Sunday, December 16, 2007

Christmas Giving

This Christmas I have heard the challenge over and over again to reconsider our gift giving. Do we REALLY need the gifts we get? Is the stress of finding the “perfect gift” worth it? Consider the majority of the world who would love the gift of three meals a day; a regular paying job to support his family; tuition money for their children for college; a cure for AIDS that is killing off their family one by one….I could go one and on.. so could you.

So this Christmas, my husband and I are sending our gift money to each other to help Filipinos who have lost their homes in a flood. The staff in our Manila based office pooled their exchange gift money and is giving it to a family with a blind girl who is also now diagnosed with epilepsy and has no medical insurance. One friend is giving his wife a goat that will live in India to bring some livelihood into a village family there ( and did it on line with a reputable organization). Others have already stuffed gift shoe boxes to send to poor children through the Samaritans Purse.

Christ gave us the ultimate gift- his life for the ransom of our sin and it was a sacrificial gift. He is our example. Life is richer when we give!

Friday, December 14, 2007

A story that moves me

Several years ago, a preacher from out-of-state accepted a call to a church in Houston , Texas . Some weeks after he arrived, he had an occasion to ride the bus from his home to the downtown area. When he sat down, he discovered that the driver had accidentally given him a quarter too much change. As he considered what to do, he thought to himself, "You'd better give the quarter back. It would be wrong to keep it." Then he thought, "Oh, forget it, it's only a quarter. Who would worry about this little amount? Anyway, the bus company gets too much fare; they will never miss it. Accept it as a 'gift from God' and keep quiet."

When his stop came, he paused momentarily at the door, and then he handed the quarter to the driver and said, "Here, you gave me too much change."

The driver, with a smile, replied, "Aren't you the new preacher in town? I have been thinking a lot lately about going somewhere to worship. Just wanted to see what you would do if I gave you too much change.

I'll see you at church on Sunday."

When the preacher stepped off of the bus,
he literally grabbed the nearest light pole, held on, and said, "Oh God, I almost sold your Son for a quarter."

Our lives are the only Bible some people will ever read. This is a really scary example of how much people watch us as Christians and will put us to the test!

Always be on guard -- and remember -- You carry the name of Christ on your shoulders when you call yourself "Christian."

Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Empty Spaces

We all have empty spaces in our lives. Sometimes other people find them for us or in us, circumstances reveal them or we just feel something missing and we go looking for it, whatever it may be. It is when we crave for something or have a deep dissatisfaction deep down inside.

Sometimes we try to fill these empty spaces with things- like money, education, new car or even a new hair cut. Or we try to fill it with people- husband, children, best friend etc. I find I try to fill it sometimes with food- you have heard of comfort food right- entertainment, or other fun activities. God showed me this week that the only thing that fills the empty spaces is his unfailing love. It is like water that flows in and around the cracks and gaps in my life. Other things just make more spaces!

If you have discovered some empty spaces in yourself lately, let God fill you up with his unfailing and unconditional love. There is nothing more satisfying.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

video

I am Canadian

As I was growing up in India my eyes watered and nose ran because I often had a cold- we lived 7,500 ft above sea level. In the Philippines my eyes watered and nose ran because of allergies- hay fever. In Canada my eyes water and my nose runs because of the COLD. My passport tells me I am Canadian so I am trying it on for size this year.

Richard and I went to our first hockey game where you actually pay to see them play. I was bundled in my sweater, coat, blanket and gloves and looked behind me. There was a couple in shirt sleeves- alright they were teenagers trying to impress each other. A little further up on the bleachers was a mom (or was it grandma- hard to tell these days) with a little one bundled in coat and blanket. As I cheered on our home town team , heard the scraping of flying skates across the ice, sang the Canadian anthem…I felt Canadian.

As I have said in other blogs, we are learning what a deal Tim Horton’s is for a lunch of homemade soup and sandwich. Richard and I find it the best place to grab a cup of coffee with old and new friends. We are learning to eat more meat as it is served to us- portion sizes I mean. We were taken out to breakfast the other day and shared a normal order and it was STILL to much for us. The other day we were served fruit soup- wow that was good- soup of peaches, cherries, apricots, strawberries and I don’t know what else. Top it with a little yogurt and mmmmm that is good!

The malls are SO small compared to what we have in Manila, but I guess it is refreshing to go to the till and only be number 2 in line and nobody behind you! We are a small town but still there seems to be great events to go to continuously. Concerts, hockey games, sleigh rides, hockey games, choir festival, hockey games, ladies teas, hockey games. Ok you may have guessed that our church family is pretty into hockey. It might be because our pastor is the chaplain of the team!

So in many ways it is easy slipping into Canadian life- it fits well. At least indoors!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

I AM A CHRISTIAN


When I say ... "I am a Christian,"
I'm not shouting "I'm clean living."
I'm whispering "I was lost,
Now I'm found and forgiven."

When I say ..."I am a Christian,"
I don't speak of this with pride.
I'm confessing that I stumble,
And need CHRIST to be my guide.

When I say ... "I am a Christian,"
I'm not trying to be strong.
I'm professing that I'm weak,
And need HIS strength to carry on.

When I say ... "I am a Christian,"
I'm not bragging of success.
I'm admitting I have failed,
And need God to clean my mess.

When I say ... "I am a Christian,"
I'm not claiming to be perfect.
My flaws are far too visible,
But God believes I am worth it.

When I say ... "I am a Christian,"
I still feel the sting of pain.
I have my share of heartaches,
So I call upon His name.

When I say ... "I am a Christian,"
I'm not holier than thou.
I'm just a simple sinner
who received God's good grace somehow.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

God’s Paintbrush

It is Fall in our little resort town of Salmon Arm. The hills that hug our streets and homes are full of the crisp autumn colors- vibrant orange, sunshine yellow, crunchy brown, velvety maroon, deep red, and shocking pink- red! The evergreens remain tall, stately and green. Richard has had the chance to walk the hills and woods and spotted a little fawn staring with big round brown eyes at him, sitting perfectly still as if posing for his portrait. Salmon Arm usually has sunshine and clear skies and when I look up I see God has brushed the clouds as wispy bits of cotton wool. Yesterday I noticed a small pink rose bud still tenaciously holding on for the last bit of life before the frost gets it. This morning the lawn, roofs, trees and roads are softly dusted with frost and the air is still as if waiting for something.

Wow, this is a breath takingly beautiful country! Richard and I are traveling the highways these days going between our parents and kids (4 hrs), and this gives time to say thank you to our Master Creator for his Fall Canadian painting!

My life is rich


Saturday, October 06, 2007

Some things we keep

Here is something I just got from my sister in law. The truth of this is what helps make my life rich- hope it does yours too!

I grew up in the 40's/50's/60's with practical parents. A mother, God love her, who washed aluminum foil after she cooked in it, then reused it. She was the original recycle queen, before they had a Name for it... A father who was happier getting old shoes fixed than buying new ones.

Their marriage was good, their dreams focused. Their best friends lived barely a wave away. I can see them now, Dad in trousers, tee shirt and a hat and Mom in a house dress, lawn mower in one hand, and dish-towel in the other. It was the time for fixing things. A curtain rod, the kitchen radio, screen door, the oven door, the hem in a dress Things we keep.

It was a way of life, and sometimes it made me crazy. All that re-fixing, eating, renewing, I wanted just once to be wasteful. Waste meant affluence. Throwing things away meant you knew there'd always be more.

But then my mother died, and on that clear summer's night, in the warmth of the hospital room, I was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn't any more.

Sometimes, what we care about most gets all used up and goes away...never to return. So... While we have it... it's best we love it... And care for it.... And fix it when it's broken..... And heal it when it's sick.

This is true... For marriage.... And old cars.... And children with bad report cards..... Dogs and cats with bad hips.... And aging parents.... And grandparents. We keep them because they are worth it, because we are worth it. Some things we keep. Like a best friend that moved away or a classmate we grew up with.

There are just some things that make life important, like people we know who are special.... And so, we keep them close!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

New stuff here in Canada

It is fun to notice the new things Canada has come up with while we have been gone for three years. I walk in the huge ware house grocery store and find every chemical to remove stains from clothes, teeth, bathtubs and floors- without scrubbing! Just apply and wait to see it disappear. The Swifer- wet (with strip for hard to get off spots) and dry cleans all the floors. No need for a broom, mop and water bucket. Tide pens that you carry in your bag and apply the second you drip spaghetti sauce on your shirt. (Where was this when I was raising kids?)

We are finding a Tim Hortons on every corner. That is the store. We are finding Tim Hortons coffee cups in people’s hands EVERYWHERE: in church, walking the malls, sitting in the sunshine on a park bench, riding a bike or driving a car, even in their own kitchens! I guess Tim makes better coffee than mother does.

Basically you can find anything to make life faster, easier, more comfortable and cleaner. But does it make people happier? Less stressed? More content? I am not sure. I think of my Filipino friends, many who are still washing clothes by hand in a basin outside. Are they really “missing out” on all this stuff? What brings contentment to them?

Are we more content when life is easier and more comfortable? I wonder… I guess I find my contentment not in an easier life but when my relationships are in tack. When I can rely on the unconditional love of my husband. When my adults kids want me to be around. When people greet me with a long, hard hug and remember my name after not seeing them for 3 years. And when I am at peace with myself, knowing I am God’s child, unique and loved and accepted by him.

So while I am enjoying all the new stuff, I am trying not to get used to it and keep my life rich with relationships and not gadgets. How about you?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

What a dose of sunshine can do

I just did something I haven’t allowed myself to do since I got back to Canada. I dropped everything, set up a camping chair in the back yard, put my feet up and soaked in some sunshine. There are two reasons why I haven’t done this till now. There wasn’t the opportunity and there wasn’t enough WARM sunshine! I am home today working at my computer for upcoming meetings. I hardly realized the sunshine was there and warming up till it started tickling my back from the window. The warmth made me smile, then I closed my eyes and let it massage my back. I finally gave in and went outside.


I settled down into the chair and my heart beat started slowing down. I looked out over the beautiful lawn and trees and realized that our Creator has used so many greens that no crayon box could duplicate. At first all I could hear was the traffic on the street below then I heard the birds. Warbling, chirping and cawing in dialogue, once in a while flying out to visit each other in the tops of the trees. The sun rays penetrated deep into my bones yet the occasional cool breeze kept me from getting too hot. I felt tingly and relaxed as I do after a good Thai massage! I closed my eyes and slept.


In the stressful, busy lives we live we often feel we can’t stop, like the little gerbil on the wheel that he runs on. He doesn’t realize it is only spinning because he is making it spin as he runs on it. I know this is simplifying things too much, but I do know that the last half hour break in the sun made my wheel stop for a short while and refreshed me.

Go ahead. Go outside and see what the sunshine can do for you!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Reconnecting to Canada

There is nothing like…

The warmth of a loved one’s embrace after a long absence

A belly laugh over good memories shared over a picnic supper

Talking face to face with friends rather than the impersonal e mail connection

The smell of newly mowed grass

The mighty power of the great Niagara Falls

Not standing out in a crowd because I don’t have honey colored skin and shiny black hair

Taking a deep, deep breath of clean fresh air

Watching commercials I have never seen before

The burst of familiar flavor eating a fresh strawberry

Sleeping under a snuggly comforter

Getting behind the wheel of my car as the driver after 3 years

For the next few months I am going to enjoy being back home in Canada!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

A Moving Experience!

My husband and I leave Manila for 9 months in Canada in a few hours. Moving is never easy as it involves goodbyes but also hellos. So goodbye for now to my friends here in Asia and hello to friends in Canada!

Something to chew on till I write again!

"In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." - Thomas Jefferson -

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

When life on earth is over….


Yesterday we heard of two people we know who passed away. One was a young man leaving a wife and four precious kids. He loved God ,people and life. He was a magnet for teens as he was so laid back that people felt comfortable around him. As a youth pastor he joined in with the mud soccer or snow boarding and just was around to hang out with the kids.. He didn’t want a Sunday faith but a faith that wore the ordinary man’s clothes, spoke the ordinary man’s talk and mixed with ordinary people. He wanted to make a difference in his world for Jesus. And he did!

The other was an older woman, the wife of one of our leaders who has retired for some years now. She was a quiet unassuming woman. A woman of faith and kind deeds but not many words. Her health has been failing for many years and lately even her mind was slipping. She now has a healed mind and body in the presence of the Lord she faithfully served for so many years. She too wanted to make a difference in her world for Jesus. And she did!

Was the young man’s life cut short? Did the older woman live longer than she wanted in pain and confusion? I remember a quote from a grieving father who had just buried his 11 year old son. Someone said to him, “Isn’t it a shame that your son’s life was cut short?” “No,” he replied with peace on his face, “ He lived every day God planned for him.”

May I have that perspective as I live out every day God has planned for me!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

I've learned

You may have seen these quotes before but these are the few I have expereinced to be true! What about you?

I've learned....That money doesn't buy class.

I've learned....That it's those small daily happenings that make life so spectacular.

I've learned...That under everyone's hard shell is someone who wants to be appreciated and loved.

I've learned....That to ignore the facts does not change the facts.

I've learned....That when you plan to get even with someone, you are only letting that person continue to hurt you.

I've learned...That love, not time, heals all wounds.

I've learned...That the easiest way for me to grow as a person is to surround myself with people smarter than I am.

I've learned....That everyone you meet deserves to be greeted with a smile.

I've learned....That when you harbor bitterness, happiness will dock elsewhere.

I've learned....That one should keep his words both soft and tender, because tomorrow he may have to eat them.

I've learned....That a smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.

I've learned....That I can't choose how I feel, but I can choose what I do about it.

I've learned....That everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness, and growth occurs while you're climbing it.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

My Quiet Soul

How quiet is my soul? I have been thinking of that lately as my husband and I find ourselves running out of time on both ends of the day! I don’t think stress comes from busyness or circumstances so much as how noisy, overwhelmed and discouraged my soul is. I found a poem I wrote a few years ago in Canada. It rings true for me today too!

My Quiet time with God

How I hate getting out of the warm, snug covers.

My head feels weighted down to my pillow.

It is so quiet and so dark.

Just a few more minutes of sleep would be so welcome.

I stumble out of bed and wash my face.

The floor feels cold to my bare feet.

It is so quiet and so dark.

I find myself at my desk with my Bible in front of me.

Darkness is like a wall that keeps the rush of the day at bay

All is asleep except God and I.

It is so quiet and so dark.

But I can hear my thoughts in this wall of darkness.

Is this just a ritual that I have done since a child?

Surely I can meet God in a few hours from now!

It is so quiet and so dark

The morning is about to break and with it the clamor of a busy life.

I read His Word, written so long ago

Yet I feel I am sitting in a room alone with God

It is so quiet and so dark

“Morning, wait to come” I am enjoying my God’s presence.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Empty Nest

My younger sister and her husband are experiencing empty nest this summer. Their oldest has started university in Manila (hence a June start) and their younger son is experiencing the “real world” doing construction. I asked my sister how she was doing. She had one word for me-lonely.

We are a step ahead of them as our three girls all have a life on their own now. We raised our girls to be godly, responsible and make good choices in life. They are doing just that so I cannot be sad, right? But is it still lonely? At times, to be honest yes. But skype and MSN are huge helps. On the other hand it is also a great time of life. The living room stays tidy; my husband and I don’t need to go out to date or talk; no fight for the TV remote…. But I remember my mom used to say when we were all gone from home for boarding school- the Silence is deafening! I know what she means!

One motto we live by: Distance doesn’t separate us, silence does. So we keep chatting, keep calling, and visit as often as our overseas lifestyle can manage. But once a parent always a parent…. I just received this as I was thinking about the empty nest syndrome- kinda fits- and how true!

Is there a magic cutoff period when offspring become accountable for their own actions? Is there a wonderful moment when parents can become detached spectators in the lives of their children and shrug, "It's their life," and feel nothing?

When I was in my twenties, I stood in a hospital
corridor waiting for doctors to put a few stitches in my son's head. I asked, "When do you stop worrying?" The nurse said, "When they get out of the accident stage." My mother just smiled faintly and said nothing.

When I was in my thirties, I sat on a little
chair in a classroom and heard how one of my children talked incessantly, disrupted the class, and was headed for a career making license plates. As if to read my mind , a teacher said, "Don't worry, they all go through this stage and then you can sit back, relax and enjoy them." My mother just smiled faintly and said nothing.

When I was in my forties, I spent a lifetime
waiting for the phone to ring, the cars to come home, the front door to open. A friend said, "They're trying to find themselves. Don't worry, in a few years, you can stop worrying. They'll be adults." My mother just smiled faintly and said nothing.

By the time I was 50, I was sick & tired of being
vulnerable. I was still worrying over my children, but there was a new wrinkle. There was nothing I could do about it. My mother just smiled faintly and said nothing. I continued to anguish over their failures, be tormented by their frustrations and absorbed in their disappointments.

My friends said that when my kids got married I could stop worrying and lead my own life. I wanted to believe that, but I was haunted by my mother's warm smile and her occasional, "You look pale. Are you a all right? Call me the minute you get home. Are you depressed about something?"

Can it be that parents are sentenced to a lifetime of worry? Is concern for one another handed down like a torch to blaze the trail of human frailties and the fears of the FAMILY: Is concern a curse or is it a virtue that elevates us to the highest form of life?

One of my children became quite irritable
recently, saying to me, "Where were you? I've been calling for 3 days, and no one answered I was worried." I smiled a warm smile. The torch has been passed.


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Uniquely Me

(I found this poem and dedicate it to all the Third Culture People out there like me)

I am

A confusion of cultures

Uniquely me

I think this is good

Because I can

Understand

The traveller, soujourner, foreigner,

The homesickness

That comes.

I think this is also bad

Because I cannot be understood

By the ordinary, mono cultural

Person.

They know not

The real meaning of homesickness

That hits me

Now and then.

Sometimes I despair of

Understanding them.

I am

An island

And a United Nations

Who can recognise either in me

But God?

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Friends like Sam

I just watch the Lord of the Rings series through again. Frodo is called the hero, but it is Sam that gets my vote!

Sam was with Frodo from start to finish. He wasn’t even that concerned, especially at first, about the ring. But he was ALWAYS concerned about his friend. He was no fair- weather friend. He got frustrated with Frodo, tried to get him return home at first, but he never gave up on being his friend. Even when Frodo was convinced that Sam wanted the ring for himself and so sent him packing, Sam left, but not for long. He was back again realizing that his friend needed him more than ever, even though he didn’t know it!

Especially in the end it was Sam who was unselfish, the one who didn’t give up, the one who prodded and pushed and almost carried Frodo on to fulfill his mission. Frodo’s mission was to get rid of the ring, Sam’s mission was to be with Frodo full stop.

We all need Sams in our own lives. I am so blessed to have a few in mine!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Rick Warren's Take on Life right now

In the interview by Paul Bradshaw with Rick Warren (Purpose Driven Life " author and pastor of Saddleback Church in California), Rick said:

People ask me, What is the purpose of life? And I respond: In a nutshell, life is preparation for eternity. We were made to last forever, and God wants us to be with Him in Heaven.

One day my heart is going to stop, and that will be the end of my body-- but not the end of me.

I may live 60 to 100 years on earth, but I am going to spend trillions of years in eternity. This is the warm-up act - the dress rehearsal. God wants us to practice on earth what we will do forever in eternity.

We were made by God and for God, and until you figure that out, life isn't going to make sense.

Life is a series of problems: Either you are in one now, you're just coming out of one, or you're getting ready to go into another one.

The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort.

God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy.

We can be reasonably happy here on earth, but that's not the goal of life. The goal is to grow in character, in Christ likeness.

This past year has been the greatest year of my life but also the toughest, with my wife, Kay, getting cancer.

I used to think that life was hills and valleys - you go through a dark time, then you go to the mountaintop, back and forth. I don't believe that anymore.

Rather than life being hills and valleys, I believe that it's kind of like two rails on a railroad track, and at all times you have something good and something bad in your life.

No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad that needs to be worked on.

And no matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good you can thank God for.

You can focus on your purposes, or you can focus on your problems.

If you focus on your problems, you're going into self-centeredness, "which is my problem, my issues, my pain." But one of the easiest ways to get rid of pain is to get your focus off yourself and onto God and others.

We discovered quickly that in spite of the prayers of hundreds of thousands of people, God was not going to heal Kay or make it easy for her.

It has been very difficult for her, and yet God has strengthened her character, given her a ministry of helping other people, given her a testimony, drawn her closer to Him and to people.

You have to learn to deal with both the good and the bad of life….

God didn't put me on earth just to fulfill a to-do list. He's more interested in what I am than what I do.

That's why we're called human beings, not human doings.

Happy moments, PRAISE GOD.

Difficult moments, SEEK GOD.
Quiet moments, WORSHIP GOD.
Painful moments, TRUST GOD.
Every moment, THANK GOD.


Saturday, June 09, 2007

Home

I have a nomadic lifestyle so what is home to me? Lets take the last 6 months. I have been in a different country each month. So what makes home to me?

Home is where I am surrounded by people I love and who love me. When I walk into my house and see our family portrait and children’s pictures, I know I am home. It is the place where I have enough hangers for my clothes in the closet. Also where I am free to cook what I want when I want. It’s knowing where to shop for safety pins, groceries and blank DVDs.

Familiar smells make me feel like I am home- like the sheets freshly laundered smelling like my brand of soap powder and my husband’s shaving cream in the morning. Home is a place where if I want to relax I have things on hand, like a good book or movie. Home is where the phone rings and I have my video cam set up to see my kids when I talk to them on skype.

My job takes me around Asia seeing beautiful sights, buying cheap but great clothes at markets, eating great spicey food and doing what I love best- teaching. But when the trip is over and like last night my husband comes out to greet me with a kiss and get my suitcases from the taxi, I know I am home. The greatest place to be!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

WHAT LIFE IS ABOUT

I got this from a friend:

Life isn't about keeping score.
It's not about how many friends you have
Or how accepted you are.
Not about if you have plans this weekend
or if you're alone.

It isn't about who you have kissed,
It isn't about who your family is or
how much money they have
Or what kind of car you drive.

Or where you are sent to school.
It's not about how beautiful or ugly you are.
Or what clothes you wear, what shoes you have on,
Or what kind of music you listen to.

It's not about if your hair
is blonde, red, black, or brown,
Or if your skin is too light or too dark.
Not about what grades you get how smart you are,
how smart everybody else thinks you are,
or how smart in standardized tests say you are.

It's not about what clubs you're in
or how good you are at "your" sport.

It's not about representing your whole being
on a piece of paper and seeing who will
"accept the written you."

Life just isn't.

Life is about who you love and who you hurt.
It's about who you make happy or unhappy purposely.
It's about keeping or betraying trust.
It's about friendship, used as a sanctity or as a weapon.

It's about what you say and mean, maybe hurtful, maybe heartening.
It's about starting rumors and contributing to petty gossip.
It's about what judgments you pass and why.
And who your judgments are spread to.

It's about who you've ignored with full control and intention.
It's about jealousy, fear, ignorance, and revenge.
It's about carrying inner hate and love,
letting it grow and spreading it.

But most of all, it's about using your life to touch or poison
other people's hearts in such a way that could have
never occurred alone.

Only you choose the way those hearts are affected, and those
choices are what life's all about.




Friday, June 01, 2007

Rhythm of Life


There is a rhythm to life. Birth-death, joy-sorrow, hard work- results, morning- night. I find the rhythm in my life is made up of Routine and Spontaneity.Usually I fight routine and embrace spontaneity.

Routine is repetition, monotonous, predictable and bland. Spontaneity is energy -building, surprises, joy and welcome.

BUT, call it wisdom coming with age or common sense starting to seep in, I am finding that the equilibrium to a stable, productive, even a fulfilling life is BALANCE between both, routine and spontaneity.

As I look at God’s creation I see this balance. We till the ground, plant the seed, water the plant and watch it grow- not all of a sudden but in laboriously long months. Then we happen upon a splash of feathery purple in a crag of a rock. Soft and fluttering and delicate, emerging from the foreboding, unmoving, granite rock face. Or we look into the starry night sky. They are in order and so predictable that the order of the stars that were named as the Bear and Orion hundreds of years ago, are still in that pattern to this day. Then one night, with only a fortunate few watching, a light streaks across the skies. You may call it a shooting star- I like to call it God’s spontaneity.

But too much spontaneity and I start to feel out of control. Necessary things aren’t getting done and the surprises aren’t so welcome anymore. Why? Isn’t this what I longed for? My energy that is created from spontaneity is spiraling down and my to-do-list grows. Can I really afford an hour in my quiet time this morning- do I have the time to pray for all the people I have committed to pray for?

I am learning to feel comfortable walking long distances in the predictable rhythm of the routine, but still ever ready for the short, unexpected, dance of spontaneity.