• Sufficient Grace

    The bad news comes.  There is pain.  There is sorrow.  There are moments of why me?  Why now? But the void is filled.  Our all-knowing God knows I would face this situation this day.  He knows I need His words of hope and they are there. I open up my computer to read my morning devotion and this Scripture confronts me: “But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. “(2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV) The writer of this Scripture, the apostle Paul, is to many…

  • Works In Progress

    It is painful to watch.  Each moment is laborious, fraught with much effort and concentration.  My young student valiantly attempts to read the text before her, but it is a struggle.  My heart breaks for her.  She is already in grade three but cannot read well.   Every ounce of my being wants to assist her.  It would be easy for me to just read the words for her so she can continue on in the story.  She gets the meaning much faster when I read as opposed to her word by word version where she loses the gist of the story before she finishes the sentence. I fight the…

  • Praying in the Storm

    The snow swirls around as a storm engulfs our area.  Visibility wanes and mobility suffers.  Paths that were easy to walk yesterday are now impassable.  Going outdoors involves multiple layers of clothing and lots of shovelling. The weather outside goes along with my mood.  The challenging circumstances of life right now engage me in a constant battle of trying to move forward in this blizzard that is my life.  How do I take steps ahead on what seems to be an impenetrable road? My prayers focus on the topic of imploring the Lord to change my circumstances.  Over and over I beg God to fix what is wrong or remove…

  • It Makes No Sense

    I really wonder if anything else can be thrown into this week.  I have been hammered with an onslaught of circumstances that threaten to encompass me.  All of them have been things totally out of my control.  There is nothing I can do to ease them or make them go away. I do not like feeling powerless.  I do not like feeling overwhelmed.  In these pandemic days, I really don’t need any additional stress.   Part of me is angry.  Why me?  This is not the first time the school I am working for is closing down.  Why do I have to deal with the very real chance that I…

  • Pulled in Different Directions

    They scamper about my yard, carefree and lively.  These twin fawns have been a source of considerable joy, and a few chuckles, as I observe their antics.  For the most part, these young deer stick close to their mother, looking for food and watching for predators.   What has been interesting to watch is what happens when something startles this young deer family.  The doe knows immediately to take shelter in the trees to keep her family safe.  Multiple times this season I have watched her take off quickly with one of her fawns following close behind her.  But one of the twins is a rascal.  For whatever reason, it…

  • Pen in Hand

    There is just something about writing on paper that appeals to me.  I love the feel of a pen in my hand.  As the ink flows to paper, I feel the ideas pour out of my brain.  I have notepads everywhere, jotting down ideas and taking study notes. Computers expedite writing and I do appreciate them for the ease of editing and producing a final copy.  Yet, I am reluctant to give up writing with pen and paper just yet.  I seem to think much better as my hand must form the words of my creation.  The flowing movement of the pen inspires me and urges me on to create…

  • Focus Upward

    It has been a wet summer around our place this year.  While moisture is needful for the garden to flourish, the abundance of it has created a massive weed problem.  It is a year where I have seen new varieties of weeds – not exactly the kind of diversity I am trying to promote in my garden. Usually I don’t mind a certain amount of weeding.  It goes with the territory.  I love to garden and not everything that grows will be of my choosing.  This year, with the increased amount of nuisance plants, weeding has become burdensome.  Trying to clean up the garden in between rains has become an…

  • Hiding Out

    Did you ever play hide and seek?  I remember long summer nights where all the young people on our block would play that game for hours together until it was so dark we could barely see.  We never played in one specific yard but for quite a distance down our street.  It was always fun to see if I could find the perfect hiding spot where I could sit with great delight and watch the others valiantly try to find me. Nowadays we often find ourselves hiding out for a different reason.  The news reports are full of negative Covid stories:  a celebrity gets Covid after his own birthday party…

  • Unmasked

    I don’t get into urban areas very much at the best of times and even less in these pandemic days.  Every time I go in of late, there are more changes.  Since my last trip in, masks are now required by law for any indoor place.  Having masks being commonplace is something I never thought could happen here.  It changes my approach to a lot of things and I am sure it does the same for others. One of the most challenging activities with a mask is trying to read people’s emotions.  I am used to conveying a lot of meaning through my facial expressions because I am not a…

  • Strength of my Heart

    Limp noodle.  Fuzz brained.  Dead tired.  Overwhelmed.  Absolutely drained.  Emotionally exhausted.  Physically spent. Do any of these phrases summarize how you are doing at the moment?  As much as we want to live vibrant Christian lives, there are days when strength seems fleeting and life is more challenging. I find it helpful at these times to remember that true strength does not come from within myself.  Sure, I might be determined to get something accomplished or be aggressive in pursuing a goal, but I can only power through so much on my own.  Inevitably my own strength fails. I take comfort in the word of the Psalmist: “My flesh and…