Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Light in the Darkness

light in darknessI was sitting on the bus doing my bible reading plan.  The passage I read was this:
1 In the beginning the Word already existed.
      The Word was with God,
      and the Word was God.
2 He existed in the beginning with God.
3 God created everything through him,
      and nothing was created except through him.
4 The Word gave life to everything that was created,
      and his life brought light to everyone.
5 The light shines in the darkness,
      and the darkness can never extinguish it. (John 1: 1-5, NLT)

I have read this dozens of times, like everyone else.  I have tried to understand the part about ‘the Word’, the Word being Jesus and how that actually works.  The thing is that I got stuck on that and didn’t read the part about how the light shines into the darkness and the darkness can never extinguish it.
I was awestruck.  The darkness can’t extinguish the light.  It is a truth that resonates with me.  No matter how dark I think things are, God still shines through.  There is nothing or no one that can stop that.
Then I continued reading:
6 God sent a man, John the Baptist, 7 to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. 8 John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light. 9 The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.
10 He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. 11 He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. 12 But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. 13 They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.
14 So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness.  And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.
15 John testified about him when he shouted to the crowds, “This is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘Someone is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’”
16 From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another.  17 For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God,] is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us. (John 1: 6-16, NLT)
I was awestruck by a God who would come down to earth to be light in my darkness.  It was a great moment of communion with God…  on a Winnipeg Transit bus before 7am.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thinking About Mom

me and momToday is the anniversary of the day my Mom passed away.  It is sunny outside today but the ground is covered in a blanket of fresh snow – the first major snowfall of the year.  I went out for a short run this morning and now I am sitting in Starbucks with a Venti Skinny Peppermint Mocha.  I have to admit that I don’t know how to feel about the day.

Generally I spend a lot of time dreading the date.  I have been down lately and I have attributed it to what my friend refers to as body memories.  Even if I am not thinking about it, my body knows it is coming.  That said, I haven’t been dreading today.  It wasn’t the first thing I thought about when I woke up.

I do have a sense of sadness.  I am wondering what my Mom would think about me right now.  I have been making so many positive changes in my life for my health.  Those things were important to my Mom.  Would she be proud of me for being committed enough to run outside in the snow and cold weather? 

I remember the day that she passed away.  I remember my sister in law coming to my door and giving me the news.  It wasn’t sunny that day.  At least that’s how I remember it.  All I said was, “I’ll get my purse.”  It was a strange numb response that came out of a broken place.

So many things have changed for me in the sixteen years since my Mom passed away.  I have graduated from university.  I have a career, a great condo, a nice car, lots of fantastic friends, and most importantly I asked Jesus to come into my life over 11 years ago.  Besides the more recent health changes, I am no longer that young woman who lives in a numb fog.  My life is abundant.  Sometimes that abundance means that I am both sad about losing my Mom and happy about a beautiful winter day with a nice run and a trip to Starbucks for a holiday drink.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Resolutions

failureThe beginning of the November makes me feel like the year is drawing to a close.  There is lots of time left but it ends up getting taken up by Christmas parties, gatherings, and shopping.  It feels like the time to achieve my goals has already passed.  Or has it?

I hesitate to post about my resolutions.  Every one was so supportive and even inspired.  So to look at my resolutions today feels like a bit of a disappointment.  I am afraid to let people down.  I feel like I have failed.

When I read my resolutions I know I have achieved a couple of them.  I have also changed my approach on many of them.  I still have some time to work on others.

In March I started struggling with some health issues that prevented me from working out.  My food intake was nowhere near 80% healthy.  I really struggled.  By the time the summer came, I was quite weak and had gained a lot of weight.  I decided it was time to commit to a weight loss program so I joined Weight Watchers at the beginning of July.  I have also become more active, last month I completed an Ironman in a month challenge – I swam 2.4 miles, bicycled 112 miles, and ran 26.2 over the 31 days of October.

I attended the Storyline Conference in June and I can say it has propelled me to live a better story.  I also managed to clean out my storage room and I can now walk into it without stepping on anything.  My bike goes in and out easily.

Technically I have already posted more this year than I did last year.  That said, my intent was to post weekly and I haven’t been doing that.  There is still time to get back onto it.  So here I am.

Resolutions are about an intent to be better.  I can say that I am better than I was this time last year.  I have less debt, I have lost weight, I have gained energy and a lot of wisdom.  I won’t run a 5k in under 40 minutes this year but I have increased my distance and speed by quite a bit.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Legacy

There is a song by Nicole Nordeman that I have loved for years.  I have been thinking about it today:

I want to leave a legacy
How will they remember me?
Did I choose to love?
Did I point to You enough
To make a mark on things
I want to leave an offering
A child of mercy and grace
Who blessed Your name unapologetically
And leave that kind of legacy

I went to a funeral for a man who was born nine months after me.  He was a co-worker  who I had the privilege of working with this year before he went on leave.  I had known of him but never worked with him directly.  He talked about his illness openly and his courage left so much of a mark on me that, even though I had only worked with him very briefly, I felt compelled to attend his funeral.  When I looked around at the attendees, it was clear that many of my co-workers felt the same way.

This man had a daughter who has special needs.  He also has a young son.  His battle with cancer has been several years long.  During his struggle with cancer he returned to work several times where he made a number of important contributions.  He also achieved his masters.  When his wife spoke of him at the funeral yesterday, she said she married him because she knew he would ‘make her brave.’ 

He has made me think of my own life.  What is my contribution?  What will people say about me at my funeral?  My mark is to be different for sure.  Even acknowledging that, his life makes me want to do more with my life.  I hope that’s a tribute to him.