end street of stress-induced asthma and the plunge over a cliff into heart palpitation canyon!

I wonder if Martha ever experienced anxiety or panic attacks from her busyness. I can so empathize with her.  Scripture says

“As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me. But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”  Luke 10:38-42

I feel for Martha. She probably spent a week before Jesus' arrival dusting, vacuuming and straightening up the house. She polished the silverware, washed the fine china and set out the crystal. She’s been up since dawn prepping, cooking, and baking. Succulent, mouth-watering aromas waft out behind her when she stomps out of the kitchen, determined to point out to Jesus just how lazy her sister is. Martha is feeling very self-righteous, she’s doing all the work and she wants everyone to know it, dammit!

I’m Martha. And while I hate to admit it, Mary was onto something. In all her busyness, Martha misses Jesus. Mary gets it. She understands if we’re too wrapped up in our lives we miss spending time in the very presence of our Lord. Missing out on God’s presence is the price we pay for our busy lives. Yes there are other costs – health and relationship problems, stress, depression, and anxiety – they’re all the cost of being too busy. But when the busyness of life gets in the way of our time with God then life is TOO busy! We’ve got our priorities wrong! It’s time to re-evaluate.

Where are you today? Are you too busy to spend time with God? Share your thoughts below by clicking “comments”.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Living In The "In Between"

Do you feel out of synch with life? Not sure which way is up or which way is down? Have an uncomfortable feeling of not quite fitting in? Living in the “in between” stage of transition?

I lived in Calgary for seven years. I quite enjoyed living there, had great friends and a wonderful church community. I loved the beauty of the skyline –sparkling, glowing lights from the downtown area filling the night sky – and the breath taking view of the awe inspiring Rocky Mountains jutting up on the western horizon. Over the years the city became home, its threads woven into the fabric of my life; a part of me.

When I got married in June 2010 I knew I'd be leaving the city to start a new life with my husband in Stony Plain, a community just outside Edmonton three and a half hours away. He and his children lived there and our priority was to remain close to them. As is often the case, logistics interfered with life plans and I didn’t end up moving to Stony Plain until March of this year.

I travel for work and since I’ve moved I’ve experienced an odd sense of displacement. I get to the airport at the end of the week and check the departure monitor for my flight. I wonder why the flight time on the monitor differs from the one on my itinerary and am suddenly struck by the realization I’m automatically looking at Calgary flights instead of Edmonton flights. When I’m driving familiar routes through Saskatchewan I automatically point the car in the direction of Calgary, but quickly realize I need to head north to Edmonton, not west to Calgary.

This week as I drove into Calgary for work I experienced that “out of synch” feeling again. The city felt like home. After seven years of coming back to this city I was programmed to experience the feeling of being home when I got to the city limits. But another part of my brain quickly kicked in telling me this wasn’t home; my home was the house I share with my husband in Stony Plain. It was a strange sense of being pulled in two – the city of Calgary feels like home but I don’t have a home here. Our house in Stony Plain feels like home but the community around it doesn’t.

It’s an “in between” stage in the transition where old habits and feelings are weakening but new habits and connections haven’t been established yet. This odd sense of displacement is experienced in moves, in job changes and in other transitions in life where circumstances have changed but the mind hasn’t quite grasped the reality of the situation yet.

It takes time to adapt to change. I’m pleased that our house now feels like home and I hope one day when I reach the town limits of Stony Plain it too will feel as though I’ve come home.

Are you living in the “in between” stage of transition? Share your thoughts by clicking “comments” below.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Thanks on Thanksgiving

It’s Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada. I’m overcome with a wonderful sense of lethargy as I revel in a turkey and pumpkin pie induced coma. I’ve overindulged this evening to the point of actual physical pain for a few hours after dinner. Everything was just so good!

Perhaps it’s because I’ve been eating restaurant food for the last three weeks while I travelled for work. Or perhaps it’s simply because I can think of very few foods I enjoy more than turkey. Whatever the case, I shamelessly filled my plate and then against my better judgment filled it again. As if that wasn’t enough I crammed in a monster piece of pumpkin pie smothered in whipped cream, followed by Earl Grey tea to wash it all down.

I know there’s more to Thanksgiving than just appreciating the finer things in life (like turkey) and there are so many things I'm thankful for this weekend.

1.       I’m thankful for finally coming home after three long hard weeks of being on the road, driving over 5000 km and living in hotel rooms and eating restaurant food.
2.      But, I'm thankful to have a job that enables me to have a home to come back to and one that will pay for my hotels and food when I travel away from home.
3.       I’m thankful for time this weekend with my husband to just enjoy being a couple. To take the time to finally hang pictures after being in the house for six months so it actually feels like a home.
4.       I’m thankful for the privilege of attending worship this weekend without fear or threats to my life; for the ability to sing praise and worship songs to God, to physically bask in His presence and feel His joy because I'm His child and He loves me regardless of all the mistakes I’ve made and all the mistakes I’m sure I will still make.
5.       I’m thankful to have a husband who understands, honours, and shares my faith.
6.       I’m thankful to have a husband who loves and honours me for the person I am, not the person I think he wants me to be.
7.       I’m thankful for the means to buy the food to serve family and friends a Thanksgiving dinner and for the day spent in the kitchen preparing, baking, cooking and cleaning.
8.       I’m thankful for each bite of food with its plethora of unique flavours – for the succulent turkey mixed with tart cranberry sauce, for sour pickles, for sweet and buttery yams, for crunchy potato casserole, for creamy meaty gravy, for spicy, savory stuffing, for the slightly acidic taste of asparagus and the exquisite explosion of wine on my taste buds as it washes it all down.
9.       I’m thankful for Gavison to calm the pain of overindulgence :)
10.   I’m thankful for the wonderful fall palate of oranges, reds, yellows and browns adorning the trees. And for the satisfying crunch of leaves under my feet that makes me laugh again like a carefree child.
11.   I’m thankful for a safe, warm, comfortable place to sleep.
12.   I’m thankful for the ability to read and write and for the courage God has given me to reach out and share my stories with those around me. I’m excited about the future and what He has in store for me and my family.

There are so many more things I could share, but I think you get the idea. I know I sometimes I complain and whine and go through life not appreciating opportunities that are mine each day. But in my heart I know and understand that I am truly blessed.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

What are you thankful for? Respond by clicking on “comments” below.