Good Days

It feels like I have been doing a lot of moaning and groaning on here lately so I decided that it was time to share something cheerful.

We had lovely Spring weather this past weekend. I invited my Mom up for a quick visit on Saturday. When she got here, we went for a drive along our lovely waterfront park. The water of Lake Huron was a deep, translucent jade colour. There were quite a number of people participating in the annual shoreline clean-up event. It was nice to see families working together to clean up our waterfront. Being on the prevailing wind side of a Great Lake, we get quite a lot of flotsam and jetsam accumulating after all the Winter storms that blow our way.

Then we drove to the top of the sand bluffs which may be 80 – 100 feet high above the lake. The town of Goderich was built upon these bluffs, which are the remnants of a glacial lake. From one vantage point we could see the mouth of the Maitland River flowing into the lake looking like a river of black oil against the jade green of the lake.

We stopped for lunch at a restaurant that sits on the crest of a hill above the lake. It was nothing fancy but we enjoyed one another’s company.

My Mom had not been feeling well but I think that the sunshine, the scenery and my scintillating company helped to elevate her spirits a bit. I know that I enjoyed her company and she  gave me deliverance from cabin fever.

The weather was beautiful again on Sunday. Plans to meet up with my son and his family fell through so I asked my hubby if he felt like going for a drive to Sarnia to visit my Mom. I suggested that we have a picnic and walk around the park down there.

Instead of a picnic, we all went to Archie’s Albert’s, a well known local hot-dog stand situated almost underneath the large international Bluewater Bridge that joins Canada and the States. I pigged out on a spicy and very sloppy cheese dog. I had as much cheese sauce running down my fingers and hand as I had on the hotdog!

After the junk food delectables, we drove on winding roads through lovely Canatara Park. We stopped near the beach to look at the crumbling remains of the ice walls along the shoreline. A “Laker” ship was heading towards the entrance of the St. Clair River, which is a very busy shipping channel in the Great Lakes system.

We strolled along trails beneath an old oak forest. Small children were enjoying crunching through the dried leaves. In a small garden in an open area, white snowdrops, yellow and purples crocuses, and a bunch of beautiful purple mini irises were poking out. A young girl was learning how to skateboard while watchful grandparents strolled behind her. There were people of all ages out and about enjoying the beautiful Spring weather. Many of them were walking dogs. There were dogs of every size and description – I have never seen so many dogs in one place!

After our stroll, we parked ourselves on park benches overlooking the St. Clair River and proceeded to people watch. I got a chuckle watching three young kids rolling down a small hill, over and over again. Such innocent pastimes! We chatted with passing dog walkers and patted some pooches. There are always quite a few people fishing and we got a laugh when two anglers got their lines hooked together, unbeknownst to one of them. The angler who knew, jokingly gave his line a big tug making the other angler think that she had caught a fish. LOL

Afterwards, we went back to my Mom’s where we sat in the sun on the back deck drinking tea and eating chocolate chip cookies while feeding friendly black squirrels peanuts in the shell. Simple pleasures. 🙂

On our drive back home, my hubby and I stopped at a restaurant for a light supper. I happened to see a sign advertising no sugar added (magic words for someone, me, trying to lose weight) Moose Tracks ice cream so of course we just HAD to have some! YUM!

When we arrived home, the sun was just starting to set and it was still mild so we decided to go for a stroll around the neighbourhood. The air was scented with the fresh aroma of cedar and spicy camp fire smoke. The tree tops were filled with a variety of birds singing Evensong. So tranquil. What a lovely way to end a lovely day.

I thank God for the many blessings of this past weekend – the company of loved ones, sunshine, mild temperatures, and lovely scenery. God Is Good – All The Time!

Psa 31:19 How great is Your goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear You; 

Psa 107:8 Oh that men would praise Jehovah for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the sons of man!

Seasons

Ecc 3:1 To every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose under the heavens:

Yesterday was the first “official” day of Spring. I had wanted to publish this post yesterday but got knocked off track by a couple of life challenges.

Spring is my favourite season. Although the Winter here is fairly mild, it comes with high winds and day after day of damp, grey weather – ugh! I am so happy when the Spring sun starts to shine and daylight hours get longer.

Other than the sound of the frequently ROARING wind coming off Lake Huron (which really rattles my metal chimney as well as my nerves!), it is very silent here in the Winter so I love it when the birds feel inspired to start singing their Spring love songs. It makes me feel “all a twitter”.  🙂

We don’t always get a lot of snow, so instead of bright, sparkling white, the predominant Winter colours are various shades of grey and brown – VERY uninspiring. When Spring comes, colour begins returning to the land. The tips of the bushes and trees become frosted with swelling leaf buds in shades of green, yellow, pink, red, and even some fuzz. The dull brown earth is pierced with shafts of green as buried bulbs send forth their first leaves. Male birds strut their stuff all decked out in their finest mating plumage.

As Creation shakes off its dull Winter slumber, Spring is filled with colour, activity and life.

I have a door mat in which I can change the central decorative section to reflect the Seasons, Holidays, or personal whims. To celebrate the arrival of Spring, I literally put out the Welcome mat.

Good bye Winter 

Hello Spring! 

I wish that getting through seasons in life was as easy as a change of date on the calendar or switching decorative mats!

The past two Winters have been challenging ones for me. I live outside of town and I don’t have a car during the day so that I can get out and about. I live in a tiny “community” made up of seasonal cottages, retired elderly people, and a few working folks, so there is not a lot of opportunity for socialization.

I am a “people person” and a “do-er” so I find it very difficult to sit at home by myself day after day and find something worthwhile to do. I am used to participating in a wide variety of community service and church ministry. I often feel like I am not contributing anything to this big, wide world – or even to my small section of it.

I have tried to deal with this issue by thinking about it as just a “season” in my life. I try to accept that in this season I am maintaining and decorating our wee hoosie, looking after the hubby (he needs it! lol), being available to talk on the phone when my son calls with yet another one of his life crisis, emailing my Mom so she doesn’t feel so lonely, encouraging friends through various social media, and writing this blog.

I am looking forward to the upcoming change of season when my hubby retires at the end of this summer. We have already made the first big step in our “Freedom 55” plan with the purchase of a used 5th wheel trailer, which, until we can afford to buy a truck to haul it around with next year, will become a “bunkhouse” for company this year.

Our dream is to travel across this beautiful country of Canada visiting as many National Parks as we can reach. Until then, we will do some redecorating in the trailer and gaze at it wistfully as it sits in our driveway – a beacon of hope for the near future.

Another great thing to look forward to in the upcoming “Freedom 55” season is that I will have access to the car whenever I want! Hallelujah!

I pray that God will bless you in whatever season of life you may be.

Blessings

A Lovely Day

Even in the midst of all the various struggles that I and my loved ones have been going through, I am still able to appreciate the blessings that God sends my way.

When my children were very small, we had a story book called Bialosky Bear. It was one of those “read-a-long” books that had a cassette tape that told the story while you looked at the pictures.

The only part of the story that I remember is when Bialosky went outside and noticed how nice it was and he began to sing, “It’s a lovely, lovely day”.

And that’s what today was for me – a lovely, lovely day.

It was somewhat foggy as I drove my hubby to work but the morning light coming through the fog made for some very interesting views, especially as it rose over the river.

It became sunny and quite mild for this time of year – I think it went up to at least 16*C – so I could dispense with the heavy winter coat – rather liberating!

I bought some new rubber boots today – black and red plaid – fun and cheerful. As I took them for a “test drive” around the neighbourhood enjoying the squelching sound they made in the mud,  I heard and saw several robins, quite a number of American goldfinches, and the male cardinals have begun singing their Spring song. AAHH – a little slice of heaven.

And my eye is finally starting to feel better!

So not all is doom and gloom in my world. Thank you God!

Blessings

The Very, Merry Month of May

O, the month of May, the merry month of May, So frolic, so gay, and so green, so green, so green! (from a poem by Thomas Dekker)

Spring is my favourite season and May is my favourite month. After a long, cold winter I look forward, with eager anticipation, to all that May has to offer. I love the clear, soft blue skies and the mellow sunshine. I love that the sun dispenses a gentle, mellow warmth while the air still feels fresh and clean. I love the symphony of birdsong that heralds in mating and nesting season. I love spying the exuberant flash of bright colours on male birds wearing their best feathers to attract the ladies. I love puttering around my garden and observing how each day something new and green pushes through the soil promising that days of colour, texture and scent will soon follow. I love how the tree silhouettes change from the outlines of bare branches, to branch tips with swollen buds, to the first flush of new green leaves like delicate lace, to the lush satin fullness of unfurled leaves. I love the evening chorus of Spring Peeper frogs trilling. And I love the smell of things fresh and new and full of life.

To me, the month of May is Creation at it’s best – new beginnings, freshness, gentleness, and a celebration of life.

When I was musing on the subjects of Spring and May, it came to me that the same things that are needed in order to make Spring and May so wonderful and enjoyable are the same things that are needed in our own lives.

Al Jolson sang “April Showers Bring May Flowers”. In the same way that Spring rains nourish May flowers, so too do our own ‘flowers’ of soul (mind, will, emotions) and spirit require ‘rain’ in order to be nourished and strengthened. Plants receive the best nourishment from rain water but we receive nourishment from “living water”, which comes from Jesus Christ.

Joh 4:10 Jesus answered and said to her, If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that says to you, Give Me to drink, you would have asked of Him, and He would have given you living water.

When we believe in Jesus Christ, we are filled with “living water” which nourishes and strengthens our soul and spirit and the life that this brings then flows out as a witness to others of God’s love, mercy and grace.

Act 14:17 And yet He [God} did not leave Himself without witness, doing good, giving rain and fruitful season to us from heaven, filling our hearts with food and gladness.

Joh 7:38 He who believes on Me [Jesus], as the Scripture has said, “Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.”

Trees, plants and flowers also require sunlight in order to produce food for energy and proper growth. Our physical bodies need physical sunshine in order to produce Vit. D (important for healthy bones and immune system). Our brains need regular exposure to bright light in order to have mental and emotional health (sunlight triggers the formation of important endorphins and neurotransmitters). Our soul and spirit also need to be exposed to light – but rather than sunlight, we need Sonlight –  Jesus, who is the Son of God and who is The Light.

2Co 4:6 For it is God who said, “Out of darkness Light shall shine;” who shone in our hearts to give the brightness of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Joh 8:12 Then Jesus spoke again to them, saying, I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

While we do get sunshine in Summer, Fall and Winter, I find May sunshine is the best because along with the lengthening hours of mellow sunlight, we get gentle warmth. Summer light is glaring and harsh with an accompanying heat that can be fierce which causes living things to wither, dry up and die. Autumn heat is milder but as daylight hours lessen, leaves lose their ability to produce the chlorophyll necessary for energy production and begin to die. Winter light is bright and crisp but lacks the necessary warmth to sustain life in plants and trees.

Gen 31:40 I was there; in the day the heat consumed me, and the frost by night. And my sleep departed from my eyes.

Job 24:19 Drought and heat eat up the snow waters;…

Just as plants require the right amount of warmth in order to flourish, so do our souls and spirits – only the warmth we need does not come from the sun, but rather from The Son, Jesus, and the Heavenly Father, God, who sent him. When we are one in relationship with Jesus and God, we benefit from the warmth of their love and protection.

Ecc 4:11 Again, if two lie together, then they have warmth; but how can one be warm alone?

Isa 25:4 For You are a stronghold to the poor, a stronghold to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the fearful ones is like a storm against the wall.

Isa 49:10 They shall not hunger nor thirst; nor shall the heat nor sun strike them; for He who has mercy on them shall lead them; even by the springs of water He shall guide them.

Jer_17:8 For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters; it sends out its roots by the river, and it shall not fear when the heat comes, but its foliage shall be green; and he is not worried in the year of drought, nor will it cease from yielding fruit.

Water, sunlight and warmth in the right amounts promotes life and growth in the physical world. Living Water, The Light, and the warmth of fellowship with God the Father and Jesus, His Son will provide life and growth in your soul and spirit.

“Abba, Father, hear in Heaven and forgive the sin of your children. Teach us the good way in which we should walk in The Light of truth and give rain on your land, in Jesus’ name. Amen” (based on Joh. 8:12, 1Ki 8:36)

Blessings

 

Spring Fever

Rev 4:11  O Lord, You are worthy to receive glory and honor and power, because You created all things, and for Your will they are and were created.

The sun is shining: the air is fresh, warm and sweet; flowers are blooming; trees are “leafing”; and there are no biting bugs! What’s not to love about May?!

Yes, after a grey and damp winter, I am suffering from a HUGE case of spring fever. Some people get spring cleaning fever, but I say, “Never mind the laundry, dishes and house-cleaning – I want to be outside!” (without having to wear a snowsuit!) So for the past few days, I and my trusty side-kick, my digital camera, have been puttering along country roads, exploring nature trails and strolling along town streets, happily “snapping” away at all the various glories of spring.

I love being outdoors enjoying nature, and I love capturing the beautiful things I see with my camera. I love “framing” the artwork that God has created. For me, the outdoors has always been a very spiritual place. It is my church – the place where I feel closest to God. Give me a cathedral of soaring trees over a man-made building any day.

Gen 1:1  In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

I honestly don’t understand how people can admire nature and yet not believe in an amazing Creator. Nature is filled with such an incredible variety of shape, colour, and function. The incredible beauty of nature can only come from a being of incredible imagination and creativity. Each organism, with it’s individual characteristics and specialized functions within the whole of creation, can only have been designed by a superior intelligence.

Psa 19:1  The heavens declare the glory of God; and the expanse proclaims His handiwork.

While I observe and enjoy the beauty, I don’t just have a brain filled with “fluff and fairy tales”, I also have a very analytical and scientific mind. I have loved sciences such as geology, biology, physiology, and chemistry since I was young. I have a very curious mind, I love to learn and I actively and continually seek knowledge. The more that I learn about the earth and it’s living organisms, the more I am convicted that true science does not disprove God, but rather, true science must lead one to acknowledge the existence of a superior, intelligent, powerful Creator.

Rom 1:20  For from the first making of the world, those things of God which the eye is unable to see, that is, his eternal power and existence, are fully made clear, he having given the knowledge of them through the things which he has made, so that men have no reason for wrongdoing:
Rom 1:21  Because, having the knowledge of God, they did not give glory to God as God, and did not give praise, but their minds were full of foolish things, and their hearts, being without sense, were made dark

For me, there can be no other explanation for the incredible diversity, complexity, design, function and inestimable beauty that abounds in creation.

Psa 148:1  Praise Jehovah! Praise Jehovah from the heavens; praise Him in the heights.
Psa 148:2  Praise Him, all His angels; praise Him, all His hosts.
Psa 148:3  Praise Him, sun and moon; praise Him, all stars of light.
Psa 148:4  Praise Him, heavens of heavens, and waters that are above the heavens.
Psa 148:5  Let them praise the name of Jehovah; for He commanded, and they were created.

Amen!IMG_2609 (2)