Monday, October 31, 2005

A Celebration

Yesterday was a big day for me. It was the dinner to celebrate the retirement of one of my good friends who has worked for me for almost 6 years now. About 150 people were there - many who worked with her through volunteerism or through community partnerships. Many were family and friends. It was a busy night.

All during the process I was thinking of the verse in the OT that says that God watches over our going and coming (or vice versa) and I couldn't help but wonder about that. Barb's retirement marks a "going" in our ministry. That means a change in our daily lives. It is not insignificant. We spend 8 hours a day at our work - we get to know the people there, know their habits their strengths and weaknesses.

In this case, Barb and I became really good friends. We've shared many battles, personal and ministry related. We now share grandchildren as our own children married each other. So we're going to know each other forever and keep in touch no matter where we are. Our bond of friendship has solidified. However, I will miss her greatly in my day to day life at work. It will take a while to remember that I can't shout down the hall for her. It will take a while to get used to someone else sitting in her office. It will take a while to just adjust to not ordering her to go home after working too long, grab her to run and get lunch together, or just shout her full name to tease her.

I hate adjusting to change. It is something that I find quite disorienting. It's one of the aspects of being a Salvation Army officer that drives me insane - the knowledge that one day I'll have to pick up and start all over again somewhere else. Change makes me feel that my whole life is unstable and that I cannot get my bearings. Change tortures me. But, I learn to adjust. I get through it - the challenge stretches me. However, now it's time to consider my own change.

grace... Kathie

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Coming & Going

"And though it's always sweet sorrow to part, I know you'll always remain in my heart."

Those are the words from a song I sing for fun to my kids when they're going to bed. It's the "goodnight" song from the Lawrence Welk show, I watched it as a kid with my parents every week. It's funny the things that stick in your mind.

These words came to me tonight. I was thinking about people in our lives and how some come into your life, they stay for awhile and then they go. Others stay forever, they're keepers. But some, well, it just doesn't work out the same. That's happening lately. A lot of change to work through and I wonder - how can God be glorified in this. In going over my sermon notes and scripture tonight, I read again that there are 4 things I can be sure of:

  1. God will have the ultimate victory.
  2. God will be glorified.
  3. Trials work for us, not against us.
  4. The invisible world is real (according to Tozer, more real than this world!)
2 Corinthians is full of treasures!

During these days when people are coming and people are going and change is happening rapidly, I can praise the Lord for those four things I am reminded of tonight.

Good night, sleep tight, and pleasant dreams to you.
Here's a wish and a prayer that every dream comes true
And though it's always sweet sorrow to part,
I know you'll always remain in my heart.

Good night, sleep tight, and pleasant dreams to you
Here's a wish and a prayer that every dream comes true
And now till we meet again....

Adios, Au revior, Auf weidersehen.... goodnight.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Happy Birthday Little Grandson!

This is Sean! He turned two yesterday and boy, is he one very mischevious little boy! It's hard to believe that he's two already - it seems like yesterday that he was born. Now Sarah, his mom, is having another little one in January. Time just refuses to stand still for this family.

Birthdays are reminders of the passing of time. We celebrated Sarah & Sheena's birthday this past July - they're 23 now. That's weird. Having daughters who are now having children - a very weird feeling. Am I that old? Wait, I'm still young myself! I'm only... O my gosh, I'm 46! Yikes!

We're having a gathering tomorrow for Sean. There'll be presents and birthday cake and he'll likely make a mess of it and that will all be a part of the process. We'll turn Sarah & David's house into a disaster zone and they'll spend a couple of hours setting things straight after we leave. The duties of a parent!

Happy birthday Sean, from Nana, Papa, Uncle Derek, Uncle Nathan, Uncle Evan and Great Grandma!

grace... Kathie

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Taking it to the Lord

I've been thinking about grief lately. One of our staff had to watch her father die this past summer. He chose to die - he refused treatment for his diabetes and other complicated problems and went by his own choosing into palliative care. Of course, she is very angry. After dealing with the sadness and the tears - she has come face to face with the selfishness of death. Death thinks nothing of the people left behind, it is only concerned with itself.

Of course I told her that it is perfectly normal to feel angry. Actually, she has a right to be angry. Her father was only 55 and had he taken care of himself, his daughter would still have a father, his grandchildren would still have a papa, his son in law would still have someone to lean on for advice... Instead, he chose to disregard medical advice, ate whatever he wanted and ended up very sick. - and then chose death over suffering. How unfair for her. Life - so unfair.

How does one deal with that? I mean, how will she ever get to the place of acceptance. I can totally identify with her right now. Other than worry that my husband will have a heart attack, I deal with the anger over his having a very, very preventable disease - anger at him. He's known for a long time and had several warnings. However, he's chosen to disregard them and eat whatever he wanted. There have been times when he's dieted and exercised and brought his levels down, but overall, he's just been lazy. How can one accept that?

I'm sure it's how God must feel about us. I mean, for goodness sakes, men and women have the offer of salvation right in front of them for over 2000 years and yet still choose to die without Christ. Even Christians - we have the teachings of Jesus on how to find peace and live abundant lives and yet, we ignore them to our own detriment. Like worry. Jesus said don't worry.

I guess I'm just a traveller on the journey. I'm just not there yet. I want to be, but it's not happening yet. I thought I was close - but this situation has proven that I'm nowhere near close. Oh well, I'll just have to keep on keeping on and take my thoughts every 10 minutes to the Lord.

grace... Kathie

Monday, October 10, 2005

Giving Thanks

Yesterday we had our family Thanksgiving dinner at my daughter Sarah's place. Wow, the thing that I noticed the most was the noise level! My family has grown so large and incredibly, there are 14 now and come January when Sarah's new little one is born, there will be 15!

Noise is something that I find really hard to handle these days. Partly because I'm losing my hearing and so a lot of background noise confuses me and prevents me from concentrating on what I'm trying to listen to. The other problem is my FMS - on foggy days I just cannot concentrate at all and a lot of noise in a room just irritates the heck out of me. Now, I'm not about to stop getting together with my family so I'm going to have to find a way to cope with it better.

My sermon yesterday was on Psalm 100 - make a joyful noise unto the Lord... When I was studying I found that the Israelites were a noisy bunch when it came to worship. I just couldn't imagine cymbals clashing, ram's horms bowing and shouting going on - it would be chaos. It must be like that for older folks used to the old church hymns - our electric guitar and drums must sound very noisy to them. Sorry mom...

God is so good and we have so much to be thankful for: my family, the noise (I could be totally deaf!), babies, food (especially turkey!) and our health. On the subject of Mr's health.... that's another blog!

grace for today.... Kathie