Monday, August 4, 2008

August Long

I entered this middle-of-summer long weekend with nothing planned.
I won't do that again.
I hope.

I have to learn to embrace, with joy and a sense of wonderment, this new season I'm transitioning into.
The season of Being Unnecessary.
There was not one eensy, weensy, teeny, tiny bit of thought given by my sons that maybe we should do something as a family ... like go to Cultus and participate in the Lindell Beach Regatta like we have for the past 14 summers.
Those days?
Are so over.
*snaps fingers* just. like. that.
No soft segway. It was abrupt.

I did manage to forcibly convince them that the attending the Fireworks Finale in Vancouver was not a punishment. And that my intentions were to provide them with an evening that included fun and fresh air.
(And may I say here, that you would have been proud of me? You should have seen me park. There was one spot left in all of Kitsilano and it demanded that I approach it without any swing room. So I went back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth despite the kids wanting to Just Go Home. And once I finally got us into that space, Max let out the breath that he had been holding for 10 minutes and deep breathed through an almost-anxiety attack. )

Anyway, we, (Drew, Max, Brooke and I), walked a mile from the parking spot to the beach, and then walked another mile to the Perfect Viewing Spot.
We sat on the grass on our mexican blankets and ate potato chips and drank pop and then
the people right in front of us (Right In Front) decided to stand. (STAND.)
So we stood.
And it was OK.

Then we sat for half an hour and let the crowds thin out before we walked back to That Impossible Spot That I Managed to Park In.

Other than that grand adventure, I didn't do nothing much.
I visited my dad and mom three times. (My dad is getting weaker, and his knees kept buckling under him.)
Read a book.
Spent some time in Galations.
Suntanned amongst my flowering plants on the patio.
Was bowled over by Clint who set out to do some serious pruning in the back yard.
And on Sunday night, after I dropped Drew and his friends off at Colussus to see Batman (again) I went for a drive to check out the new bridge.
Know what this is? (Below:)

Those are mounds of broken glass.
Hard to get a picture of because of the way all the broken bits were reflecting the sun at every conceivable angle.

My mom's yard is lovely. Below are some photos from her garden.
And some verses from Galations that have been rattling 'round my brain...

"The person who lives in right relationship with God does it by embracing what God arranges for her. Doing things for God is the opposite of entering into what God does for you.
Live freely, animated and motivated by God's spirit.
What happens when we live God's way?
He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard... things like:
-affection for others
- exuberance about life
- serenity
We develop a willingness to stick with things,
- a sense of compassion in the heart,
- and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people.

We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments,
- not needing to force our way in life,
- able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.

Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, lets make sure we don't just hold this as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but let's work out its implications in every detail of our lives.
This means we won't compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. WE HAVE FAR MORE INTERESTING THINGS TO DO WITH OUR LIVES. Each of us is an original.
(Can I say that again? Each of us is an original.)
Live creatively, friends.

Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that.
If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself.
You might be needing forgiveness before the day is out.
Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens.
Let's not allow ourselves to get fatigued by doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don't give up or quit.

(And from Ephesians, a prayer for my kids...)

"My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, our magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by His Spirit - not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength - that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite Him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you'll be able to take in the extravagant dimensions of Christ's love.
Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.
God can do anything, you know - far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us."

Still to my kids, still from Ephesians...
(Actually. You know what? This isn't just for my kids. It's for their friends too. And their cousins. And their peers - both past and current. At Creationfest this year, I was convicted to pray for this generation. Anyone else feeling the call?)
"My prayer is that you get out there and walk - or better yet, run! - on the road God called you to travel. Don't sit around on your hands. Don't stroll off, down some path that leads nowhere. Get on that road God called you to with huimility and discipline - not in fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love, alert at noticing differences and quick at mending fences.

You were all called to travel on the same road and in the same direction, so stay together, both outwardly and inwardly.
Please, no going-along-with-the-crowd ... the empty-headed, mindless crowd.
Get an honest job so that you can help others who can't work. Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word is a gift. Make a clean break with all the cutting, backbiting, profane talk. Don't talk dirty or silly. Let thanksgiving be your dialect.
Be gentle with one another, sensitive.
Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.

Watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get. Don't live carelessly, unthinkingly. Don't drink too much wine. This just cheapens your life.
What God does is love. Keep company with Him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He doesn't love in order to get something ... LOVE LIKE THAT.
Be prepared. You're up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it's all over but the shouting, you'll still be on your feet.
Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You'll need them throughout your life.
God's word is an indespensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers, sisters, friends ... Keep your eyes open. Keep each other's spirits up so that on one falls behind or drops out."


Anonymous said...

THANKS for the encouragement!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Jane....really enjoyed the scriptures (and the pix)...Linda