Thursday, July 22, 2010

Things that make me happy

hearing an old familiar voice I haven't heard in a long while...

a new box of crayons...

little boys' dirty hands (and feet, and legs, and faces... and cleaning them up)

boo boo's that require a kiss

campfires, fireflies and a clear starry sky

the happy yellow flowers on my pumpkin plants

farmers markets

empty calendars and a pen




new clothes or shoes - or both

a good story

brand new babies


seeing someone else succeed (especially when they didn't think they could)

Boat rides

Greek food and music

eating outside

feeling the warm sun on my skin

worshiping with reckless abandon

hearing the "right now" word from God

Seeing God touch someone

Monday, July 19, 2010

Mama T - for those waiting for the VBC posts - they are coming, I promise...just keeping the writing juices flowing.

I think it was Craig Harris, one of my former students (and band members) who first gave me the nickname Mama T. I'm not sure if it was because he thought I was "motherly" to all my students - sorry people I can't help it, I have 4 younger sisters who I mothered before I had a chance to develop any other ways of interacting with people.

The name also may have stemmed out of a faith statement, as I know that around that time I had my first miscarriage - how devasted we all were (it had taken a couple years for Chris and I to get pregnant, it seemed that so many were in agreement with us to have a family). I remember those precious students lifting us up in prayer, and i also remember how happy many of them were to find out 3 1/2 years later when our oldest son Lucas arrived.... those faith-filled times still ring out as some of my best years of living and loving.

So the name, Mama T, well for some of them, and for me, it stuck.

Those 5 years or so of working with the bible college students and Pastor Paul, were definately some of the best years of my life - professionally, personally, spiritually. They were truly special. I still think of so many of those students often, and pray for them and love to hear from them too. I think I grew more and faster than any other period in those years too. They were often exhausting, exhilarating, frustrating, fabulous, inspiring and just plain awesome times...

I believe that I'm on the cusp of another one of those periods of time in my life (I just need to figure out which side of yes I'm on) - never mind if you don't get that, I do - and this post is mainly for me :) So for some reason, I've got a new generation calling me Mama T - and that's alright with me.

Hard shift left - learning to drive, again

My love bought 'a new car.

It is a standard aka stick shift.

It's a pretty little Jetta and sometimes I think he loves her.

Yes, it's a her. He named her...and for the life of me, i can't remember her name right now...

Ramona, Gertrude, Marion...i just can't remember.

He lovingly caresses her and takes her for beauty treatments (waxing) regularly...

He bought her when there was still snow on the ground with ice. so I couldn't drive her then for safety reasons because I haven't driven standard since I was 18 and my girlfriend Lynda and drove her little standard car from Chatham to Ottawa to visit her then boyfriend, who she later married for spring break...that was one great trip.

Anyways, back to the car.

SO my love gave me ONE lesson where he used alot of words like RPMs and ratios, etc which to my not-so mathematical mind sounded like Mandarin (the language not the restaurant) and therefore did not stick. The lesson however was great, he was very patient and helpful and i felt ok when we were done. The next lesson, about a week later, he was not so patient and expected me to remember all of the aforementioned Mandarin terms and such including the idiosyncracies of the car - so although we did not fight (i did stall the car about 15 times in the busy Dairy Queen parking lot, and I'm sure he was embarrassed and such. I was just irritated that he as a teacher was not consistent... so i refused to drive with him again...aned a few weeks of the precious nice weather passed without me driving...

My "newer" friend Becky took me out in the Jetta instead (by newer i mean, we've known each other for about 13 years or more, but not as good friends - but the year 2010 has brought me the blessing of Becky's friendship). So we've gone for a few driving sessions (many of them providing both of us the much needed therapy that only good solid belly bouncing, tear jerking laughter provides. Due to the timing or lack of timing in regards to shifting, gearing up out of neutral, of stalling in all the wrong places, jerking, squealling, etc.

and then the day came.

Becky said I was ready to start driving alone.

I don't want to drive alone.

I think my love doesn't believe Becky (though he implicitly trusts her with matters of business, funny i think)

I think my love is more concerned about his car than he is about the safety of his wife.

I think he would rather I drive the gas guzzling family van that I've been driving since our family grew to the number 5. even though he argued the savings in mileage when he felt he needed to justify purchasing a car that i can't drive...

I think this because I see a glint of fear in his eye when i take the keys...i hear it in his hestitation when I mention i'd like to take her out for a the fact that he calls her "his car" and the van "my car" - even though we both purchased both vehicles and continue to pay for them...

So, it's stolen a confidence from me and again I haven't driven her for weeks, i feel like I maybe have forgotten how to drive her again. Maybe I need Becky to take her out with me again...maybe Becky should just come and live with us all the time so I never will need to drive her alone, ever. Truth be told, i can't be bothered. i

I know there is a connection between this, and my personal life. I'm in a very weird insecure place right now. I want to find that girl who drove to Ottawa after one driving lesson. I want to be in charge of my life again - not in my own way - but in God's way for me. I feel like I've given my power to others, and now I hesitate to step out on my own with I need a Becky to get me in the drivers seat of my own life...I know that the road He wants me travel will only have me end up in the very best places...and one day soon, watch out, I will say to heck with the rest of you (including all those fearful words that seem to be on repeat in my head) - I'm driving this damn car and someday i will love it, because with enough practice I'll be able to enjoy the drive and the view too!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

VBC Campers

We all made it home safe and sound! The van has been unpacked and the boys put to bed, but it's late now and it was a long drive - so I'm going to bed, but as promised, the next few posts are dedicated to you, so check again soon. I love and miss you all so much!


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Out of the Habit

So, it's been awhile, not that I haven't opened my blog intending to write, I have, and then stared at the blank page, and everything I wanted to write about flew out of my head, and this weird emotional blockage happened...I knew I wanted to write, needed to write...but couldn't. Was I just out of the habit - not too sure about that...

So, here I am, facing this same situation, and for some reason I have the strength today to push through it.

We're 4 days into summer vacation, and I'm feeling...huh.... alot. I'm excited to not have a schedule, and yet, the same fact scares me. I'm excited to spend endless hours with my kids, and getting back into the home groove (my work hours are switched to one morning, and 2 evenings a week :); having said that, I keep telling myself to savour the small victories (weeding my beloved garden in an hour last night; seeing the cucumbers and tomatoes growing already; staying on top of the endless housework better; getting to read some more fiction with less interruptions kind of; progress at work ) and not focus so much on the incredibly short amount of time to get too much done.

So I choose today to be thankful. I am thankful for mom-friends who don't judge the housework that wasn't done nor make comments about the cobwebs. I am thankful for easy summer dinners and yummy salads. I am thankful for my newly decorated sunroom where I can lounge while the kidlets play. I am thankful for my beautiful mom and sisters - that we have a family that just loves us, the way we are. I am thankful for naptime and thence "me-time". I am thankful for the people I count as friends, and that they love me despite all my flaws as there sure do seem to be a lot of them some days very obvious. I am thankful for Niagara - I love, love, love living here. I am grateful to live in Canada. To have the blessings of this nation everyday. I am thankful for Julie, that I have been able to entrust time away from my kids into her care for so has been worry free in that area simply because she's been in it. I love my church - they've loved me and helped me grow for more than a decade - and thereby I love my job - and that to quote an email to a dear friend I get to work with future leaders. To help anyone – especially kids and young people discover their potential and believe in themselves, and get a start in growing toward that. Every day feels like another opportunity to work on the future – while spending more time with my kids and making our family life more enjoyable because it’s flexible to my life, and it can develop as we do.

Lot's to be grateful for, and I truly am. Happy Canada Day!

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