Thursday, January 19, 2012

Canadian winter, eh?

I feel like a real Canadian at last!! This past week has brought quite the dump of snow. It's sure beautiful, eh? Although 2 feet of snow (sorry, I should say 68.2 cm) may not seem like much in a nation often associated with igloos and polar bears, it is generally very mild in the area I live, and this is our first significant dump of snow this season. This is the first week where the temperature has consistently stayed around -10 degrees (Celsius of course!).

It makes me happy.

I actually need my boots and gloves and hat and scarf for once! It's amazing!!

It's the month of Janvier (en Francais)

I hear...
the snow go squeak-crunch underfoot
the whistle of wind whining at the door

I smell...
the clean, linen-white scent of snow
the soup warmly boiling on the stove

I feel...
my nose tingle sharply from the cold
soft warm flannel and fuzzy socks

So what if next week's forecast is rain, rain, rain? Today, I'm a true Canadian. ;)

/End of pointless post about my ecstatic embrace of winter

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Once Upon a Time...

The softly falling rain silences the world beyond my window as I wrap myself in a soft blanket and open the book before me. The pattering on my windowpane slowly fades away until all I can hear is the beating of dragon wings and the ring of dueling swords. My tea grows cold while my imagination is flooded with the spicy aroma of pine forests, the taut emotions of tangled conflicts, the piercingly sad beauty of loyalty and loss.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

A sense of story seems wired into the the essence of humanity. Legends, fairytales, and histories from ages past still manage to enchant us. Why story? Why this fascination with things that have no correlation in our immediate lives? What does it matter, really? That a story should have a conclusion, a "happily ever after", a rags-to-riches ending, certainly doesn't parallel what we see of reality.

And yet it resonates.

I don't know if you've ever found this, but there can be times when fiction seems to expose a truer truth, a higher reality than we see with our eyes. Through words penned by another soul, longings are awakened for a country beyond imagination, a place we inexplicably know is home.

Perhaps it is because we belong to such a story.

It is written - written for us, written of us. The cynics may scoff, but there is a spotless bride, a coming King, a sleeper who was awakened, a love that is real. God is the ultimate author of all that is good. When our souls are stirred with the beauty of a well-crafted tale, perhaps it is because it is a reflection, in some vague way, of the story He has written. Even when reality shatters romantic idealism, there is an unseen reality that shines to defy the impossible, to redeem the irredeemable.

Existence would be flat and lifeless unless it was embodied by story. We do not read only the last page, when Prince Charming appears to rescue the princess and they ride off into the sunset to live happily ever after. The biting of our nails when the challenges seem insurmountable, the mirth of watching the hapless hero bumbling about, the bright fairy-tale colours on every page - these exist for a purpose of no less beauty. While prone to sin and human error, and having been used for ignoble purposes, God has gifted us with imagination and emotion because they are good. Thoughts and feelings have a purpose, meaning, and beauty - they are not reduced in meaning simply because of the greater, overarching story.

Likewise, the love of God exists not only for a certain end, but during every moment - He loves us not for what we can perform, but at every moment, and in every season - and for each moment there is a purpose, not only as a means to the end, but because God has breathed intrinsic value into every instant of time. There is a Story of greater beauty than any that has ever been penned by men, which is lived by everyone who believes. Abraham and Sarah, living in tents in the wilderness, looked ahead to the days of the unseen, promised city. Moses, a prince of Egypt, turned his back on earthly treasure to seek the reward of heaven. Rahab, a prostitute, was declared righteous for her belief and given a place of honor as an ancestor of the Messiah. A great cloud of witnesses goes before us, testifying to His glory, which outshines the value of anything real or imagined.

So let us imagine, let us dream, but oh! May we know the firm reality, the infinite depths of what exists for us in Christ. May we live, truly live, knowing that the great King is coming soon! The greatest love has come, chains are being undone, and we have a battle to fight!

Friday, January 6, 2012

first post of 2012

Somehow as the years go by, the numbers associated with them mean a little less. Time flies faster all the time, but I want to live fully in every moment, though I sometimes feel that I am drifting through my days.

It was a beautiful Christmas... though the child in me had hoped for snow. Isn't it exasperating when your grandparents are praying against snow while you're praying for it? ;) It was so good to spend time with family, to indulge in chocolatey goodness with a little less restraint than normal - but most of all to meditate on the magnitude of what Christ's coming means. I'm still getting back into keeping track of what day of the week it is after a relaxed Christmas break... but things are slowly starting back up.

I'm looking forward to a year of big changes, many which are not entirely known to me yet, but here are a few goals I have for the year ahead....

The first three biggest, most obvious ones...

- Finding a job
- Finishing my current courses
- Going to university (1st time going to a brick and mortar school!)
all if God wills...

And some others that range from vital to trivial, but I nonetheless aim to do...

- complete several sewing projects
- start a prayer journal
- declutter
- paint my room
- spend more time doing art
- exercise daily
- be more intentional about studying my Bible
- finish my current book list
- cook at least one meal a week
- look for more ways to minister to my family and my church family
- evaluate my attitudes and actions through Gal 5:22-23

The Light still shines over the place where the Lord resides. May we glow brightly amidst the darkness of this world! He is our hope, the one who leads our steps, ever faithful. To Him be the glory!