June 28, 2011

{leaving the shore}

Just a quick little post about this past week, a list of good, happy and so encouraging things going on in the little community we called home:

- topping the list is the hugs (big, genuine, healing ones) from friends, co-workers and students as I returned to school for the end of the year
- sharing stories and being thankful (as awful as it is for the community) that we are not alone in our experience
- turning the corner to my classroom and seeing a huge mural, a handprint-painted rainbow, with the message "Hope is in our Hands"
- FREE SHOES (yes, free shoes, how happy am I?) :)
- home-made baking left at our hotel for those that lost their homes (yummy muffins and apple pie!)
- the local jewlery store being amazing with quotes for our insurance company and for re-ordering my wedding set - a better-than-ever version with a Canadian diamond - yay!
- a message at church on how thankfulness unlocks our heart to all that God has for us, which reminded me of this quote from a post back in October
- re-visting our basement-area and finding a few little Christmas ornaments, a tea-cup, some melted Lego, and a couple intact porcelain figurines to add to the reclaimed collection
- visiting with Neal's family and spending some time with dear friends

It's been a good week, all these things I'm thankful for balancing out the fears and heartache.

New adventures awaiting, and taking a small leap of faith. Taking a year's leave of absence from teaching. Thinking a lot about this:
Knowing in my heart that as I step out, I will aim to never lose sight of the one who is providing for every need and has a plan for this time, something to be thankful for in each day. Knowing He knows and sees and loves. Leaving the shore, stepping out into the unknown, knowing that I am asked to walk by faith and not by sight. It is going to be quite the journey.

June 16, 2011

{in my heart today}

Matthew 11: 28“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

Matthew 10: 29Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 

Luke 12: 32“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

June 10, 2011

{ pulled from the wreckage }

"Hope is faith holding out it's hand in the dark."

Reclamationthe process of reclaiming something from loss

Last Saturday, with much prayer and many deep breaths, Neal, myself and my family headed up to our small town for the day. Our mission was one of reclamation, purposefully visiting the site of our former home, praying to find something, any little thing, as a memoir to all we lost. 

I had seen all the pictures on the news, viewed pictures of our wreckage taken by friends, but nothing nothing could prepare me for the sight we saw as we pulled into the south end of town. Where there used to be homes, we saw a field of black and grey spotted with gaping holes. Poking out from the grey were charred fingers that used to be trees, bending and reaching out, a testament to the direction and force of the fire winds. It was absolutely and thoroughly heartbreaking.

We had a chat with the comissionaire in the area, signed our waiver and entered what used to be our neighbourhood. It was so disorienting, no homes or trees to navigate by, feeling only heat from the pavement and the lingering smell of char and toxic smoke in the air. My emotions shut gently and quietly off as we stepped onto our driveway and began to peek around and sift through the little that was there. As I took a careful walk around the perimeter, something caught my eye. Piled carefully on top of one of our cement deck supports was a fully intact saucer from a cup and saucer set from Holland, and my favourite little piece of Hungary china, with some kind of wreckage melted to the side and bottom. 

Neal and my dad sifted through the car, looking for any diamonds that may have survived from my wedding ring, which was sitting in my escape bag in the back of the car. My car was just a shell, a river of cooled molten metal trickled out the side, frozen in time, a picture of the extreme heat. Nothing but ash.

Mom was working on a corner of the house and found an un-damaged mug from our dish set. We also found shards from a couple plates and a lace-work piece. Other finds included a crescent wrench and bits from a ceramic plant pot. Thankful for a few pieces of home, we headed back.

I sat with these pieces yesterday. Carefully laying them in the tub, wanting to wash off the ash and reclaim them. Wash the fire away, make them new. As I worked, I prayed and listened "Lord I know You are doing this work in my heart". Washing away the soot, the temptation to despair and bitterness. Revealing underneath a glistening hope, a faith that He will make all things new.

Our bits of home are now clean, yet the fire damage remains. The heat opened up the pores in the porcelain, so what used to be smooth is now rather rough. Scars, not visible to the eye, but felt when touched. I pray that in time the scars on our hearts will fade, that healing will come and we can reach out with hope to others. For now, I hold on to these promises;

"Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you" Hebrews 13:5


Then He who sat on the throne said "Behold, I make all things new" and He said to me, "write,  for these words are true and faithful". Revelation 21:5

As I sat beside the tub, with scrub brush and cloth in hand, these words from Brooke Fraser's Shadowfeet sang through my soul,

Walking, stumbling, on these shadowfeet
towards home, a land that I've never seen
I am changing, less and less asleep
made of different stuff than when I began.

When the world has fallen out from under me,
I'll be found in You,
still standing.
When the sky rolls up and the mountains fall on their knees,
when time and space are through,
I'll be found in You.
You make all things new,
You make all things new,
You make all things new.
When time and space are through, I'll be found in You.