Leadership

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I'm in His Hands

(Don't forget to pause the playlist on the side before you hit play on the video).




I’m in His hands…. How difficult it is to listen to this, let alone sing it. Yet this song compels me to lay myself prostrate before God’s mighty self, the great I AM and submit myself totally to Him. 

Whatever the future holds…. this is tomorrow, next week, and next month….next year… ten years from now. Whenever. I know He holds the future – He is so awesomely not bound by time or space…and I can count on Him pulling it all together for me. Is that not so cool!?

I don’t know about you, but I tend to fret about things. Oh, I give it into God’s hands and then I take it back – just for a while, mind you, so I can fret about it. You see, that way I have control over the situation.

And I need to have control sometimes!

Yes, I have a problem with control. I know it comes from growing up in a family affected by alcoholism. Never being able to predict what is going to happen. Never knowing for sure where your parent is because you know they’re late and they’re not home yet… and it’s dark…and they might not come home….and when they do will they be happy? angry?... will your parents fight again?... and on and on… ad infinitum… sigh.

But that was a long time ago, you might say. Yes, but its shadow still falls on my spirit every once in a while and sets me off. Then I’m back on the faith journey all over again. Every day, I have to come before God and give Him control. If I don’t I’ll take over myself and… well, that has disastrous consequences. Oh yes, I’ll start to fret as if that will fix it, then I won’t be able to sleep and then I’ll be tired and tense all the time. And before you know it I’ll wake up really early in the morning with my chest bursting. I’ll feel like I just want to run away from everything…

Like a dunce, it’ll take me a few days to remember that God is the one in control and I don’t have to be. You’d think since I’ve been at this for so long I’d have this down pat, eh? Especially since I’m in the business of preaching to others about it! But no… my humanness can’t help but break through every once in a while…and there you have it.

So, if you fret too, don’t worry, you’re not alone. If you have trouble giving over control of your day, your family, your life to God, you’re not alone there either. If you can’t keep hold of the peace the passes all understanding followers of Jesus are always talking about…you’re not alone. I’ll wager that there are a lot of us like this.

Do you know what the good news is about this? God knows already. AND… He loves us anyway. He is patient for He knows our weaknesses. I’m reminded of Peter and how he had enough faith to get himself out and walking on the water, but not enough to keep him there. But Jesus reached his hands out to him and He reaches out to us too. And if He could use Peter to establish His church, then He can use me too.

Are you sinking…quick! Reach out and take His hand… He’s got it all under control.

grace…kathie

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Great Big Faith

Providential:  –adjective
1. of, pertaining to, or resulting from divine providence: providential care.
2. opportune, fortunate, or lucky: a providential event.
 
Sometimes things happen to you and you know God's hand is in it.  That has been happening to me this past few weeks.  And what is God saying to me through all of this?  He's been asking me a question.
 
Kathie, where is your faith?
 
Little by little, this question is burning off the fog in my mind created by incessant worry and fear. This fog has been a problem for a long time now. As it clears, I'm beginning to see things I haven't seen for some time now. How did this happen?  I don't know. It crept up on me slowly, a little bit here, a little bit there. You know how it goes - bit of concern here a dash of fretting there.  Surgery, poor health, a demanding job and a busy family life. Add to this recipe caring for a aging mother and nursing her through her passing. Things happen and we all react differently.

This past week I was working on an assignment for the course I'm taking and I was challenged by the story of Daniel.  Today in my sermon I shared about Daniel's Great Big Faith and how I long to have the kind of faith Daniel had. As I encouraged our congregation to have faith, I was encouraging myself as well.  It was like the fog cleared completely and I realized that I had to have faith as well. As that realization hit, a peace came over me. But God wasn't finished yet - you know how He can be about these things.  He makes sure there is no question - a providential online chat confirmed what I was realizing. I need to have more faith.
 
Faith for what?
 
For everything. For all the everyday little things I worry over. And a Great Big Faith about where God will take us in our ministry...and that was an emotional one. Just over eighteen years ago we signed a covenant to serve God and minister in His name through The Salvation Army. We promised to go wherever we were sent and believed that God would only take us where He wanted us to be. In that place we would find perfect peace and rest for our souls. I lost sight of that in the last few years. But now the fog has cleared again.
 
We have been so blessed on this journey. I know He'll continue to bless us again and again.
 
So, after thirteen years in our current appointment, we leap into the big unknown. But we leap in faith that God is at the other end to catch us.
 
grace....kathie
 
 

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

Halloween! I loved dressing up in elaborate costumes, smelling the crisp yet earthy air from the fallen leaves, running from house to house... and oh yes! The Candy!  But Halloween is hard for some Christians - they just don't know what to do with it. Is it sinful and evil?  Is it all about Satan-worship and pagan gods?  Or is it just fun and games?  Years ago, when I got serious about my relationship with God I wanted to make sure that if I participated in Halloween I wasn't breaking some kind of spiritual law.  So I did some research.  Here's what I found.

Halloween can be traced back to the ancient Celtic feast of Samhain (pronounced sah-ween).  Although it's all about the candy now, it had some eerie beginnings.  Originally it was a night for the druids to lead the people in a celebration of Samhain, whom they believed to be the Lord of the Dead.  His festival fell on November 1st.  Most pagan nations had a belief that at death the souls of good people were taken by good spirits and carried off to paradise, but the souls of wicked people were left to wander the space between the earth and the moon or consigned to inhabit animals.  On Samhain, the veil between the physical world and the spirit world was pierced, releasing evil spirits that would then harass the living.  These wicked souls would return to their homes, so people would attempt to ward them off by wearing scary costumes.  They would draw gargoyles on their homes, carve out gourds and pumpkins and put lights in them.  They even tried to placate the evil spirits by offering them food and would leave fruits, vegetables and other types of foods for them.  However, if the spirits weren't satisfied, they would play a trick on them. Hence, trick or treat!

When Christianity spread through Europe and the British Isles, many pagans and druids converted to Christianity. However, they were still very superstitious. Many of the people were illiterate and uneducated and so their understanding of many things was very primitive.  Even if they could read, the Bible was written in Latin and usually only the rich nobles or church officials would be able to read it.  In order to combat this type of superstition, the church established a rival celebration - All Saints Day which is celebrated on November 1st.  All saints day celebrated and honoured all the saints, or martyrs, who had died that year.  The evening before the church would hold a mass and the mass became known as All Hallow Mas, and the evening became known as All Hallow E'en (Halloween).  So Halloween means Holy Evening.

So, Halloween is the churches attempt to redeem a pagan celebration.  This is nothing new for the Church - Christmas and Easter are also celebrations established at the same time as pagan celebrations.  So what is so evil about Halloween?  Well, those who do not believe in Christianity simply practice it as a cultural festival - a night to dress up and have some fun.  Others, have embraced a pagan like religious belief and have resurrected some of what they think are ancient Celtic practices. Even still there are others who have embraced evil and have declared it their special night.

So what do we do with Halloween?  Well, we've been having fun with it all our lives.  We take the opportunity to go door to door with our kids, meeting our neighbours and saying God bless you.  Some people give out gospel tracts. We've never really done that, but we do believe we are to take God's light into our community.

Some see harm in participating.  That's OK.  Everyone is entitled to their beliefs and Romans 14:1-8 tell us not to judge others if something causes them to stumble. So we don't judge, we say do what you feel comfortable with, whether or not you participate in Halloween.

If you're out with your kids tonight, I pray you'll stay safe.  Enjoy your time as a family and with your friends and neighbours.  And don't eat too much candy, it's not good for you! Blessings on you!

grace...Kathie



Sunday, October 17, 2010

Ya Gotta Have Faith

There's a time for everything. Even when you don't want a thing, it has its time.  There's really nothing you can do about it.  Just sit back and relax and let yourself be comforted with the knowledge that God is ultimately in control.  Whatever it is, it will be for your good because God IS good and His love endures forever.  Even if it doesn't seem a good thing I believe that God will work all things together for good.

Man, that just seems to really bug me sometimes.  That's because I really want to be in control.  I'm human.  And besides, I know I'm always right. Well, at least I think I'm sometimes right. At least when it comes to what is good for me, for my family - I'm pretty sure I'm right.

Am I? Hmmmm.....

I didn't think a lot of things were right, but apparantly they weren't as bad as I predicted.  If I were to base my predicitons of the future on what has happened in the past, there isn't anything that has happened to me that didn't work out well in some way.  Even the really stupid choices I've made and some of the really bad things I've done... well, God has used them for good in my life.  Even the choices that were made for me turned out to be blessings in my life.

So what is there to worry about?  Nothing really.  I can trust God. He's bigger than He appears in my mind.  So big, I can't even fathom how big His kind of big is! 

I guess I'll have to have a little bit of faith... how much? About as much as say, oh I don't know... a little mustard seed? 

grace...Kathie

Monday, September 06, 2010

The sound of rain on the leaves of the magnolia tree gently woke me this morning.  Lazy. Who wants to get up when it's so cozy in bed.  Luckily, I didn't have to get up for anything in particular.  However, as I lay there I realized that this was the signal that summer was offically over.

Today was a perfect 'get back to work' day. School for the boys starts tomorrow too.  It's just that time of year.  Everything begins to rev up and life will get busy.  By Christmas I'll be tired, so tired I'll want vacation time again. But Christmas break will revive me and then January retreat will refresh me and I'll have the get up and go to get done what has to get done until .... around April, I'll start to think about vacation again. By June I'll be ready for a change. 

I'm grateful for another July on campus for my two intensive courses.  This past summer I managed to get through a grueling month of 16 hour days of class, reading, studying, writing... it was hard.  But I made it through! And I passed!  That gave me some confidence to carry on.

Then after that month in school I'll run to my trailer again for the month of August and when I get there I'll breath deeply the salt air and fall into a restful sleep and perhaps, like Rip Van Winkle, I'll sleep for 20 years!  Not likely. 

For now, I just need to think about getting started again.  Work tomorrow, school for the kids, Tuesday night knitting group, management meetings, staff meetings, SPAC meetings... so much to get into and just thinking about it is tiring.  Got to get it all lined up before September 20th when my online course starts. 

Just thinking about it all is overwhelming... !

Ok God, I need you right about now!

grace.... kathie

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Spirit's Prompting

Well, tonight I was studying and trying to write my paper for my course.  I was really struggling to gather my thoughts and put them into some sort of coherence.  However, nothing I tried was working so I got up and went out on my deck, my lovely deck, and sat on the swing and stared out at the mountains.  Enjoying the warmth with a bit of a breeze, I let go and just relaxed and began to pray. 

"God, help me to concentrate.  I can't do this, I need your help!" 

And then into my head popped Gladys.  Gladys is a woman who comes to our church.  She's getting up there in years and has been in the hospital for a couple of months now.  She is such a sweetheart and is always encouraging.  Gladys has been a member of The Salvation Army for so long and only came to Maple Ridge a few years ago.  But I'm always so happy when she's in church because she is so encouraging.  So I thought, "I need to go and visit Gladys, perhaps tomorrow."  But no, the words were right there in my head - get up and go now.  But it was almost the end of visiting hours and I reasoned that tomorrow would be fine.  But that feeling wouldn't go away.  So up I got and went - hubby and the kids aren't here, no one to look after, just me.  I can go.  I can do what I want. 

Gotta tell ya, I don't like visiting hospitals.  There is something about it that drains me emotionally and I always leave the hospital/funeral stuff to my dear hubby.  I can't do both administration and all the pastoral stuff at the same time - I just can't turn it off and on like that. It was also the first time I'd been up to that ward since my mom passed away there last October.

Gladys seemed a bit off at first.  She was subdued and I thought, "Man, she's really losing it, this is like what happened to my mom."  I held her hand and it was really limp.  She seemed to be talking a lot of nonsense, asking me about things that I knew nothing about.  Anyway, after a while she asked me if I was still doing flower arranging and it occurred to me that she thought I was someone else.  Sure enough, she thought I was someone from Abbotsford.  She didn't recognize me because it's only just recently that I've let my hair go curly (who can fight it!) and I got new glasses.  When she realized who I was, it was just too funny. 

The look of horror on her face was priceless. 

Then the laughs started and the jokes were flying and the good hearted newfie girl was all smiles for me!  That's when the real visit started.

We sang some great songs... He Touched Me, Amazing Grace, Blessed Assurance... It is Well With My Soul.... (the nurses came to listen) We laughed some more.  We read God's word together and we prayed.  We talked about the important things, the things that are important to God.  We talked about His will for us - His perfect will and what His purpose is for us.  What a grand and glorious time it was.

I was feeling so down about my lack of concentration. I told her that I had left my studies at home to take a break and she asked me all about them.

"You're a great leader!" she said.  "You're a special person."

My heart was full. Gladys always has an encouraging word for me.

God told me to come here for a good reason.

Obedience is always the best way.

I love you Gladys.  See you again soon....

grace... kathie

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Is the Glass Half Empty or Half Full?

Good question!

For me, it's neither.  You see, I would look and say, "That glass has 50% water in it."

I'm a realist.  Sometimes I feel quite positive and the spin is hope and faith that 50% more will show up.  Sometimes I feel quite negative and think that it will always and only be filled to 50% capacity.  But most of the time, I just say it like it is.

Some people find that negative and would prefer me, I'm sure, to be more positive.  And when I refuse to join in with the doom & gloom bunch, they say I'm always looking on the bright side.  You can never win when you're a realist.

Beware the positive police.  They like to look for all the people who are sounding a little negative and try and cheer you up, encourage you to place a positive spin on whatever the issue is.  If you can't get with their program, well then you're labelled "sooooo negative." 

I wonder what the positive police would do with Psalm 13?  You see, this is my kind of psalm.  The writer acknowledges how they feel, just listen....

Psalm 13
For the director of music. A psalm of David.

1 How long, O LORD ? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and every day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?
3 Look on me and answer, O LORD my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death;
4 my enemy will say, "I have overcome him,"
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

David here, is not afraid to say what he's feeling and he writes it down for all to see.  He doesn't keep his troubles to himself and put on a happy face when the others are around.  No!  He lets it all hang out.  I like that because when I'm feeling down and unhappy, a little negative perhaps, I like to talk it out.  I like to write it out.  I don't know why I'm that way, I just am! When things are getting me down I react and my first reaction is usually, "Oh no! How will I cope?" or some such crazy question.  I'll ask God what the heck He thinks He's doing letting it happen.  Doesn't He know I've had enough?  Doesn't He realize I can't take any more stress?
 
But then, I begin to realize as I talk it out and share it with my friends, that it will be ok. The stress will begin to ease as my friends reassure me.  And if I sense for one minute that I'm really discouraging someone else, then I'm usually quick to pick up my bootstraps and tell people just what David did next:
 
5 But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
6 I will sing to the LORD,
for he has been good to me.

In my journey of faith, in spite of my position as a minister, I'm still not always there.  I can usually handle the biggies - oh ya, bring on a major disaster, illness or death and I'm good with that.  I can see the beginning and the end.  But bring on all those minor little stresses that add up over time, that sometimes never seem to end and the end of my rope quickly shows up.  My last nerve gives up and dies!  I think sometimes that I'd like to be all positive and paint a rosy picture on everything that happens, but I'm just not there yet. I'm working on it, give me a break!
 
But we are all different.  Some of us have an easier time than others to see the positive side of things.  Many times I'm going along and I'm just as positive as the next person.  But when the stresses of life add up, it can get a teeny bit tiring holding my head up.  That usually happens when I take my eyes off God - I get so busy with the business of living, that I forget to renew myself.
 
Forgive me for being human!  ;o)
 
He does. 
 
He forgives me for being negative sometimes.
 
He reminds me that some of his most negative servants made it into His Holy Book!
 
So I'm in good company.
 
And I will trust Him.  I will trust God's unfailing love.  I love to sing all about it.... have a listen!
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwH-Hf6LmJ4&feature=related
 
grace... kathie
 

Sunday, June 13, 2010

My Ideal Life

One of the books I'm reading for my course this summer is Becoming a Resonant Leader. The back of the book says, "Resonant leaders are attuned to the needs and dreams of the people they lead. They create conditions in which people can excel. They listen to life's wake up calls and enhance thier capacity for excellence." It's an interesting concept and I'm enjoying the book, however, it's full of exercises of self reflection.  So right now I'm answering questions about my ideal life, my philosphy of lie and what I want to accomplish before I die!  I have to list 27 things I want to do before I die... I'm having trouble coming up with that many things. All this is leading up to my personal vision.  It's hard work looking inside! 

Well, I'm procrastinating, so I'll go and finish my exercises in self discovery! 

grace... kathie

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Trouble With Words

I'm having trouble with words.  Writing words, speaking words, hearing words.... words are just giving me a hard time lately.  And yet, here I am putting a string of them together on this page.  But then, I'm just rambling... which I'm wondering if that can be considered "real" writing.  I'm told it is. I'm still not happy about that.  I've always been able to write down what I really want to say.  When something is on my mind, out it flows from my fingers onto the page or rather the screen. 

Up until this past year, they came out sounding just the way I've wanted. But now, even when I manage to formulate a thought, out they come and when I read them back, they're not lined up the way I like and often convey a message or tone I'm not happy with.  It's the same with the spoken word. I find I'm having to explain myself a few different ways so that people understand what I'm trying to say.  Even in my preaching I ramble and my mind wanders and I'm having a mini panic inside wondering "what am I saying? where was I going with this?"  Where are my God given words???!!!

It's me.  I'm not lined up the way I want to be.  The words are just a reflection of a deeper situation. If you read back on this blog you'll see why.  Started last year with anxiety and depression after a year of trying to recover from major surgery.  Then it was topped off with the illness and death of my mother.

No wonder.

See, I know the reason.  I just don't like it. 

And no matter how hard I try, I can't make myself sound light, airy and funny.  But then, not much is funny these days and that's just the way it is.  I laugh and participate in the fun, but inside I'm thinking, "I just want to go lay down and read my book."   

So I'm wondering how I can move forward from this?  I start school in July.  Master of Arts in Leadership.  The two courses I'm taking this summer sound interesting so I'm hoping that they'll light a spark in me that hasn't been there for a while.

And yet, here you are reading my .... written words. Imagine that.

And just in case my words aren't enough for you, here is a light jazzy number.... enjoy! (the words to Words are below...)


Words
a letter and a letter on a string
will hold forever humanity spellbound

Words
possession of the beggar and the king
everybody, everyday
you and I, we all can say

Words
regarded as a complicated tool
created by man, implicated by mankind

Words
obsession of the genius and the fool
everybody, everyday,
everywhere and everyway

Words!
Find them, you can use them
Say them, you can hear them
Write them, you can read them
Love them, fear them

Words
transmitted as we're fitted from the start
received by all and we're sentenced to a life with

Words
impression of the stupid and the smart
everybody, everyday
you and I, we all can say

Words
inside your head can come alive as they're said
softly, loudly, modestly or proudly
Words
expression by the living and the dead
everybody, everyday
everywhere and everyway

Words!
Find them, you can use them
Say them, you can hear them
Write them, you can read them
Love them, fear them

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Sad, Stressful Days

Some days things happen in your life that make you doubt everything you do, why you do it and prompt you to question whether or not you should keep doing it.  It seems insane to keep doing something that brings such stress and sadness into your life.  Its' like some relationships - more often than not you find yourself not liking the other person, you're upset with them, there's not much they do right in your eyes and yet you keep the relationship going.  You know you should part ways - but you hang in there, hoping against all hope that things will improve. Oh, sometimes things are good, you have some laughs, some tender moments... and that's what gives you hope. But in the end, when the other person is treating you with disregard and more often than not - not thinking of you at all, it can just gets too much.

These are the days that test your faith, determine your fortitude and force you to re-examine your motives and all that you stand for. Am I partly to blame?  Is this what I expected?  Can I change this outcome?  If I can, do I want to change it?

If you can get through a sad day, the next might not be so bad. Or maybe it will.  The question is, do you wait around to find out? Or do you just made the decision and end it?

These days are stressful, depriving you of sleep and shorting out the zip in your zap.

And yet, thank God for these days for they are often the ones that inspire the writer's thoughts to flow forth onto the page, unblocking the months long traffick jam of words on the mental landscape.

And then you feel better... well, a little bit, anyway.

And no, this isn't about my marriage.

Some days, like today, I just need.....

grace.... kathie

Monday, February 15, 2010

Olympic Fever

The city of Vancouver has been invaded!  People from all over Canada and the world have descended upon the city to see the Olympics and be a part of the excitement.  I haven't been all that tuned in to the excitement.  I'm not that much of a sports fan (other than occasional basketball games or figure skating) and I have an aversion to the NHL from a long ago over exposure from three older brothers and a hockey coach father. 

However, last Friday night I decided that we should at least watch the opening ceremonies for a while to see what they had put together.  My attention was captured right away.  I sat mesmerized by the spectacular special effects and sense of pride in who we are and what we are all about.  The inclusion of the First Nations as hosts and their dancing held me spellbound and as the athletes marched in I cheered along with the crowd as Team Canada appeared. 

For once, it wasn't about the politicians or the flashy celebrities and their glitz.  It was about us, everyday Canadians, that live and work and participate in our communities.  It wasn't about impressing anyone, it was about sharing our story with the world - and we did it with pride.

Not once did I hear any of the same old hooey about our identity crisis.  No, Canadians know exactly who we are and we are not ashamed to be ourselves - nice, polite, welcoming, diverse, complicated, multi focussed, bilingual... and proud to be Canadian.

Since Friday I've been tuning into the various sports events and right now, as I write this, I'm actually watching women's hockey.  You know, the women are great hockey players and I'm really enjoying the lack of brutality that often accompanies men's professional hockey.  For once its about the sport and skating and skill with the stick and puck.  I can get into that.

Me watching hockey?  Oh, that's too funny!

Tonight, more figure skating... tomorrow... skiing...

Wednesday we're planning a trip downtown into the chaos!  Robson square, skating, Vancouver Art Museum.  I'm looking forward to it.

Enjoy the Olympic Games everyone!

grace... kathie

Friday, February 05, 2010

We'll Meet Again....

This past week my Aunt Norah, 93yrs old,  went to be with her Lord ... and my mom.  She was the last surviving child of James and Norah Harman and came to Canada in 1926 with her father, step-mother and younger sister, Annie (my mom).  Just six weeks later her father died and they had several difficult years ahead.  Left behind in England was older sisters Lily, Carrie and Mary and older brother James.

Next to my mom, I loved my Auntie Norah best.  I think it's because we were kindred spirits.  I loved her spunky behaviour and when she laughed the room lit up. Her and my mom were a pair!  She became a Christian in the 1970's and from that time forward she was always on about God.  Being young, I thought she was going a bit off the deep end, but as my own relationship with God deepened, I realized that she really just had a great friend in Jesus and wanted that same joy for me.  As a result she had a great influence on my spiritual development. 

We always used to enjoy taking the children to visit Aunt Norah and Uncle Frank, and they always put on a nice little lunch for us and we always spent the time having great conversations, filling each other in on the latest news.  They were always such great times.  I remember when Ed and I were getting ready to become officers in TSA, she was so encouraging to us. Her and my Uncle Frank would pray for us and tell us how proud they were of us. I'll never forget them cheering us on as we marched down the aisle at Massey Hall in Toronto at our commissioning in 1992.  I know she was so proud of me.  It gave me such happiness to see her and my mother like that.

I'm so glad I took the opportunity to see her in October when I was back in Ontario for my mother's funeral.  We had a lovely visit at the nursing home and even though she was much more fragile than I'd ever seen her, she knew who we were and even knew who the youngest boys were.  I'm so glad I took Nathan & Evan to meet their great aunt and have a chance to talk to her and get a sense of who she was. 

When it was time to say goodbye, I knew I would likely never see her again.  We hugged, we kissed and was said "so long..."  and we sang, "We'll meet again, don't know where, don't know when...."  But we both knew, we knew for sure.... we'll meet one day in Heaven and we'll all sit down together and have a great cuppa and a gab together and catch up on the latest news....

I miss her.  I miss them both.  My life was so much richer because I had them in my life.

I'll always love you Auntie Norah!

Cheerio!

Kathie

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Long, Long, Long Stay... Yay!

Do you know we've been in our current appointment for almost 13 years now?  That's a long time.  Our first two appointments, in spite of seeing great increase in ministry, were short lived.  I suppose that since things took off quickly they wanted us to go somewhere else and see things take off quickly in those places too.  However, both ministries pretty much  died out and the first had to be resurrected again.  The second, Chinese Ministries, never recovered from officer moves and is no longer in existence.

However, our current ministry has grown and evolved into something that will leave a lasting legacy of God's provision in this community.  Not because we're so great, but because we stayed long enough to figure out how to do it here!  We're a bit slow... ;o)

I think I'll have to write about this.

grace... Kathie

Friday, January 01, 2010

A New Year

I don't think I've ever been so glad to see the end of any year before.  We've suffered so many losses, health problems and it just has been one difficult situation after another.

Goodbye, seriously, I really mean - GOODBYE 2009. 

HELLO 2010!

What will you bring to me this year?  More change?  More of the same?  New vistas to explore?  New friends?  Better health?  More weight loss (yes, yes, yes!!!)? Will we move?  Will we stay?

I'm keeping my eyes on Jesus because I just don't know what to think anymore.  Have you ever been like that?  People ask me what I'd like to do, where I'd like to move for our next appointment.  I just don't know.  I really don't have any clue.  Actually, I don't really want to do anything at all. 

I'm so disconnected.  My mind wanders, even when people are speaking to me, sometimes I just don't hear everything they say.  I was at the opening of a new centre in a neighbouring city a while ago and I think I walked away from someone while they were talking to me.  I'm especially disconnected in a crowd.  I used to love crowds, going from one person to the next chatting and laughing.  Now I stand there and feel like I'm not really there.  What a strange feeling.

Someone told me it would be like this.  After the death of someone close - like a mother.  And even though I'm like this, I'm really feeling ok about her loss.  I've let myself remember her often, cry when I need to, talk about her when I want to...

Christmas Eve I laughed at myself and cried at the same time.  Somehow I ended up driving home on my own from the Candlelight Service.  It struck me that I would normally have her beside me on the drive and her and I would say...

"Did you enjoy the service tonight mom?"
"Oh yes, wasn't it a lovely service!"
"Yes, it was, wasn't it.  Didn't the girls sing nice?"
"Oh, they're soooooo beautiful and sign soooooo beautiful!"
"Yes, they do, don't they."

So I had this conversation with myself.  I actually said it out loud!  It made me cry, laugh and it felt good.  It's funny, but these memories hit me now and then. And I'm ok with that.  The tears are coming less and less and the memories are becoming sweeter as the days go by.

That's why I think 2010 is going to be a better year.

I'm ready for a new year.

Take a big breath.

Take a step forward.

Pray like crazy.

grace... Kathie