Friday, August 2, 2013

Quick Take Friday (Volume 8)

--- 1 --- 
This week many of my friends and family members are in Florida, at Disneyworld for our church movements World Conference, ENV GO Conference. I am learning a lesson about not coveting. Because I would give me right hip (that's the bad one) to be at this conference. Not only are vancouver friends and family there, but my SOM 2012 friends, and SOM 2008 friends and ENV Nashville friends AND ENV Canada friends. I would say that over 200 people I know and like are gathered with thousands of church family to celebrate God and all He is doing and I SO BADLY WANT TO BE THERE. That being said, it's wonderful to see them all getting to enjoy life there together - if only my Vancouver peeps and SOM 2012 peeps would connect - y'all would love each other, I'm sure of it. 

So to all my ENV'ers, here or in Florida - I love you and am so glad to call you family. 

--- 2 --- 
Recently at church our friend Nate Lim was preaching. He was talking about thankfulness - "The Path the gratefulness". He was using Psalm 16 as his reference. He said that gratitude without Jesus is directionless and inconsistent. Without God, as a goal, without purpose or a giver, it's hard to maintain thankfulness. Our hearts are so fickle and inconsistent. The same set of circumstances one day can prompt thankfulness in our spirit and the next day, can prompt sadness. 

His main message was what it looks like to live a thankful life, out of this Psalm. The passage says that we must admit that we are broken first. That's our starting point. If we don't realize we are broken, then we won't see that we are saved, and it's hard to be grateful if you don't realize that our lives are a gift. So many of us are "pre-contemplative" - we haven't yet even realized our sickness or even begun to contemplate asking for help. Then before anything else, once we realize we are broken, God hears our cry. As soon as we cry, as we cry - he's not waiting for us to cry out and change, but that God hears our cry - this is first why we are grateful. Part of this cry is calling out to Him. And amazingly, He answers and saves us (vs 5-9). In our current state!!! The Psalmist responds with our only response, how can I repay? The Psalm answers that as well; we received or take the salvation offered by Christ. We aren't asked to give back or to earn something, we are to receive the free offering of salvation from Christ. 

And then, after all that, then we thank. Gratitude is worship to Christ. 
If we are honest, it's a choice to be grateful. It's about Lordship - who is in control of your life? When we are ungrateful we put our circumstances ahead of Jesus. When we are ungrateful we put our right to be displeased in front of Jesus - we turn our displeasure into an idol. Do we say our own needs and wants are more important than Jesus? We pay our thankfulness with the control of our lives to Jesus. Lordship is our response in thankfulness to him.

I found this message very touching this week; I'm a type A personality. I like to control things. We're trying to get pregnant and I think the reason I'm currently m ost bugged that we're not pregnant yet is that I wanted us to be and I didn't get my way yet. If I'm being very honest. 

This message touched me because it seemed God was giving me an opportunity to give up my need to control. To first admit my brokeness, then to cry out to Him and accept his saving grace and turn to Him, in worship, control of my life. What a wonderful moment to experience. It means giving up control, which if I'm honest again, I'm not as good as having as I'd like to. My controlling ways are never as good as His perfect ways. I'm thankful for his gentleness as he teaches me this. 
--- 3 --- 
On a lighter note we had a wine and cheese party at work this week - wine and cheese and meat and oh my, it was tasty. I'll tell you what - didn't mind eating the leftovers today as well. Currently I've had some wine at my desk (allowed of course) and it makes a nice addition to the work day. Of course this is a once off - work time drinking is generally not appropriate or accepted here but for this rare shining moment, it's kind of fun. 

--- 4 --- 
Wednesday night Paul and I went over to Nate and Leah's house for a visit - the goal was to visit for a couple hours - and yet almost 5 hours later we left - now that's a quality time. And to show my husband JUST HOW MUCH I LOVED HIM, I even volunteered to walk to their house! They live less than 10 minutes away from us, but with my chronic back pain, that's a ten minute walk filled with agony. Unfortunately my husband loves to walk. So I picked this moment to speak his love language - and he was very thankful. He saw it for the sacrifice it was. True love people, true love. 
--- 5 --- 
Back update: some of you might remember that I had back surgery almost 3 years ago. Since then I have had a few flareups and have ended up missing a couple weeks of work at a time while each flare up heals. We don't know why these flareups happen or how to stop them. But this last time, the doctor decided he thinks the key to limiting flareups, and having me in a position that if they occur they dissipate quickly, is core strength. 

Ugh. I know, I know, I should be happy that I don't have to do another surgery or something worse but my whole life I have struggled with my core strength and know that working on it is going to suck. That being said I know it will be good for my whole being, and not just my back. And it will also be good for my body when (prayers!) I get pregnant - from pregnancy to labour. 

The doctor suggests 10-15 minutes 4-5 days a week spent on core strengthening. My plan is to see a physiotherapist (appointment this afternoon) to make a plan for what to do in that 10-15 minutes so the exercises can be specifically targeting the right areas for maximum help. Also I plan to take 2 classes a week at a local gym - one yoga type class and one core specific class. 

Right off the bat, I decided that even before I saw someone I should be starting at home. So one morning I got up, put on my exercise gear (which I always wear for bike riding to work) and laid down on the floor at the foot of our bed (with Paul sleeping away). I set my phone alarm for 10 minutes. And I started doing crunches, cycle twists, etc. Almost right away my grunts and groans woke Paul up - he had no idea what I was doing, he couldn't see me, and given the noises I was making, he could only assume I'd fallen and broken something or was in the process of dying. Thankfully neither was true, though the exercises were sure hard! 

I kept plugging away though. I'm a trooper, right? And this is my health we're talking about. After what felt like FOREVER I began to wonder why my alarm hadn't gone yet. Clearly it had been over 10 minutes - my alarm must have malfunctioned. Maybe I had just set the stop watch by accident. I grabbed my phone to confirm and realized that I had been exercising for an entire 3 minutes. Yikes. It felt like forever. This was not a good start to the new regime.

--- 6 --- 
Speaking of new, we know have our friend Kayla living with us for August. That means we have Duncan (male Canadian), Ana (female Brazillian) and Rachel and Kayla (both female Canadian). Then for Sept we have Duncan, Rachel and my friend Lyndsay Kinghorn (female Canadian). We have room for one more. We had a Chinese high school student planning to move in but her visa was denied so she isn't coming here to study anymore. Langara is trying to find us someone and so are facebook friends. I feel confident we'll get the right person. 

I love, love, love our home and having people in it.
 --- 7 --- 
This weekend we're headed to Seattle for the day Saturday. There's a mini reunion for some of Paul's bible college friends. I haven't met any of them and I'm looking forward to it. Plus we'll do some shopping and generally have a good day date together. We'll eat dinner with my friends Rebekah and Tony and then head back to Vancouver. This means grocery shopping, and a road trip! Win. 

We are also spending tonight with Paul's grandparents. Sunday is a rest at home sort of day before church and Monday I'm going to the lake with the Maxwell's before picking someone up at the airport. It's going to be a great long weekend!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

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