Thursday, April 28, 2011

water boy

So after a pretty busy last few weeks I decided it was high time that I sat down and blogged again!  It’s hard to find the time lately, but I definitely wanted to get another one in before the end of the month.

A few weeks ago, actually just before my birthday, I was asked by my supervisors at the tree nursery if I would be interested in taking on a new job working with growing and irrigation.  I am now part of the team who is responsible for watering the crop, tracking growth and much more.  It was really neat to be asked, and though I hadn’t thought of it at the time, it really is a promotion.  It is a lot of responsibility, but it is also very interesting.  (Plus, it’s fun when part of your work requires you to sit down in the soon-to-be air conditioning and plug in numbers on the computer instead of traipsing about the place!)  The position came up when my previous co-worker, Sharon, decided to move onto other things.  I was able to have two weeks with Sharon where she passed on much wisdom and knowledge: everything from nitrogen levels in black spruce to where to find her secret stash of irrigation tools.  And though it was sad to see her go, it was neat to know that she believed that I could carry on with the task at hand.

We finally finished sowing at the nursery.  All the greenhouses are now full.  Hard to believe not long ago I was sweeping away with Thrice in one ear.

Last week was Easter of course, and we had a great weekend with family down to visit—Sarah’s from Winnipeg and Auntie Laurel and Uncle Don from Thunder Bay!  We had a great time and Uncle Don brought his new album, Shine, down with him.  I want to blog about it once I’ve had a better chance to listen to it, but I can already tell you we love it—especially since he’s included the song he wrote for us and sang at our wedding: “The Story Starts”.

Until then, I’m going to put my feet up and relax!  See you soon.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

bring on the wonder

I’ve been playing this song on repeat in the car for the last few days.  The song is about longing for the return of the beautiful and mysterious.  It explores how certain moments--going to the hills to watch the stars, feeling beach sand sink between our toes--have a way of reminding us of something that we've forgotten.  Ordinary moments pointing us to the extraordinary; orienting us to that which we so often slip by us without our knowing.

I like its Celtic sort of eeriness. 


This is the original version is by Susan Enan. It’s more acoustic and has drums, though it’s not quite as evocative as the first.



Sunday, April 17, 2011

24 finds me

This year marks the first birthday I’ve been home for in Dryden since 2004.  Sarah and I went out to the East Indian and Greek restaurant for supper and then headed over to Mom and Dad’s for cake in the evening.  Mom outdid herself with a homemade black forest cake—the best I’ve ever tasted!  It was a great day.

I think I was maybe fifteen or sixteen when I first heard Switchfoot’s The Beautiful Letdown.  My friend Matt shared the rock album with us on our way out to Eston for a Sr. High Encounter Weekend. 

Switchfoot– “24”
At the end of that album is a little song called “24”.  At the time, I didn’t care too much for it.  Yet it has become one of those songs that has slowly grown on me over time.

When Sarah turned 24 in November she made a point of sitting down to listen to it again.  So last week I did the same.  The words now ring with a deeper resonance than that which I knew only as a teenager.  The lyrics kept rolling around in my mind in the days rolling up to the 6th.  So where has 24 found me? 

Strangely contended, perhaps.  Mostly at peace, I think.  And hopeful.  It’s been almost a year since we moved back to Dryden, and that was a pretty tumultuous time for us: really trying to find where God wanted us—what made sense for us after our season in Eston was over.  Even once we made that choice to come back there was still the question of where we would work, and what life would look like now.

The number one thing that I have learned, and am still learning, is that the Lord is faithful.  He is trustworthy.  Even when it feels so difficult.  I’m still learning to listen, to remember actually how he continues to provide.  But he often returning me to the truth that He will provide, that he knows, that things are okay.

I’m glad to find myself here.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

being and doing

Had these thoughts brewing for awhile…

   Life is about who we are, not just about what we do.  And who we are, though heavily made up of what we do, is also more than just the sum total of what we manage to accomplish with ourselves. 

   What I do speaks to who I am.  My job fulfills an aspect of who I am: it fulfills a healthy desire and need to work.  Work for my food, work for the sustenance and provision of my family.   That is what I am given for my work: monetary allotment which is intended to relate to the value, quality and difficulty of the work. 

   And yet work is much more than that.  There is something good in and of work itself.  It has intrinsic value, whatever the vocation or location, regardless of pay or not.  We are designed to work.  We find this in the Genesis accounts where God gives Adam and Eve the task of tending to Eden, to naming the animals, for exercising healthy dominion over the land and its creatures.  There is good work set before us.  It fulfills us in some fashion.  It should.

   Yet we so often sever work as not speaking to our being.  We lop off the what we do from the who we are—or we dangerously enmesh the two: we are only what we do or accomplish.  The first disintegrates our lives, fragmenting our experience into compartments.  The second sees no distinction at all: it is these people who, should they lose their jobs entirely border on suicidal tendencies.  “There’s nothing left to live for.  That job was all I had.  It was who I was.”  Both extremes, I think, can be dangerous.

   Instead of thinking of who we are and what we do, the being and the doing, as distinct parts of ourselves we need to see them as part of the process of understanding who we are as whole people.  I act out of who I am, and what I do also shapes who I will become.  An illustration that might help us here is that of an upward moving spiral.  Are being impacts our doing, and our doing speaks to our being, yet there is also progression: we are moving forward, growing older, changing, learning.

   In our Spiritual Theology class at College, Lauren introduced us to Parker Palmer and the idea that “we live our way into a new way of thinking, we don’t think our way into a new way of living.” 

   Living is both: it’s the doing and the being.  It’s finding that they are not distinct aspects of myself, but part of a whole.  Biblically we find that the doing and being are wound together in one another.  This where we often have trouble with the Book of James: we see so much of it as doing, seemingly apart from the being: from the work of Christ in our lives who has saved us.  But James is not advocating for salvation by works: his point is that because of the work done in our hearts, because of how we’ve been changed—live it!  If you’re not living it then you haven’t seemingly changed.  It should make a difference.

   Jesus transforms lives.  He transforms the living: both the being and the doing.  Who we are and what we are about.  He reminds me that I am more than one or the other, and more than both.  In light of Him, who I am and what I do with myself take on fresh meanings.  And that, I think, is where joy lies.