Sunday, December 7, 2008

Full and Rich

On Friday evening, following a day of frantic activity, I relaxed in my living room with some special people. After I finally handed each of them their own blanket to ward off the chill from the northern wind that blows in from my front windows (which I personally find refreshing and a welcome relief from my internal furnace that someone set on high) we settled in for some pretty dang wonderful conversation. (Some of which is blogged about here.)

Part of what we talked about is the sadness we still have regarding Murrayville Church's closure one year ago. For me, I mourn the absense of a peer group for my younger kids. I think we're the only family that didn't get hooked up in another church family. Some of us O's attend Northview, but we are not connected in any meaningful way. Which, let me be clear, is no one's fault but our own.

Others were lamenting the loss of the church family that watched their kids grow up. And now, at Christmas, for instance, when their kids come home for a few weeks and join them in their new church on Sundays, no one will know them. Really know them. No one at the new church knows their history. Remembers their growing up years. Watched them transform from gangly to gorgeous.
That's how I felt when Fraser Heights closed down.
And how I felt again when Murrayville shut it's doors.
The people who were part of my kids' lives have scattered, twice.
And the kids that I watched grow up? They've scattered too.

So, instead of meeting up in an effortless environment like a Sunday morning service, we are now all going to have to make an effort.
We have to work at staying in touch.
We have to try to keep a relationship going.
This is a bit risky. Because just because YOU want to keep things going, maybe no one else does. Maybe they're happy with their new friends. Maybe their lives are already full enough.
You have to admit your desire to stay friends. And then try to arrange times when you can get together. And you have to sacrifice time on the couch in front of the TV, or time with your family, or time with your new friends to get together with the old ones. It takes work.
If you're not working at keeping things going, things fall apart. Cars. Computers. Marriages. Friendships.

Anyway, Friday night was awesome.
And I think I'm going to have to hire someone to put storm windows on those northern windows.
Then on Saturday morning I met up with most of my writing group at Starbuck's. Reconnecting in person is always so satisfying.

Did we talk about writing?
Maybe a little bit. Mostly we talked about life. About marriage. About parents. About children. About being out of control. About people not being able to put dishes in the dishwasher. About God. About the gifts that God gave us and our responsibility to use them. About excellence. About fear.

And about hope.
And how hope is the only thing that motivates us to keep on moving forward. A few of us are coming through a rough patch and we shared how the hope-for-a-brighter-tomorrow was what kept us going on the darkest of days.
We also talked about the way that God is not Walt Disney and God's happy-ending means that we'll be HOLY at the end of our life-stories, as opposed to the 'married-to-the-handsome-prince-who-holds-us-when-we-cry-and-cleans-up-after-himself" story ending.

Our morning meeting stretched into the afternoon and I was sad to see everyone rush out into the rain to leave Langley. Two were heading back to Sardis and one was bussing back to Vancouver. Who knows when we'll be able to meet in person again?

From Starbuck's I zipped over to Long and McQuade to see about renting a mic and amp for the evening. Have I mentioned the rain? It was nasty.
Half an hour later, with dripping wet hair, I had the equipment in the back of my truck so I made my way home, giving myself 12 minutes to change into something party-ish, redo my make up and deal with a wet head.
I left the house at 3:50 pm looking like a person who'd just spent 12 minutes putting herself together. I made it to Bedford house by 4:10 and spent the next 10 minutes in the rain, schlepping rubermaid containers, the amp, the amp stand and the microphone case into restaurant's doorway. After parking, then walking back in the rain, I moved everything from the doorway to the room reserved for our use.
Know what I looked like by 4:30?
Like a person who spent 12 minutes getting ready then went swimming in a puddle with her clothes on.
One of our guests walked in just as I was trying to lift the 100 pound amp onto the 5 foot high stand and offered to take over. Bless him. I was working up a sweat in my 'good' clothes which was adding to my confidence regarding my appearance. Because in the end, it's all about how a person looks. And I was starting to look wet and haggered.
I had just finished setting the centerpieces on the tables when the rest of the guests started pouring in so I put on my game face. And then, this introvert who loves long deep conversations with close friends clicked the grossly underused small-talk-switch in her brain and started chatting with the 50 folks who had come to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Carson's leadership of Arrow.

The three hour event was a God-honoring, affirming, praise-filled celebration of all that God has done through Carson. Kind of like a funeral with the guest of honor still being alive.
(Can I say something here about the Bedford House? For you three readers that live in BC, I suggest you enjoy a meal at this establishment. Outstanding food. Great building. Beautiful setting. End of commercial.)

After everything was packed back into my truck, I zipped over to my dad and mom's place to pick up Drew.
Then I stopped at Pasta Polo to pick up some 'soft food' for Clint and his sore mouth.
Then I stopped at Roger's and rented some Blu Ray movies.
Then I had a bath and got into my pajamas.
And then? I turned on the Christmas lights, the fireplace, then sat down, by myself to watch Casino Royale.
And it was wonderful.

Introverts are exhasuted my social interaction.
I love it. But am exhausted by it.
So exhausted that I forgot to do something.
I forgot to confirm today's appointment.
Yeah, so there I was, back in Fort Langley at 3 pm today, for the 4th time in 7 days to take family photos for some old friends and I forgot to tell them that YES, Sunday at 3 works for me.
So there I was, hanging around Wendells with my camera hanging from my hand and my pockets bulging with my extra lenses, waiting for an appointment that I never confirmed. Not surprisingly, they never showed. So I just wandered around for an hour, people watching, and daydreaming.
The sun peaked through the clouds once in a while, brilliantly lighting up the trees on the other side of the river, so I captured as much as I could while standing on the bridge with ferry traffic roaring past me.
All in all, it was a weekend full of rich experiences. I am blessed.
And maybe a little bit tired. Thank goodness it's only 5 more days til the weekend.
Three things I'm thankful for:
1. Dates with my camera.
2. Movies on Blu Ray. Wow. Such color. Such clarity.
3. The friends God has brought into my life. So thankful that we are all making or responding to efforts to stay close.


Tricia said...

Those pictures are beautiful! I especially like the first one...the way the sun is hitting the trees in contrast to the darker sky, wow!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I agree with Tricia -- the pictures are awesome. I like the 3 water and tree ones after you start talking about hope. So-o-o-o peaceful. You're good with that camera!!

Anonymous said...

Whatever is going on right now is NO EXCUSE to have not blogged since SUNDAY! That's like, uh, four days!
Get to it, woman!
:) Your biggest fan (September)