Monday, 12 December 2016

Winter is singing to me

This summer was a bit duller than most due to my dad's passing, and then autumn 2016 held on for a surreal length of time. Last week, however, winter finally settled in with all its fury: heaps of snow, ferocious winds and the subsequent big chill. 

Thing is, I kinda like winter. I don't love the endless putting on and taking off of layers of clothes and the grimy leftovers of the sand and dirt on the streets in March. But j'adore the endless white, the crunch crunch crunch of walking in snow and the way it allows me to anticipate and appreciate spring and summer. 

My mom died in late November in Gimli, right after the town's first snowfall, but Winnipeg didn't get any substantial flurries for another couple weeks. Maybe it's because I've seen 50 plus winters and several blizzards, but I wasn't at all fazed by the over 30 centimeters of snow that got dumped on Winnipeg. 

This afternoon I was driving and "Sing Winter" by Jonathan David and Melissa Helser came on my stereo and I was undone by the lyrics.
Can I fall Iike glory and wash your year away // 
All that remains was really meant to stay //
Come and clothe me Winter, I really need a change

Oh those Helsers; they always know the right things to say. Come Lord, wash away this terrible 2016. Come with Your glory and transform what's left of my life. Come clothe me with each distinct snowflake, which You created. Come, Lord. I need You.

Hear the snowflakes falling // Winter’s calling my name
The silent song she’s singing // What’s she trying to say?
Can I fall like glory to wash your year away? //
All that remains was really meant to stay //
Come and clothe me Winter, I really need a change // 
With silent redemption, Cover me with grace //
Hear the song of beauty, Melodies and sounds //
Cover you in white love // The joy you lost but now have found //
Sing sing winter // Sing me your silent song

Thursday, 24 November 2016

#WarOnGrumbling Final Day (40)

I'm so grateful that in the midst of the deep personal drama of losing both my parents within seven months, I can experience God's promises anew.

My father died in April and when I think back my go-to state of mind was mostly jaggedness underpinned by a dull ache. Now, after walking alongside my mother and the battle she just lost with cancer, I'm a bit astounded to feel palpable peace, love, thanksgiving, comfort and even joy co-existing with my grief, anger and sadness.

As an experiential learner, I've been taken aback to discover the rather vague concepts that many of us Christians throw around somewhat lightly...are actually entirely true. 

Losing my parents has brought me more compassion and understanding for myself, and for others, as well as a newfound level of wonderment for Jesus. And, for me, that's a real reason for thanksgiving.

I come, God, I come, return to the Lord //
The one who's broken //
The one who's torn me apart //
You struck down to bind me up //
You say You do it all in love //
That I might know You in Your suffering //
Though You slay me, yet I will praise You //
Though You take from me, I will bless Your name //
Though You ruin me, still I will worship //
Sing a song to the One who's all I need //
My heart and flesh may fail //
The earth below give way //
But with my eyes, with my eyes //
I'll see the Lord lifted high upon that day //
Behold, the Lamb that was slain //
And I'll know every tear was worth it all // 
Though tonight I'm crying out //
Let this cup pass from me now //
You're still more than I need, You're enough for me
#WarOnGrumbling #40DaysOfThanksgiving

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

#WarOnGrumbling Day 39

I'm thankful that when even the darkest of night is holding on to me, Jesus never lets go. He is always holding on to me.

Let the King of my heart be the mountain where I run //
The Fountain I drink from, He is my Song //
Let the King of my heart be the shadow where I hide //
The ransom for my life, He is my Song //
You are good good oh //
Let the King of my heart be the wind inside my sails //
The anchor in the waves, oh He is my Song //
Let the King of my heart the fire inside my veins  //
The echo of my days oh He is my Song //
You are good oh You're never gonna let me down // 
When the night is holding onto me // God is holding on 

#WarOnGrumbling #40DaysOfThanksgiving

#WarOnGrumbling Day 38

I'm thankful for the circle of life.

My mother died early Sunday morning and she was cremated yesterday. 

Today, I went to visit my friend Shayani and her precious new baby boy Jace in the hospital. I snuggled with him, prayed for him and, as always, gaped in wonderment at a new life.

I'm awed that my heavenly Papa set it up so I could see mom leave this earth, and then welcome another new life in such a short timeframe. It was beauteous and poignant, and just like the song says it moved me through depair and hope and faith and love.

From the day we arrive on the planet //
And blinking, step into the sun //
There's more to see than can ever be seen //
More to do than can ever be done //
There's far too much to take in here //
More to find than can ever be found //
But the sun rolling high through the sapphire sky //
Keeps great and small on the endless round //
It's the circle of life and it moves us all //
Through despair and hope //
Through faith and love //
Till we find our place on the path unwinding //
In the circle of life

#WarOnGrumbling #40DaysOfThanksgiving

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

#WarOnGrumbling Day 37

I'm grateful for friends who can make me laugh, and friends who can let me cry. 

It has been meaningful and endearing having friends nearby as I navigate my way through the valley of the shadow of death, where I need to be able to access the full spectrum of my emotions. 

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance (Ecclesiastes 3:4)

#WarOnGrumbling #40DaysOfThanksgiving

Monday, 21 November 2016

#WarOnGrumbling Day 36

I'm thankful for my Comforter.
The Descent of the Holy Spirit
by Tiziano Vecellio 1545

But the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will help you remember everything that I have told you. (John 14:26)

Even in the wilderness //
Through confusion and barrenness //
You are beautiful God //
Even in my brokeness //
Through this pain I will confess //
You are always good //
Deserts will bloom in the light of Your love //
Valleys make room for the river of God //
You never run dry //

You're my source, never ending //
You're my life, never lacking

#WarOnGrumbling #40DaysOfThanksgiving

Sunday, 20 November 2016

#WarOnGrumbling Day 35

Tonight I'm grateful for the truths in Psalm 23.

A Psalm of David. 
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 
He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. 
He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake. 
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. 
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. 
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.

There is a man in the mixture //
And one of His names: The Revealer //
Gray lines dissolve in the power of His blood //
He sets The Cross as the standard //
And says we should live; only die first //
Dead men rely on Someone who can bring them back to life //
What's to come of it? //
I don't even know if I want to be part of it //
There's this Man that I see dimly //
But it's enough to give Him everything //
The curtains will rise and the curtains will fall //
#WarOnGrumbling #40DaysOfThanksgiving