Friday, June 30, 2006

Following up- (Faithless and Fickle)

I haven't followed up on my Faithless and Fickle post- about the discouragement I'd been feeling, resulting from lingering bitterness and not feeling close to God.

I did have some good reflective time in NB, and some quality time spent with Him that reminded me of how much more precious intimacy with Him is, than anything else. I wish I could say that I am currently enjoying at least the same intimacy with Him that I had come to enjoy before my bitter season. I was a bit frustrated, but now it seems fitting that I be, right now, exactly where I am.

In reading Jeremiah 29, it occurred to me that we women reflect the character of God a bit in this way: God deeply desires intimacy with us, and that intimacy is not something so cheap as to be dished out whenever a fickle child like me capriciously demands it. It is given in smaller doses, drawing us on, drawing us deeper. As we respond, and declare His value by pursuing Him with our whole heart... He delights in giving Himself to us. I think that is a part of why He created women with the need to be pursued, so that there would an earthly picture of His desire to be pursued by us, and of course, what He has done to pursue us.

So I continue fumbling down the sometimes painful, but always worthwhile journey of pursuing Him, even as I learn to recognize His relentless pursuit of me.

I say such stupid things

This morning I had to make a phone call to a local business, and the woman who answered the phone, fumbled over the words she must say dozens of times a day. She fumbled and stuttered the name of the company literally about five times. We had a laugh, but I could tell she was embarassed.

There aren't long stretches of time between the situations where I literally hit myself on the forhead, or shake my head in utter amazement at the stupid things that come out of my mouth. I try to be funny, and I end up sounding like I'm criticizing. I try to be smart, and I sound like a moron. :) It seems to happen so often, and I always feel annoyed with myself for doing it, again.

I taught a session this morning to the short-termers who are in an orientation here this week. It was about Truth & Lies: the lies we struggle with, and the truth about who we are in Christ. It made me think about this whole "saying stupid things" issue.

When I beat myself up about saying something stupid, it's because I'm mad at myself for not being perfect. When I'm mad at myself for not being perfect, it's because I'm believing the lie that I am supposed to be perfect. I'm believing that if I am not perfect, others will reject me. Underlying that is the belief that what others think of me defines who I am as a person.

So, what is the truth? Well, the truth is, I do say stupid things more often than I'd like to. Also true, is the fact that I am far from perfect. BUT I don't need to be perfect, and I don't even need to be liked by everyone (though it would be nice :) ). I am loved and accepted by God, just the way I am. And in the end, the people through whom God loves me the most obviously, are not the ones who have seen me just at my most Spirit-filled and lead moments. They are the ones who have seen the most ridiculous sides of me, and even borne the brunt of my annoyingness, crabbiness, and ... um, forceful personality.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Deven & Heather's wedding

Well the vacation is over now, and I'm finally posting the pictures from the wedding. Like I said before, it was a beautiful day. With the cake, MC-ing the reception, and spending half the day behind the camera, the day passed quickly, but I enjoyed it. Here are my pictures:
Deven with mom before the wedding.
Our cousin Joshua, a junior groomsman
My dad, proud father of the groom
Deven had the idea of putting chapstick on the ring so it wouldn't get stuck on Heather's knuckle during the srevice... I just hope it hasn't fallen off.
Deven, serious and just managing to keep it all in while waiting for Heather, who was a wee bit late for the ceremony. Our grandmother (MacDonald), sitting next to me, kept whispering loudly to Deven, "She's not coming!" I'm sure he appreciated the humour...
Exchanging their vows
The beautiful bride, all smiles
Husband and wife
They surprised Heather's parents and relatives (who had travelled from Scotland to be at the wedding) with a bagpiper who played as they left the church
Our cousin Christy, the flower girl
Both of our families: MacRailds and MacDonalds
Sometimes they forget that there are other people in the universe... hehe... but I guess that is ok (normal?) for newlyweds :)
At the reception, listening to my parents' speeches. The MC-ing went well, except when I introduced Heather's dad as the father of the groom. Oops... I should know!
At the end of a long a good day, me with my little brother Deven- I'm proud of him, and happy for him. It makes me happy to see him so happy, and to know how much he loves this woman he now calls his wife. And I'm so glad to welcome Heather into our family.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The cake

The wedding is over now, and Deven and Heather are off on their honeymoon. I have a number of pictures to post, but I'll leave you for now with just a picture of the cake. It was pretty simple, like I anticipated, but I got a lot of compliments on it. I didn't let them go to my head though, since I'm pretty sure the general amazement was directly related to the low expectations most people had. :)
So here it is: first, the plain cake, then dressed up a bit, with my handsome brother and his beautiful bride.

(p.s- it was a beautiful wedding, but I'll post more on that later. For now, I'm off to enjoy the rest of my vacation)

Friday, June 09, 2006

Faithless and fickle

(Blogger was down for maintenance last night, so I'm posting a bit late)
I'm in New Brunswick. It is so nice to be able to enjoy family again. Right now I'm sitting up later than I should, enjoying the company of my dad as I write, while he works on his cryptogram puzzles. It's been a busy few days since I arrived early yesterday morning, after a sleepless night of travel (2 am Robert Q shuttle bus, 5 am check-in for 6:30 am flight).

I'm glad for this time away because I need it. You may have noticed the lack of significant depth in most of my posts lately. Partly, it's because I've kept myself so busy, but mostly because I've not been hearing anything from God. I've let bitterness get in the way of intimacy with Him. I think part of the reason I've kept myself so busy in the first place is to avoid feeling the discouragement that has followed the bitterness I've allowed to take root. If you want to know the honest truth, I've been angry with God (though denying it to myself), and avoiding Him.

But I miss Him. And I realize that I don't have much to share on here, other than work, or pictures, because when I'm avoiding Him, I can't connect with you. I've been pretty discouraged lately, to be honest, and I think that I simply can't purely enjoy anything, if I'm not enjoying Him. When I'm not acknowledging Him, all of my other interactions warp, as I seek my own gain rather than others'.

The other night, Amy (#26) and I went for a night walk, and sat by the river for a while in silence, enjoying the soothing sounds of the water passing by, and the silver reflections of the moon on the ripples. In that short quiet and reflective time, God reminded me that I have a life full of good things. I'm frustrated by my inability to enjoy them, but He's shown me that I'll miss out on all of those blessings if I am not enjoying Him.

I'm thankful for these days with my family, and for the time and space to turn my eyes back to the beautiful sight of my Abba Father. I'm so faithless, and so fickle, but He always offers grace and love.

Ok, now I need to go to bed.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Melanie & Ryan

I just wanted to say congratulations to my good friend Melanie Froese on her engagement to Ryan Johnson.

Mel and I have been through a lot together over the past few years: travelling together to the Middle East and Thailand, long road trips, ethnic food and foreign movies, momentous prayer times, being co-workers, being roommates, working and growing through conflicts (oh, the ugly sides of me she has seen!) :) lots of laughter, and some tears... but the best has just been journeying alongside her as we go deeper into God, digging into what He's teaching and doing in and through us. I've seen God evidently at work in her life, transforming her more and more into a woman of grace, faith and the love of God.

I look forward to more memories, and to getting to know the new brother I am getting in Ryan.