Sunday, September 11, 2011

It's Great To Be Back!

I haven't been to church since July 10 - the Sunday before my surgery. To be honest, there was no way I could have gone back until at least mid-August, since being in a sitting position for more than about 20 minutes was quite uncomfortable. Once I was feeling a little better in later August, I then was reluctant to return, since my buddy and her family were gone, and I wasn't sure how I was going to react upon returning to church with them not being there, and I certainly didn't want to make a spectacle of myself! I already had done that once - in the hospital, when I looked at the clock on Sunday afternoon and realized I was missing their going away party, and I had a major meltdown in my hospital bed. Luckily, my favorite nurse was in the room at the time and helped me breathe again - the problem was that I was starting to cry, and crying hurt, so I was hyperventilating, and caused a big scene.

And so I stayed away, but did some studying (Song of Songs!), and read some great books (Chuck Missler and Francis Chan!), and decided that the Fall Kick Off would be a great time to return. The teaching series was on parables - some of my favorite parts of the New Testament, and best off all, we were burning the church mortgage!!

The return was even better than I could have imagined.

A few times during worship I was reminded that there was a big family missing in the pews behind us, and my eyes glistened, but I didn't feel sad, because I knew it was time to move on. So often this past year I have used them as a buffer (after all, it's easy to hide among a bunch of kids!) and I have been terribly anti-social, but in hindsight it's just been one of those "trying years" where God becomes so much clearer.

And sitting there in my seat, with my precious buffer gone, everything seemed more clear. I was excited to begin Sunday School next week, after grumbling for the past couple of years that "nothing interested me" (when the truth was, I really didn't want to hang out with a bunch of people). I felt called to The Mustard Seed more than ever, and may expand my horizons beyond Karaoke Tuesday and into PAC - the Personal Assistance Centre. I had a great chat with one of our worship leaders and I may get onto a worship team soon....or at least be able to hang around with them a bit to learn the ropes. So many exciting things to do after a summer of laying around and feeling sorry for myself.

But then....I had to remind myself that we can get so busy "doing" that we forget about nurturing that relationship with The One for whom we are "doing" everything. I made that mistake last year, trying to do too many things at once, and I completely burnt out. Done. Finit. I had enough of life.

Maybe all of this stuff that happened over the past year was God's way of forcing me to slow down, to give up the things that weren't important, and to force myself to rely on Him for strength when some days it felt like I couldn't continue any longer. Now that I seem to have poked my head out from beneath the dark clouds, I sure can't forget everything He helped me with.

I think it might be better right now to continue in this quiet space of life I've created and just let Him whatever and wherever.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

It Doesn't Really Matter

The other day the kids were listening to one of my "feet songs" (ie. dance music that I typically use for my fitness classes), and one was a song that sampled an old 80s tune: Obsession by Animotion. Now, I this would be a song which I could pull on "Don't Forget the Lyrics" and rattle off 12, 15, 20 words - essentially the entire song. I then went onto Youtube and showed the kids the Animotion video. There's nothing like 80s videos, and there's nothing like 80s hair.

After the giggles about the hair in the Animotion video, I said to them, "Oh, I have some videos that show even better hair!" That led to pulling up Images in Vogue's "Call It Love" (I dare you to check it out and not bust a gut - when I was a child in the middle of the cheezy 80s I saw that video and thought, "this is really bad"). Elizabeth's first comment: I thought that was a girl. We moved onto Platinum Blonde, and Elizabeth echoed her comment: I thought that was a girl. She really gets a kick out of Boy George, and yes, she thought he was a girl too.

Music is so awesome - it can make you smile, it can bring back memories, and I watched those videos longing for those carefree days of youth, of the summer before grade 9 when Bananarama's "Venus" was released and I practiced dancing to it in my bedroom. Maybe that's why I enjoy karaoke night at The Mustard Seed so much - because everyone just hangs out and forgets their troubles, singing, clapping, laughing. The last song of the night was a great rendition of "Ice Ice Baby" (Vanilla Ice, of course!), and Stewart and I boogied around the coffee bar as we cleaned up.

And as I headed out into the night, crowds of people hanging out on this warm summer evening, I pondered about all that we think we need to worry about, and all that we complain about, and none of it really matters at all.

And if none of it really matters, why does it continue to take over our lives???

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Best Day of the Year!

The first day of school is pretty close to Christmas Eve for my favorite day of the year. There's nothing like sorting school supplies, picking out new clothes, and heading off to school with anticipation: Who will be my teacher? Who will be in my class? For us, we knew who the teachers were going to be, but had no idea that there would be so many new kids coming into the school! Last year, my kids were the new kids, but this year I saw a lot of unfamiliar faces, and found out later that the school's population had grown once again!! I'm so happy for the school - those teachers work so hard.

Matthew was very happy with his class - 13 kids, only a few girls (only 1 girl today!), and lots of buddies to chat with about lego. He even had a buddy at recess, and they ended the day chatting about the lego movie that will be on TV on Monday.

Elizabeth was also very happy - loves her new teacher, there are lots of girls in the class (compared to last year when she was one of only 5 girls!), and she was playing with a gaggle when I arrived to pick them up after school.

And so another school year begins, and we're all off on the right foot. I feel so different from last year, when I wasn't sure whether I had made the right choice to switch schools, but there is no doubt now that they are where they always should have been, and I'm lucky that there are lots of great years to come!!