Yom Kippur 2017

I wish everyone a blessed Yom Kippur!

I love this ‘Sabbath of Sabbaths’ which provides an opportunity to pause and reflect in the midst of an otherwise ordinary space of the year.

Yom Kippur reaches from just before sunset today through nightfall tomorrow, which is a rare and lovely method observing a ‘day’ in this culture and age.

Even if you do not observe Yom Kippur, I hope you find at least a moment within this one to pause and be aware.

 

Be well. 

Returning and resting

For the last couple weeks I seem to have become a virus motel! Every time one of the dang things clears out, another one arrives. It grows monotonous.

As I mentioned on Monday, I’ve also had this verse haunting me:

This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says:

“Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved.

In quietness and confidence is your strength. …”

 

That’s Isaiah 30:15.

It goes on to say “But you would have none of it.”

Now, that is a response to God’s mandates that I’d prefer to avoid, so let us dispense with that last bit for now.

I should start by saying that as serious vices go, I am at far more risk of tipping into sloth than I am work-a-holism. I am so not the live-to-work type.

And, yes, trying to figure out how to be a business person is rough, but currently my business is by no means generating overtime hours – or even full-time hours! My house is pretty settled, I’m not really a cleaning freak, and it isn’t as if I’m signing on to numerous committees or training for a triathlon (may God forbid).

So, why was THIS PARTICULAR verse lurking behind every corner?

I was very confused.

At first, I thought maybe it was just stuck in my head – like songs can be, or a quote. But it definitely seems to be a bit beyond that. It first began to, er, assert itself when I got sick.

Just a 24-hour thing, thank God, but it took a couple days to really get back up to speed. And I took those couple extra days! I took off one entire day AFTER I felt I could be back at it!

What could be more ‘resty’ than that, I ask you?

After this couple of days, I got back at it. I do, after all, need to get to  full-time with my business, I need to increase my income, I have these projects that are lurking…

And I got sick again. THIS ONE was evil. No charming 24-hour thing here.

And AGAIN with the verse!

Okay, okay … but how on earth could I be resting ‘better’?!? What is it you want me to [not] do?

I’ve always been a ‘writing on the wall’ kind of girl:  Give me a nice, clear set of instructions and I’ll GLADLY follow them. This has never been God’s preferred method for communicating with me. Apparently it still isn’t.

But! I have found a slow trickle of hints.

“Look at that second segment.” a voice seemed to say.

“In quietness and confidence is your strength.”

 

Okay, well, I like quietness, you know, and I’m grateful that I have MORE of it here than I have in years. I just frantically hope I’ll be able to STAY where it’s quiet… and it won’t happen if I can’t… and if I have to leave it will all be ….

HMM…

And confidence. I WANT to be confident! Of course I do! That’s what the whole ‘writing on the wall’ request is about! If I could just know for SURE, if you would just make ____ clear, if …

HMM…

Other little hints trickled (back) in:

Be still, and know that I am God… (I especially love the way The Message phrases this one: “Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God, above politics, above everything.” 😀 )

Come to me if you’re weary and I’ll give you rest…

And of course, the biggie: Without faith [aka an enduring confidence in God!] it is impossible to please God….

Huh.

So, that whole returning to ME, resting in ME … looks like that’s RELATED to the quiet and confidence thing.

Uhoh!

 

I’m not sure I have all the answers yet, but what I’ve learned so far seems to indicate that ‘returning and resting’ for me, in this season, look like:

  • Remembering that I have given my situation to God.
  • Remembering that I know God is more than able to provide all I need.
  • Believing that he CARES to provide for me, that he’s been leading me, that he has promised to correct me if I start to go off course.
  • Trusting that he understands my needs, and has them well in hand.

I tend to be great at this for a short period after God yanks on my leash, then slowly, slowly, I lose the plot, take the reins, and start to stress again. But, I guess that part of this resting assignment includes trusting him to be merciful when I fall, again, and to pick me back up and restore me, again. Goodness knows the (LARGE amount of) evidence is that he will!

AND, he has given me great friends, wise advisors, who have spent time this week sharing their own stories and offering insight, encouragement, and support.

This evening begins one of my favourite days of the whole year, Yom Kippur.

Each year, I try to take this ‘Sabbath of Sabbaths’ off from work, or school, or whatever I am obligated to at the time, and make it a retreat for re-centring my heart and mind on who I am in Christ, and what my purpose is in this life.

I suspect it is not a coincidence that this ‘rest quest’ arrived in the week or two before Yom Kippur!

I am excited to see what he’s got up his sleeve for our Yom Kippur date this year!

 

 

Be well.

Returning and resting…

Happy Monday!

How is everyone?

My goodness it’s been a tough few weeks!! I hope you all are safe and well.

 

So, I have this verse that’s been haunting me lately:

This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength.

 

That’s Isaiah 30:15. I’ll talk more about it on Friday, but it’s a good introduction to our Monday Music.

Yes, you’ve probably guessed! 😀

 

Be well.

Two Years Old!

Image of decorated cupcakes as for a birthday party.

 

Some Grace With That

is

TWO YEARS OLD THIS WEEK!!

 

 

Although I didn’t start publishing it until December, I began the planning and writing on 19 September 2015.

And you know? It’s been a bit LIKE raising a baby:  I have learned SO MUCH, and some days I still am not sure I know anything!

I’ve hit countless snags, been really shocked by some discoveries, and been completely awed by how SGWT has developed.

AND, I feel like I’m  just beginning to get a feel for the ‘personality’ that fits this two-year-old!

No dirty diapers, of course, nor terrifying spikes of fever at 2am. Far fewer sleepless nights than if this were a baby. So definitely a better fit for me, but still a character building two years!

It happened that my wee blog was born during a tumultuous couple of years:

Job redundancy,

trying to parlay my skills into my own business,

earth-shaking political chaos,

long-haul move,

in tenuous livelihood circumstances, OH MY!

 

… thank God SGWT ISN’T a child; he or she would be in therapy before hitting kindergarten after being raised in all that!

My hope it that, having survived those first trying couple of years, Some Grace With That, and I, are ready to grow and thrive!

I’m going to be taking some time to weed through old posts, edit and update material, and plan the coming year of Some Grace With That work. I’m excited!! (And a little daunted!)

This is EXACTLY the right time to let me know if there is any theme or topic you’d like to see us explore!!

Leave a note in the comments, on the FB page, or drop me a line, if so!

THANK YOU !!  for reading, commenting, sharing, and generally encouraging me through this grand experiment!

 

 

Be well.

 

 

A bit of Monday resistance :)

Happy Monday!!!

How is everyone out there?

I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling the need for a little energy to kick off THIS week.

And, of course, I’m ALWAYS feeling a little resistant!  😀

 

 

Be well.

Rebuilding

Image: cobblestone path

I worked for years for an organisation that helps people rebuild their lives after disasters, so I’ve devoted a fair amount of time to the technical and logistical pieces of this process.

THEN I spent the last couple years rebuilding my own life after my own personal little LifeWreck disaster. That baby really taught me that the technical pieces are just short stretch of the darn long road that is Rebuilding!

I’ve been thinking about the many ways that the folks in Texas and Florida (not to mention the other countries devastated by hurricanes and other crises in the past few weeks) will have to rebuild their lives.

There are so many kinds of ‘rebuilding’. You can rebuild a house, a city, a bone that you’ve broken, a life, your health after a serious illness.

And so many things that can force us into having to rebuild: Hurricanes and earthquakes of course, but also injury, illness, the end of a relationship, selling a home, losing a home, losing a job,  the death of a loved one … you likely have others you would name.

What do you have to have to rebuild successfully?

It varies by situation, and participant, of course, but regardless of the specific rebuilding to be done, I’ve found that –

You need TIME.

Houses take a long time to rebuild, and that is a stressful time. Broken relationships can take even longer. Broken bones need to set, and serious illnesses may require long periods of convalescence.

Rebuilding the physical stuff – from infrastructure to bones – is often the easy part in a crisis. It’s the sense of security, and our trust in the future – which we can usually take for granted – that can be most difficult to rebuild.

And, honestly, it takes some time just to become able to rebuild. The water has to recede, the emotional wound has to heal up a bit, your faith has to gain a little strength –  before you have the energy to go forward.

And resources.

Some of these might be physical, some might be emotional. An insurance settlement and a truckload of lumber are important in some types of rebuilding. A mourning process might be necessary in all of them!

Shelter, a hot meal, warm blankets, may be the start of a rebuilding process. In others, counselling, and a support group might be where the rebuilding begins.

Support and security, in my experience, are at the very top of the list of resources you need when life hits you harder than you are prepared for.

You need help.

LifeWreck, regardless of the form it takes, is not the time to go it alone!

For one thing, the much-needed brain power behind all good rebuilding efforts may be completely absent as you start the rebuilding process! Instead,  a thick, cold fog invades your brain, and only about ½ the thoughts can make it through the fog at all. FOR AGES.

Whether ‘help’ looks like engineering experts, trained trauma counsellors, a freezer full of casseroles, a neighbour who cuts your lawn or takes the kids to school, or just people around you helping you get through this one hour – that depends on the crisis. But none of them can best be conquered alone.

And you really do need that spark of hope.

If you don’t happen to have that spark left, that’s actually the biggest thing to  to regain.

Because if you don’t have hope, all the rest of it is Just. Too. Much. You need to have hope that the future is better and that it is worth the effort.

Rebuilding is an act of hope.

Some people will move away from where their lives have been destroyed, because they don’t have faith for that place anymore, but they do have faith that they can be safe again and that their lives can be good again.

Crisis is not something that you get over, it’s something you work through.

People who are rebuilding are ALWAYS courageous – simply moving forward after life has crashed down around you takes great effort.

They, we, deserve compassion, respect, and support through the process, because they, we, are doing heroes’ work – no matter how quickly we manage it, or how many times we stumble along the road!

Rebuilding is a time to cut people – including ourselves! – a lot of slack, grant them a lot of time, and extend a lot of grace. It’s a good time to change things that didn’t work before. It’s a GREAT time to build community.

 

 

Be well.

Monday minimum requirements

It’s Monday.

Add some extra special to it!

ESPECIALLY this week.

 

(And if you happen to be my beautiful cousin Leann, have a blessed BIRTHDAY, as well!)

Be well. 

What are you thankful for?

Was it really just two weeks ago that I was writing up a post while keeping an eye on the huge hurricane heading toward the US coast?

Here I am again… now it is Irma, of course, with Harvey having more than completed his mission.

Even if Irma somehow leaves my country unscathed (looking less and less likely as we near post time), she has already been very dangerously busy across the Caribbean, harming those who have even greater risk than we do.

It’s hard to think about what to say in a blog post at times like these.

As I pondered Harvey, impending Irma, and Everything Else There Is, there wasn’t much to do except pray, help where I can, and remember all that is GOOD – all that I’m thankful for.”

I’ve noticed that even those who have lost so much in Harvey are still thankful for so much. It’s inspiring.

They may have lost possessions, but not their home.

Or lost their home, but not each other.

Some have suffered the heartbreaking loss of a loved one. But they remain grateful for those who remain.

Neighbours have come together to help. Strangers have arrived, donated, and offered shelter.

We all still have blessings to be grateful for.

 

I am thankful for the hope I have after seeing these responses to the tragedies of Harvey.

I am thankful for the indescribably wonderful family I have – some related by blood, all related by love.

I am thankful that I live here where I live, and that at the moment my home and community are safe.

I am thankful that my loved ones are also safe at the moment, scattered though we are about the country.

I am thankful for today’s rain, because where I live we need it, desperately.

I am thankful for the opportunity I am having right now to try to built a more abundant life.

I am thankful

 

So, today I’d just like to ask:

What are YOU thankful for? 

 

Please feel free to post your thoughts in the comments, on our Facebook page, or by sending an email.

Be well

Labor Day 2017

Happy Monday!!

And to those in the US (as well as those in Canada!)

Happy Labor Day!! 

 

It has only been in recent years that I’ve come to understand what an important day this is.

What an important piece of our history this holiday celebrates.

 

 

 

THANK YOU …

to all those

 

 

 

whose labor efforts

 

 

 

helped make our country great.

 

 

 

 

 

And THANK YOU…

 

 

to all those

 

 

 

 

 

Who keep it great

every day.

 

YOU are America.

 

 

 

 

Be well.

Blessings in the Storm: Community

 

 

Okay, so I don’t think anyone is left in the United States who hasn’t thought, sometime in the last year or two, “What has become of us?”

Its been a tough time.

But then you get little glimmers of ‘us at our best’, especially when things are at their worst. And you think “Yeah, we’ve got this!”

In a week filled with so much hardship, danger, and heartache in Texas and around the country, in a season filled with LOTS of the worst-we-can-be, my heart was lightened this week by all the GOOD out there.

And there’s so much of it!

Did you hear  about the four bakers  who found themselves stranded at work, because of flood water?

They decided “Hey, if we’re gonna be trapped in a bakery, we might as well get baking – other storm victims are going to need something to eat when we all get out.” So, they baked some 4000+ pounds of bread which their bakery then donated and passed out to those in need.

Or  the furniture store owner who converted his store into a pop-up shelter so people could get out of the storm and rest?

Or the many local Houston residents banding together to offer practical help to those still in need of help locating loved ones or getting to shelter?

And by practical help, I mean taking their trucks and boats out to rescue trapped citizens. This is some serious banding together going on!

I have loved seeing the very best of community come alive in the wake of Hurricane Harvey and his destructive impacts.

No, it shouldn’t be only in times of tragedy that we remember we’re all in this together, but at least we ARE remembering it now. That’s a start!

I thought this haunting video did a great job of showing who we are our best:

(You can get the full, really splendid, story behind the video here.)

As beautiful as the pulling together in Houston has been, it’s not just immediate neighbours who are out there BEING COMMUNITY.

One of the members of a Facebook professional group I’m in posted a note  offering two rooms in her home if anyone in the group – and their pets – needed it.

Several other members chimed in that they had space too.

When I opened my online bank site this week, the top of the homepage bore this message:

We hope you and your family are safe and we’re committed to doing what we can for those impacted by Hurricane Harvey. If you need help, please give us a call at 1-877-247-2559. We’re here 24/7.

As so often happens in crises, I was humbled to see nations poorer than my own (and in this current climate, nations with every good reason to ignore us or even wish us ill) step up with offers of assistance.

To my indescribable shock even government beauracracy eased up a bit to make it easier for people find out if their loved ones were hurt or in need!

We make a pretty good team!   🙂

 

Be well.