So long, farewell

After years of having to say goodbye, you think I’d be good at it, or at least comfortable with it.  The truth is, I’m not.  As I face the end of yet another chapter in my life, I find myself in a bit of denial as I know that all too soon I’ll be saying those two words laced with tears.  I suppose it’s a good thing when one stays “soft,” at least that’s what I’m telling myself.

Reflecting back there are certain goodbyes I distinctively remember.
I’ve had to say goodbye to my parents & siblings as I’ve left the continent, unsure if I’d ever return to call Canada “home.”
I said goodbye to my best friend/boyfriend (now husband), as I went to the opposite end of the world just days after we started dating.
I’ve said goodbye to friends from around the globe, not knowing when, where, or if our paths will ever cross again.
I’ve said final goodbyes to two grandparents who graduated to heaven.
My husband & I have said goodbye countless times as he or I have left the other for days at a time to take work trips.
I’ve said goodbye to besties who have relocated.
Each of these goodbye has been significant & painful in its own way.

Despite these various situations of having to say goodbye to some of my nearest & dearest, I have a feeling the round of goodbyes coming up could quite possibly be one of the most painful.  In just over a week I will be saying goodbye to my church family as my husband & I continue the crazy adventure we’ve on together.  I’m aware that people leave churches all the time, be it because of discontent, unresolved issues, or relocation; what we’re about to do is nothing out of the norm.  However, I’d like to suggest that our departure will indeed be one of great sadness as we are in fact leaving on a good note, yet a difficult one.  I’ve been on staff at our church for over 5 years…  5 of the most difficult, wonderful & stretching years of my life.  I’ve grown in countless ways & learned that there’s a lot that wasn’t actually taught to me in Bible College, that or perhaps I was just to na├»ve to take notice of that which would prepare me for real life ministry.  We’ve gone through rough patches, as well as some good.  Numerous times the thought crossed my mind to leave earlier, yet I always felt that the timing just wasn’t right & now there’s peace as my notice has been given & my final day is in sight.

Our church has not only been my place of employment, but it’s also become a second family to us.  We’ve created relationships with young & old that have made an eternal impact on our lives.  We’re so thankful for the laughs, tears, coffees, lunches, dinners, desserts & fun we’ve had the opportunity to share with those have accepted & loved us.  We've both grown & matured in countless ways. We've been empowered & released to do what God has called us to in ministry & in our everyday lives.

I know that more goodbyes will come my way over the years.  I also know that this isn’t a final goodbye, as I’m certain we’ll visit this “home” of ours often.  When we encounter those who are a part of this family we’ve grown with, our interactions will not be awkward or unfriendly, rather we’ll embrace with warmth & fondness.  Not only are we moving on with a blessing, we will leave one as we go & although you'll hear goodbyes from our mouths, in our hearts we'll really be saying "see you soon."


I was evacuated.

There's nothing like an evacuation to put life into perspective. Thankfully I was home from work as the small town I live in was being evacuated. Frantically I went through our home of three years gathering what would be needed in the event that our house ended up in flames.

While gathering important papers, passports & photos I began to get a greater perspective on what's truly of value. I'm so thankful that my parents were able to come assist me. My mom helped me get a handle on what's irreplaceable as she began packing up pieces from my husband's grandma & china pieces that have been passed down through generations, plus precious quilts handmade by my maternal grandma.

Leaving my home gave me a new understanding of what it would feel like to live in a developing nation. As I looked ahead & saw nothing but a steady stream of traffic & in my rear view mirrors just as many vehicles following. Imagining what it would be like to be making that trek away from my home on foot brought all sorts of emotions to the surface. I could not have been more thankful to have a vehicle to assist with my quick evacuation; my Jeep, is something that I so often take for granted & yet after a day like yesterday, I was so appreciative of the four wheels that transported me to safety.

My mom & I headed out of town at the same time, while my dad was a bit behind as he went to rescue our trailer. The only thing is that he wasn't just "a bit" behind, we didn't see him for more then five hours. Did I mention he didn't have a cell phone on him? What was supposed to be a quick trip, ended up being an evening full of praying & fried nerves. Turns out my dad was stuck in traffic, thankfully that's all that had happened.

Although I had our family heirlooms, all important documents & our wedding photos, I realize that the most important thing in my life, isn't a thing. The most important thing in my life is without a doubt the relationships I have with my nearest & dearest. I know that that sounds incredibly cliche, but it couldn't be more true after the past 24 hours I've experienced.

Last night I was incredibly displaced with only a suitcase that I threw a few clothing items in (no shoes I might add, shocking, I know!), a laundry basket with items wrapped in tea towels & a backseat full of important papers & photos. To be honest, I'm still emotionally raw. I could not be more thankful for the many men & women who have worked so hard to keep homes & lives safe. I could not be more thankful to my incredible brother-in-law who was out digging trenches, one of the many unsung heros of Southern Alberta; someone who certainly never signed up to fight fires.

Finally my heart is bursting at the seams that my family is safe. Words can't even begin to describe how thankful & grateful I am at the moment. The words "His mercies are new every morning," have never felt more true in my life then they did today.


Making Goals

In keeping with my goal to write on a weekly basis, here is my first blog of September.

I would say I'm dreamer & definitely a planner.  One of my dreams is to write a book one day.  This has been a dream of mine for quite a few years now.  Having said that, if I'm not currently writing, how will the thoughts muddled up inside of me ever make their way onto paper?  And so, my goal to write on a weekly basis has become part of plan in achieving my dream of writing a book.

My husband & I have always been planners & dreamers.  In fact, when we first got married we had some dreams that we wished to achieve before growing our family.  In less then six months all our set dreams had become reality & suddenly we needed to dream more & bigger.  Here we are four years & a half years later, still dreaming.

I'm realizing that as I get older time really does seem to go by faster, or perhaps it's true that, "time flies when you're having fun."  Suddenly it's September & I find myself with only a few more precious months left in 2012.  Although I'm a planner & set goals for myself, to say that I'm good at setting deadlines is another story.  That being said for the time being my goal is to write once a week until the end of the year.  Maybe this is a big goal.  This fall seems to be bringing all sorts of changes & challenges with it.  Hopefully with everything going on around me I'm not setting myself up for failure, rather stretching myself & my capacity.

Psalm 37:4 states:
Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.

I believe this to be truth, and so as I plan & dream, I know that ultimately the One who gave the dream will be the One to ultimately make it come to pass.  In the meantime I'll be taking delight in Him & doing what I've been enabled to do.