focusing on good

"The Christian is the really free man-he is free to have imagination. This too is our heritage. The Christian is the one whose imagination should fly beyond the stars." Francis Schaeffer.

The health and wellness culture of our day inundates us with ways to  think positively and live intentionally. We read so much about living life to the fullest, to the best of our ability. SO many blogs are written primarily to do just that (in fact my old blog coffee and daisies was written for the same purpose)! Its good wholesome stuff to munch on and mull over. Breathing in the sweet smell of rain after a downpour, walking through freshly fallen snow or taking a moment to admire the brilliant sunset, are small moments that matter. "You are only here for a short visit. Don't hurry. Don't worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way"(Walter Hagen).

Granted, the happy thoughts train can become redundant after awhile, like the nagging parent reminding their child to clean up messes.... yes, yes....we KNOW already! Sometimes I get tired reading about the various things healthy families should be doing together to connect and take stock...like nature walks, making soup from scratch, running through wheat fields, playing board games without fighting etc. My insecurities get the best of me in those cases (if we don't do those things then we are a "bad" family). But annoyances and defences aside, I'm aware that there is something very important about the positive thinking hoop-lah, and I recognize that I need those reminders along the way. Like everyone else who carries some combination of x and y chromosomes... what we dwell on and think about, directly shapes our mood, our motivation and our spirit. It makes up a great part of who we are.
{Please note, I'm not relating this in any way to depression, for then we must consider all the uncontrollable thoughts and feelings that hijack and jeopardize an otherwise clear, strong mind}.
We can chose to think along gracious and thankful streams of thought.
We can chose to marvel at simple wonders of creation and the complexities of photosynthesis.
We can chose to think about the goodness and kindness of strangers and the comfort and love of a friend.
We can.
I can.
For we know that for every glimpse of beauty, there are just as many, if not more... negative,
difficult, and even painful realizations of life to absorb, and DEAL with.
traffic jams (BAD drivers-MERGE people MERGE!), library late fees, take-out screw ups (missed the fries AGAIN), late for work, over-reactions to my child, sleeping  too much, pms, stupid weeds, pending news, housework, never ending bills, doctors appointments, GLUTEN, slivers, ants in the kitchen, minimum wage, dust, baseball practice, teachers, homework, family issues, rain, filling out forms, running errands....
Small things that can easily overwhelm and fill me with negativity. Hang-ups that act as springboards to bigger and greater issues in my life. Annoyances that capture my mind and throw it down helpless, like a big, burly (fake) wrestler with no mercy.
(hows that for a visual?)

Recently I've been reading the book "Heaven", by Randy Alcorn. It has brought much respite to my clouded, troubled mind and helped me to concentrate on the good vs. the annoying (and painful) circumstances in my life. Here's why.
I've been struggling to remember my Dad the way he was, before May 28th- the day he passed away. This book on Heaven has helped me to focus on where he is now and not so much the scenes from the hospital. My Dad did not die peacefully. There was great distress, a code red racing ambulance, fear, panic, resuscitation, helplessness, agitation, internal suffocation and finally sedation. When my mom and I saw his body after the staff had tried so hard to help him, I saw the terrible, scary side of death. I saw an image that made me feel a combined physical pain and numbness, I felt like I was walking through a foreign film, everything was very confusing and surreal.. I watched as my mother wept in grief stroking her beloved's forehead. I felt a hollowness, an emptiness, and repeatedly thought..."there better be a heaven, there better be a heaven."

Thankfully because of the book and folks talking to God and praying about this, I feel the fear receding every day. The horrid realities of his suffering aren't as imprinted on my brain. But it is still my "go to" image, whenever I think about Dad. So I purposefully and intentionally (I like that word) switch it to happy times, bringing to mind wonderful memories of marshmallow roasts around the fire-pit, talking around the dinner table after a finished meal, my last discussion with him, his encouraging nature and soft spoken ways. I pray that someday his last moments on earth will only be a faint memory. For now, I deliberately focus on the promises and truth that God gives us in His word, that our suffering and great losses are short lived. The ugliness of death has no lasting effect on us! Jesus has indeed paved the way for everything lovely, pure, good, beautiful and perfect. Jesus said, "Be of good cheer" (John 16:33).

"The new house is nearly ready for you. Moving day is coming. The dark winter is about to be magically transformed into spring. One day soon you will be home-for the first time. Until then, I encourage you to meditate on the Bible's truth about Heaven. May your imagination soar and your heart rejoice." Randy Alcorn.



Jacob and Lily
fell in love when i heard
sound quality bad
voice quality fantastic

My new favourite is however, "child of the king" (last song on the "listen" page of their website)
They rock.


prayer for life

Don't ever underestimate the power of prayer.
for when what you fear actually happens and becomes your new reality...
when they sit you down to say "i'm sorry he passed away" in the emergency room,
you keep breathing.
in moments when you feel sick to your stomach from grief and bewilderment.
you are carried.
you are steadied.
you are guided.

The pain is not removed. The situation does not change.
Yet you take steps, make sentences, laugh at memories, eat and sleep.
You continue.

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