Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Joy Dare, Day 28 - Graces in Friends

1 - an email telling me I'm missed
2 - offers of rides when needed
3 - the pleasure of a friend's great sense of humour.

The Joy Dare - Day 27 - Gifts that might Never have been

Day 27 - three gifts that might never have been.

This one is easy - the answer, my three daughters. You can read about it on my webpage.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Joy Dare - Day 26 - Gifts in Time

Before 9:00 - sleep! ;0

Before noon - a volunteer driver who gets me to my radiation therapy appointment on time.

After dark - a small pot of crocuses given to me at a ladies' meeting the other night. Then passed on to my daughter because it was her birthday. They are so gorgeous on the kitchen counter - makes me think of spring, when all these treatments will be done. :)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Joy Dare - Day 25

One Grace borrowed - a necklace made with a brown stone, a filigree leaf added - to wear to go to be with a bunch of lovely ladies to talk about writing and Inscribe.

One Grace found - that a day alone can be long and a little bit boring but still a blessing.

One Grace inherited - my mother's optimism - she always knew how to put a positive or even fun spin on things for us kids, even when life wasn't at all fun for her. When my dad lost the business they had both built and then they lost the house too, she made it into an adventure - a new home, a new school, new friends ... oh boy! Then she went away to a corner by herself to shed the tears.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Joy Dare - Day 24 - 3 Things Blue

1 - The clear Alberta Sky - I realized I'd been taking it for granted when I asked a Korean exchange student staying with us, What did you notice first about Canada? Her answer - "the sky - it's not grey or yello
w with pollution."

2 - My new shirt - blue chambray, soft and roomy

3 - My husband's eyes, which I'm missing. So looking forward to going home this weekend. :)

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Joy Dare, Day 23 - 3 Gifts Found in Christ

1 - Gentleness - always, with all of us.
2 - Patience - without which He would have given up on me a long time ago.
3 - Love - the greatest of all, the embodiment of who He is. So astounding that He bestows it on us and reveals Himself to us, in love.

There are so many more ... could go on for pages.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Day 22 -The Joy Dare, Wrinkled, Smoothed, Unfolded

One Grace wrinkled - broken down vehicles causing wrinkles in schedules until friends emerge and come to my aid.

One Grace smoothed - the stresses of the week smoothed away in a church sanctuary listening to the music - a fine guitar, a sweet flute and the rhythm of drums, and then the scripture read in different versions and then ...

One Grace unfolded - the word of God by a seasoned preacher.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Joy Dare - Day 21

One thing in the sky - a wheeling bird, beauty in motion as it plays in the wind.

One thing in my memory - the look in a young boy's eyes when he understood that Jesus takes our sins away forever. "Wow," he said. "Wow!"

One thing that's ugly/beautiful - trees with no leaves, stark against a blue sky.

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Joy Dare, Day 20

Three gifts close up -

The beauty in a piece of raku pottery.

The underlying friendliness of the shopkeeper in the second-hand bookstore. Her smile was slow in coming but worth the wait and getting a little closer to see it.

The smell of a fresh tomato.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Joy Dare, Day 19

The Joy Dare, Day 19 -

A Grace in the kitchen - watching my daughter and son-in-law making dinner together, discussing their day, laughing, hugging. A joy to watch the comfort they share.

A Grace in the weather - ice fog gave me the chance to tell Laura and Ty more about the Yukon, the magic of -60

A Grace that might never have been - my 3 daughters - go here to read about this. I shudder to think what my life would have been like without God's intervention.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Joy Dare - Day 17

Three gifts from God's word - blessed by the Psalms -

Psalm 3:3 - But you O Lord are a shield for me, my glory and the One who lifts up my head.

Psalm 12:6 - The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.

Psalm 85:8 - I will hear what God the Lord will speak, for He will speak peace to His people and to His Saints.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Joy Dare - Day 17

One Gift that made me laugh - all the funny posters etc. on Facebook. ;0

One Gift that made me pray - leaving my car keys at home ( 2 hours away ); having to depend on Laura to get me to the hospital and back again.

One Gift that made me quiet - the Doctor's words, "this could cause you problems." Hmm ... thanking the Lord for medicinal solutions.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Day 16, The Joy Dare

Three ways I witnessed happiness today -

1 - sitting in a warm house eating a hot bowl of soup when it's -26 outside.

2 - watching two nurses at Tom Baker Cancer centre working with such joyful efficiency.

3 - seeing my son-in-law welcome his wife home from work - that would be my daughter. :)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Day 15, The Joy Dare

Three more things -

One thing I wore - long johns that kept me warm in this -20 degree winter.

One thing I gave away - a box of chocolates made by a friend. We were blessed with so much we had to give them away!

One thing I shared - more chocolates - with my daughter and son-in-law.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Day 14

Three ways I glimpsed the startling grace of God -
1 - in my son-in-law as we chatted about his experience with Jesus and his desire to stay close to Him.

2 - in our church family who are so quick to support and love those who are hurting or afraid.

3 - in a very strong woman whose grace in the face of the infidelity of her husband has been astounding. Only through Christ can we attain such heights.

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Joy Dare, Day 13 - Things I've Heard

Three things I've heard -

The purring of our cat as she sleeps on my husband's chest while he naps.

His laughter as he chats with someone on the phone.

His footsteps on the stairs.

It's so good to be home, if only for the weekend. :)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Things above, Things below, Things beside Me

Day 12 -

Something above me - the many levels at Tom Baker Cancer Centre, rooms where patients lie watching doctors and nurses coming and going dispensing medicines and diagnoses and the limited wisdom of limited but seeking minds. The blessings and curses of modern medicine flowing through hallways and up and down elevators, shadowing visitors with flowers and candy or toys and balloons.

Something below me - my shoes squeaking on hard linoleum washed and polished every day by men and women with tired eyes who still take the time to smile or say good morning as I follow the green line to the dressing room and on to the waiting room, the signs about privacy telling us all to wait for the assistance of the nurses.

Something beside me. Yusef, Katie, Matt, Amanda, who step to my side as I lay on the table, their smiles telling me this is all normal after all, as they make sure my body is lined up, "perfect," "Yes that's just right," and we chat about countries we've seen, their comments interjecting like exclamation points of victory as my mind slips back to Spain and Portugal, their "wonderful people." Yes, I think, wonderful, truly wonderful. And filled with mercy and grace.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Three Yellow Things

Three Yellow things that strike me as fresh mercy -

The afghan made by my Mother-in-law - just right for curling up under for an afternoon nap.

My yellow "chemo turban." It keeps my bald head warm on mornings like this when it's -13

The Chair in my daughter's living room - it is almost always empty so it reminds me there is always Someone else in the room.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sour, Sweet, and just right

Day 10-

A gift that was sour - overhearing the mom of a 20 year-old cancer patient say, "all she wants is to be normal again."

A gift that was sweet - watching the nurse bounce toward that young girl, exclaiming how good she looked as she went in for her last radiation treatment.

A gift that was just right - knowing I'm blessed to be able to witness these snippets of other people's lives and being able to be grateful for mine.

Monday, January 09, 2012

The Joy Dare, Day 9

Three things:

a gift in my hand - the small carved wooden pin from Honduras given to me by Pene who is returning there with a medical mission team at the end of this month.

a gift I walked by - the patient room at Tom Baker where the chemo drips from too many IV poles. So glad I'm past that part of this journey.

a gift I sat with - a Muslim woman in the waiting room who picked up the Bible sitting on the coffee table. Perhaps I'll get to chat with her at some point.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Hope is a Dimension of Light

It had been a long grey day in a long grey week. The new chemotherapy drug they had said would be easier wasn't. It knocked me to the ground then stomped on me until every bone ached. I was seriously thinking about cancelling the next dose. I didn't think I could do it.

Then, late one afternoon, I opened my eyes. A thin beam of light had pushed through the clouds, through my living room window, and along a slim tendril growing out of my small Spider plant. The tendril had looked so fragile as it reached out, pale and oh so thin. But when that beam of light touched it, it began to glow. Then the light illuminated the tiny white flowers that had just bloomed. The flowers glowed in that ethereal light. It took my breath away. And hope blossomed. I managed to get up off the couch and find my camera. It took a few tries to get a picture that wasn't blurry. But I managed to steady my hands and do it.

Hope. At that moment it was a living dimension - a shaft of real light that slipped into my living room along that tendril of plant at just at the right moment. At just the right moment God reminded me that he was here, watching, waiting with me and smiling as he made that tiny flower glow.

"When Jesus spoke to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12

The light of life, the light of hope. It's Him. Jesus Himself. Right here. Right now.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

1000 Things

New Beginnings -

I'm a little late getting started on this, but I've decided to that the Joy Dare with Ann Voskamp and many others. I'll be posting here as well as keeping a hand-written journal. So far this is what I've done -

Day One - she picked a hard one to start off - 3 things about myself I'm grateful for -
1 - an ability to adapt and "go with the flow" - most of the time. :)
2 - a willingness to keep trying, even when I blow it badly.
3 - the deep seed of Christian heritage that has kept me rooted in Christ.

Day Two - A gift outside - clear sidewalks; Inside - a clean house, dishes done thanks to my hsuband; On a plate - this one was easy - Turkey! :0

Day three - three lines overheard that were graces - will have to continue to listen for these -

Day four - One gift, old, new, blue
old - my geraniums that just won't quit blooming, even in January

new - the lovely journal I'll use for this project - a gift from my dear friend Pauline

blue - a soft chambray shirt, found on sale. :)

Day five - Something I'm reading - Sutter's Cross - Dale Cramer's first book - have loved some of his others, especially Summer of Light.

Something I'm making - this journal

Something I'm seeing - birds in a tree near the hospital. They made me smile - all grace, singing.

The photo to the left is of a painting done by my daughter, Laura, given to me for Christmas by my daughter Kate. Do you see the bird?

Day six - one thing in my bag - two gift certificates to local bookstores. Have been pondering what books to buy. :)

in my fridge - leftovers - they are always better the second time around.

in my heart - thankfulness for clear roads and sunshine - in January!

Day seven - three graces from people I love -
1 - Laura's spontaneous hugs and kisses that always surprise me
2 - Katie's text messages just to see how I'm doing.
3 - my husband's smile when I arrive back home.