Saturday, August 30, 2014

It's Still Summer.

At 7 pm on Friday evening (two hours later than planned), we met at my mom's house with no idea what to do.

So we just hopped in my truck and we started driving west.
And ended up here;

Where I parked.
And then we started walking.

We walked from Canada Place to Stanley Park, and just as we reached the park, the rain fell and the sky got dark.

So we turned around and got back to where we began just as a showing of Fly Over Canada was getting underway, so, what the heck - we're spontaneous as all get out,  we watched the show.

Oh my goodness, it was fantastic.
WAaaaaayyy too short, but so good.
I highly recommend it.

At midnight I dropped her off in Abbotsford in a remote corner of a unlit parking lot where she was going to sleep for a few hours in the back of her van, and I came up to the lake.
Where I was going to sleep.
In a house. In a bed.
So anti-climatic, compared to her plans.

Anyway, it's the long weekend.
And this was the weather forecast:

But this is what I was doing an hour ago:

Yes, that's the Bible and Book 5 in the Outlander series. Both my worlds colliding on the deck at Cultus. (In case you're wondering, Bible has 1142 pages. The Fiery Cross has 1442.)  And yes, that's my thigh. With no clothes on it ...

... because it's SUNNY and thank goodness I have old clothes up here. In this case, it's a 15 year old bathing suit with sagging support and neon colours like nobody's business.

By the time my kids arrive (some, later tonight, probably for a midnight supper, some tomorrow afternoon) I'll be dressed like a mom again. Probably.


An hour later:
I came in to make myself a hotdog (good hotdogs are all about the buns. And I picked up some fresh bakery buns from Safeway last night a midnight. SO good.)
I really should go back to eating salads.

Anyway, it's raining now. Pouring.
Like, thousands of rain drops dancing on the deck and splashing into puddles. It sounds wonderful. So I've opened all the patio doors and I'm basking in the sounds and smells of a rich summer rain. Also, I'm thinking of my next Currently post, which I should start working on tonight. And I'm praying. These circumstances (alone, in a cabin, on a lake, with the windows open, listening to the wind rusting through the leaves, with the lingering scent of summer in the air ...) these circumstances just seem perfect to have a conversation with God, no?

Dear God,

I just heard it.

I love the power behind that sound. Thanks for inventing it.

And thank you for this place.
I love being at the lake.
I feel so spoiled.
Thank you for choosing my parents for me.
Thank you for giving me a mom and dad who were/are generous with their time and their possessions. Help me to pay it forward. May my kids, someday, be able to say, "Thank you, God, for choosing my parents for me...."

(Ugh. That's one of my biggest fears. That I've blown it. That someday they'll ask you what you were thinking when handing out parents..)

Thank you for my boys.
Even though there are many times I've wished they were more like me, thank you for purposefully giving me three sons who are exactly, perfectly, clearly, decidedly, NOT like me.

I learn so much from them.
Most of it scares the shit outa me, but still.
Thank you.

May I use this new-found knowledge from them for Your purposes. Let these experiences not go to waste. These things I am learning from them? Show me how I should respond and what to do with it.

And while I'm praying about my boys, can I add a few things to my wish list. They might be too dumb to ask for these things for themselves, so I'm asking on their behalf, OK?
1. That You would reveal Yourself to them in a mighty, profound, incredibly personal way.
2. That You would call them into a relationship with You and they would respond.
3. That You would supply them with friends, role models, peers, mentors and co-workers of Your choosing. For Your purposes.
4. That You would provide them with wives who love you.
5. That You would fill them with wisdom, guide their paths, overwhelm them with love, protect them against evil and give them the desire and ability to love their families with abandon. God I pray that they would be extravagant with love. May my grandkids know and serve You because their dads showed them the way.

Use them, God, in building Your kingdom. Let many come to know you through them.

Can I pray for those people in my life (and outside of my life, too) that have drug and/or alcohol addictions?
Could you step in?
If they need to hit bottom, God I pray they hit soon, And hit hard. And that You'd meet them there.
God? Do exactly what needs to be done to get them on a path of healing and health.
Provide them with an escape from the bonds of addiction.
Show them the way, using all of Your creative means. Get their attention and point them in the direction they need to go.
Have people in place. Friends, sponsors, rehab directors, recovered addicts ... God -  line those people up and get them ready.

God? The next time they use/get drunk - could you enhance the negative impact? Like, make them really sick? Allow them to experience the full impact of their actions. Make it awful. Open their eyes to the decease. And open their eyes to an escape.

God, I pray for the families that are impacted by someone they love who is in addiction. I pray You would comfort them. Give them hope. And provide them with wisdom. They don't know what to do. Show them.

God I pray for the NA and AA communities around the world. Protect their meetings. Send your angels to stand guard against evil entering those rooms. May Your will be done as folks in recovery help each other stay clean.

Oh, and God?

Those people I love who are un/under employed?
Meaningful work?
Opportunities to use the gifts and passions You've blessed them with?

You're all over that, right?
You've got a plan?

I pray, God that THIS WEEK, they will hear from employers with opportunities that are exactly perfect. I pray that THIS WEEK, their families would sigh with relief that this season of unemployment is going to end. I pray that THIS WEEK they would stop battling discouragement and despair regarding their skills and ability. I pray that THIS WEEK they would know that You had this under control all along. I pray that THIS WEEK they would meet their coworkers and would be excited about the people they'll be spending significant time with. I pray that THIS WEEK they would know, without a doubt, that You love them. That this job? Is a result of Your meddling. That these people at their work place? Are there by Your design, for Your purposes.That this specific role they are playing? Is because You've created and equipped them to do it perfectly. That this challenge ahead? Is being allowed because they need to stretch and grow.

God? Use the passions You've placed in them to nurture and grow in their new jobs. Open their eyes to things You want them to see and learn. God I pray their new jobs would be so much more than they expected. And I pray that they would be filled with peace, knowing they are exactly where they should be.

I know it's part of Your plan and all, but wow. Ageing sucks.
Can you keep an eye on my dad? I know he is still here because 1) His corner in heaven isn't quite ready yet. Likely You're still painting and sanding all the Victorian gingerbread that's going around his windows, or 2) You still have a purpose for him here, on earth. His work, or rather, Your work through him, is not done.

So, OK.
Could you help him feel settled? He's a people person, yet he doesn't seem to be engaging with the folks around him. Could you make it easier? Could both he and mom find enjoyment in his living space? Could friendships be formed? Could joys and sorrows be shared? Could they both feel at peace about where he lives, the care he receives, and the people he lives with? Let their days at the Lodge be filled with warmth and purpose and God I pray that they would be a blessing to those around them.

May other residents see You shining through them. Let them be a witness for You through kindness, patience, and service. Open their eyes for opportunities to be helpful and friendly. Equip them to be Your hands and feet in a place where there is so much need.

And God, I pray for the aches and pains that mom, dad, and all their friends are feeling. I pray that You would lessen their suffering. Give their doctor's wisdom in handling their health needs. And give them wisdom when recovering from surgery or taking meds. God, I pray that during these 'senior' years, they would have a deep sense of Your call on their lives. And I pray that they feel equipped and are excited to do Your work during this phase.

I feel like I'm two steps away from being a senior myself. Open my eyes to see what I need to do now, to make those years meaningful and purpose-filled.

You know.
You totally know what I'm thinking about. Again.
Your will be done.
Your will be done.

And maybe, if I'm not supposed to be thinking about this, could you give me something else, (something fun?) to occupy my brain space?

Thank you for thinking that books and plays and movies and paintings and photography and sculptures and designs and beauty were good ideas. Thank you for creating people who were good at those things. Thank you that creative minds are gifts from you.

Thank you for the people in my world who are writers, actors, designers, editors, photographers, videographers, make-up artists, hair stylists, set builders ... I pray You would be well-pleased with their work. Bless it. Provide them with inspiration when they need it. Open doors of opportunity at just the right time. Give them mentors to guide them. Shower them with praise when all their confidence wanes. Send encouragers and good reviewers when they are discouraged.

Let them be able to provide for their families doing the work they love and were created to do.

I pray Your blessing and protection on the entertainment and publishing industries.

Thank you God for legs that work and eyes that see and friends to share the journey with.

Hours later....
Three things I'm thankful for:

1. The washer and dryer up here. I've done 17 loads of towels and bedding and I feel like a housewife again.

2. The mixer and oven. I've baked a chocolate cake and a chicken casserole for those arriving at midnight. I feel like a mom again.

3. The bathtub. With bubbles. I feel like a woman again.

Shalom, friends,

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