Saturday, September 15, 2007

I should be sleeping. (Many of my posts ought to start out that way.)
Tomorrow I am hosting a baby shower here at our home. It will be the first time many of our church friends have visited our home, so I want everything clean and comfortable. I think it will be.
Early tomorrow I'm getting up and starting the baking for the day. I'll be making butter tarts, shortbread cookies and whatever else comes to mind. Maybe even banana bread or small dinner rolls. We'll see if I have time. I also signed up to make the punch and coffee and tea. So... my tasks are set before me.
I'll have only a few decorations. Really low key. Polka-dot themed baby shower. Light aqua blue and a light kiwi green with white are my colours. Gonna be gorgeous! I have a cozy chair for the mom to be. And... a hand made corsage - complete with flowers, washcloths, a sock and a baby spoon.
I've nearly finished the baby gift. I only lack a needle and thread to put the bows on. An early trip to the dollar store will take care of that for me. Derek's picking up 25 chairs and two tables. I pray it doesn't rain tomorrow (which will be the first time in weeks!), as I hope to have a decorated table outside on the uncovered porch. If need be, I can pull it all under the covered area... a little squishy, but we're friendly folks.
All the ladies are bringing food and a picture of them from when they were smallish. In black and white... which reminds me... I gotta find mine. (Done!)
A million things run through my mind the night before any event that I'm a part of. "Did I forget anything?", "In what order should I start things tomorrow?", I wonder if the roses will make it overnight?", "Did the toilet get cleaned well around the floor?", "I hope no-one looks in the fridge crisper!", and on and on it goes.
My back is starting to hurt again. It's my queue to stop and go to bed.
I love event planning. It's one of my favourite things. But why the voices in my head right before bed? What's that about?
Going to go count polka-dots.
hehe... I did a spell check. I spelled "queue "correctly! Who'd have thunk?!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

September 11th is our anniversary. Yep. I know.
Yesterday Derek surprised me with a gift. We usually don't exchange gifts, so I was really surprised to see a large box wrapped in white paper with gold hearts on our bed. (So neatly wrapped too, I might add. With a big white bow on top.) Inside was an artist/easel set that I have been coveting for about three years. I couldn't believe it! He not only thought of me... the thought of ME! And, where he hid it and how he kept it a secret, I'll never know.
He asked me to eat light as I was making dinner for the kids... he had made plans for us later in the evening.
We made arrangements for the kids and Derek took me out to see a couple of movies. Two in a row. At two different theaters. With a short snack break in-between.
At the second movie we had the whole theater to ourselves... so we were making commentary and laughing hysterically at the lines in the movie. We were full on popcorn and rootbeer.
Derek wanted to take me out to dinner, but it was really late - and Nanaimo rolls up it's sidewalks around 7pm I think. The only places open were the pubs and Tim Horton's. I wasn't really hungry... had a hankerin' for some donut holes, though.
We talked ministry. Not our current one... but what we've learned about or past ministries. And, I shared with him some of my difficulties with percieved expectations... He was so sweet and thoughtful. Really listened. Then, he assured me that it will all be alright. He gave me tips on keeping my fears in check...
My contacts were drying out, and my old age was kicking in. I had to go to bed. But, before I did I thanked him. He truly is a minister. He ministered to my spirit last night. Bolstered my confidence in God's plan for me.
This... above all else he had given me yesterday, was the greatest gift of all. One that will last long after the movie lines fade, long after the paint tubes are dried up. His heart. His time. His undivided attention. His honesty.
I love this man.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

A friend who must really know what I've gone through posted this on her blog recently. I pasted it here:

Scribbling a Masterpiece: Doodle to your DestinyAllowing God to make a masterpiece on the canvas of your life.

By Sue Anne Allen

When I was young, I quickly learned:"Praise, for coloring-in-the-lines, is earned.

"Daddy or Ma-Ma or Nana would say:"What a beautiful picture!" when I did not stray.

When I expanded beyond the bounds set forth,their eyes said my artwork had lost its worth.

"What is this scribbling that you've done?"

"It would look better if you hadn't runover the black line, closing in the 'right' shape."

I'd feel less good when my crayons escaped.
As I got older, I learned more to stayin the lines defined someone else's way.

I would smile a fake smile, whiting out my pain.

I worked hard to "squeeze in" to the acceptable frame.

But, try as I might, I often slipped beyond.

New life danced out of my crayon wands.

My crayons would skip.

My crayons would swirl.

I felt, when I drew, like God's treasured girl.

But up came the old voices:

"Mistake!" I would rage.

"What's this imperfection spewed all over the page?"
As I got even older, I lost control more.

God rapped quite loudly on my identity's door.

Pressure to "keep together" fought my need to "fall apart."

A life-and-death battle ripped my growing-up heart.

"I surrender to You, Lord."

"I'm torn to shreds at my seams."

I vomited, at His feet, the black-and-white of old dreams.

I was tear-drenched and hurting when God lifted my chin.

His eyes said: "You weren't made to keep your true colors in."

He dumped out my crayons.

He empowered my hand.

Together we scribbled toward the blessings he planned.
As my colors emerge, I'm happy to say:

"I'm glad I've chosen not to put my crayons away."

"Living between the lines" is only one choice.

That's not the place where I've noticed God's voice.

I've dabbled, expressed, doodled past the norm.

I've learned more to create and less to perform.

An original has emerged in my "off limits" space.

My inner colors, now, shade my outer face.

"What a beautiful picture!" is drawn out from within.

"For THIS I designed you," my Master grins.
And, I thought I was the only one...

Monday, September 03, 2007

I spent the drizzly afternoon yesterday picking soggy blackberries from our bushes. Chante' was in tow, and was happy to help me fill the bucket. The boys were happy to tag along and pretend some kind of battle scene at every turn. DeVon with his thick blue nylon rope, and Zion with his newly aquired wooden dagger and plastic shield.
It's been years since I've been in the "bush" picking berries. (Though, this hardly qualified as "bush"... we were on the corner of our block... an empty lot.) But, it wasn't long before the rythym came back to me:
Find a cluster.
Make your way into the brush.
Pick as many berries as one hand can hold.
Drop into the bucket.
Avoid thorns.
Find a cluster....

And, I remembered the quiet that comes over you. No need to chat. Just the smell of rain and the wet leaves making prints on your jeans. And when my mind was quiet I found myself wondering what could be learned from the berry-bush?
Here are a few things:

What the berry bush reminded me about relationships:

Look for the well rounded ones. The ones that are ripe and ready. Knowing which ones are ripe, ready and flavourful takes experience. Have a go at it. Taste and see.
It will take some work to get prepared to glean from them. Don't avoid the trip just because it may require some planning and delicate work.
Once you've made your way in, take an assesment of what you really want. You can't have them all. You can't reach them all.
As your fingers reach out to harvest one, beware of the thorns. But, don't be afraid of them. Otherwise you'll never get anywhere.
As you begin to pull, notice... does it come easily? Or, does it hesitate? The ones that hesitate aren't ready. And, if you pull it, you will find that despite it's ripe colour, it's really rather sour. A few more days and that one will be ready too.
If you pull one that keeps it's thorns attatched to itsself you have a choice... you can grip the thorny part and hope it comes off easily... but more than likely, you will have just pricked yourself and have regretted thinking you could save it. It's time to just let that one go.
Not all are worth the effort. Some require more growth. Some refuse to be harvested.
But, others are hidden under large leaves. Out of the way. And these, I find, are the biggest, readiest, most flavourful of all. But, you have to change your point of view to find them. You must crouch. You must lift the barriers gently. They will reveal themselves to you. And, those will be the sweetest of all.

I learned a lot that afternoon. It was almost as if God was speaking to me through a soggy bush. I'll be fine here. I have my part, and they have theirs. And, I must remember whose is whose.