Saturday, June 27, 2009

Freedom of a 5-year-old

It's amazing what you can pick up on as you bike to, the other day as I was biking to work there was this little girl on the sidewalk. She wore a long pretty flowered skirt and a T-shirt. Just as I was going by she stopped, went up on her toes, came down and with one arm gracefully extended and the other crooked in beside made a low, elegant sweeping bow to the sun, or trees or God above, I'm not really sure as there was no one in front of her or nearby for that matter.
Now, if I was walking along and suddenly stopped to do a low sweeping bow for no reason or, maybe a twirl in mid step, what would people think? It's like if you tear down the street full tilt when you are 10 or maybe even 12 it is quite acceptable but once you hit about 15 and you tear down the street full tilt, people generally suspect you are either a) stealing something or b) running away from something you shouldn't have done. There is great freedom in childhood: you can skip down the street (try doing that when you are in your 40s), you can run, if you want to, or sing at the top of your lungs.
Again, the other day as I was biking to work I came across a couple. They were well dressed, in their mid 30s and just heading down the sidewalk in an indepth conversation. Nothing wrong with that - but they were also both pushing little scooters. They pushed along, one foot swinging to push and keep the momentum going while the other stayed stationery on the scooters all the while just having a nice morning chat. They showed no self-consciousness to their actions which made me think - "sure, why not ride scooters to work, who cares how old you are or what you are wearing?" But it did look, well odd to me; Biking sure, roller blading even, but scooters?
As we get older we are molded into norms and society's comfortable rules. We become self-conscious of our actions and how we look to others. Oh, the freedom to be 5 again!
Last week on Father's Day the family when paint balling. I want you to know I was fully covered - coveralls, gloves, head gear. But there was one spot I was not. So, as I was walking back to my team after a game I was shot by a team mate (friendly fire) at close range (about 10 feet) right in the throat. If I may make a suggestion, tell your kids to wear turtle necks, or something. The girls at work, most of whom are nurses, scolded me telling me I could have crushed my larynx or damaged my voice box. After a little while of having difficulty breathing I came out all right and continued the game. But what I was left with was a huge wound to my neck and looked like a really big hickey! Talk about self-conscious!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Bull Dog Tenacity

Today is a bit of a milestone for the Crowders. Today is Adrian's Prom - yes my baby is graduating Grade 12 and the Big Grand Finale is tonight. Basically, I have to face the fact that my kids are, well, grown up. I've held on, I've run the race, the finish line is in sight. We will soon be moving into a new era - one that involves a new focus toward couplehood and less on parenthood.
I was reading Cheryl's blog on Habits and would like to think one of my more positive ones is perserverance. During World War II Churchill put it this way "We shall never surrender!" In the 70s some groovy person made a poster with a kitten dangling by it's front paws with "Hang In there Baby!" on the bottom. God, always the story teller, writes in Scripture in Luke 18:3 about a bull-dog tenacious widow who crys for Justice over and over again until the Judge finally gives her his attention.
Early in the morning, as I'm discussing life with Jesus and the best made plans of mice and Cyndi, there is my cat Frodo, at the front door looking at me, to the door, to me, to the door. Then he starts with his Purr/meow that kinds of comes out "purrrreowll?" over and over again. So even though I'm in deep discussion with the God of Heaven, even though I'm talking with the one through whom I live and move and have my being, the One who holds my very life breath in His hands, I will get up, put Jesus on hold, and let the cat out. Why - because Frodo will not give up - he will keep harping at me to open that door until I simply can't think straight and focus.
The moral of the story is of course to keep praying, keep believing, and perservere. The other option is to stop praying, stop believing and give up - and where's the fun in that? "Never Surrender!"

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Power of Senses!

I planted a new rosebush this year and what a beauty it is - even better it has this wonderful peachy scent. My peonies are also opening up this week and their heady perfume hits you when you walk out the front door. I love using all my senses, they are a gift that makes life all that more wonderful.
A few years ago I was in a rather nasty boating accident. It went something like this "Boy they are coming up pretty fast behind us" followed by "I don't think they are going to Stop!" and ended with "Oh My Gosh there's a boat on top of me!!" With the protection of God above and Sid Molenaar who happened to be in front of me and helped to ramp the boat overtop and not directly into me (thanks again Sid!) I came away with nothing but a bang on my head. The only lasing effects is, well, my sense of smell is kind of wonky. It still works but in a weird way. I can't really explain it except that smells seem to get stuck in my head and will stick with me for days. This is lovely if it's a lovely smell - not so nice when it's an icky smell.
As I was biking to work the other day a delivery truck full of fresh bread happened to throw open the back door of the truck just as I was going by and this amazing scent of fresh bread hit me full in the face. How can you not appreciate that! I love the smell of clean sheets, a dusty old house on a hot summer day, fresh baked cookies and coffee, pine trees and water that remind me of camping or cottaging, cleaned and polished babies right after bathtime. I love the smell of snow, of snow melting in springtime, a dewy spring morning and a crisp fall day. I could go on and on. Nothing will take you back faster in time then your sense of smell. Get out there and breath in people, breath in!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Searching for Donkeys, Found Destiny

Let's all start this month with a deep breath......and's June. Let's just slow things down a bit, shall we? Especially you, Amy - easy girl on how many things to accomplish in one day. And I thought I was bad! Sheesh!

I wanted to share something God is revealing to me in His most wonderful way of late. It's no surprise to anyone Life is full of unexpected twists and turns - some good, some not so good. Let's take Samson, for example. Here is a big strapping, good looking lad just doing what big, strapping good-looking lads do hanging around the house. So his father, no doubt in an effort to get him moving, sends him off with a servant to find some missing donkeys. They are not having much luck and are considering giving up the search when the servant suggests they chat with the prophet Samuel who happens to be in the area. Well they do this and the next thing you know Samuel advises Samson not only are the donkeys home but he has been chosen to be anointed the first King of Israel. I'm pretty sure Samson did not see that one coming. God has some wonderful plans for all of us and they may show up when we least expect it! He is preparing open doors, changing the scenery, making connections all behind the scenes that we may not be aware of until one day the curtain opens up and there is a complete change in Destiny! Let's do our best to keep our hearts pliable and our ears open to His direction.

But here is another example - Jesus says to his disciples one day to get in the boat and head across the lake to the other side. Sounds like a good plan - a lovely sail across the lake with the King of the Universe. But again, things turn out differently - the King is sleeping and the weather turns very nasty. It gets to the point where the disciples are thinking this is the end and they are all going to a watery grave.

One day you may be going about your business and then there is a phone call and someone says "there's been an accident" or "it's cancer." And the storm around you begins to overwhelm and the King of the Universe seems to be sleeping. Here is where our faith is tested to the utmost. Is God still working behind the scenes, making connections, changing the scenery? Just like the first example, you may not see what God is doing but rest assured, He is not sleeping. He will still carry you through. And like the Samson, your life will never be the same. What I find ironic about the disciples in the boat is after Jesus wakes up and calms the whole situation, after a night of chaos and near-death experience they land on the other side only to be greeted by an insane maniac who tears his clothes and breaks off chains. You just never know, do you...

On a completely different vein for all those waiting with baited breath on how the big 50th Anniversary Party went, we pulled it off. It was quite chilly outside and it rained a bit but my parents were more than pleased. Special thanks to my sister Heather, for all her help, for Shaun and Holly and Fran's advice, for Sheri helping with fancy sandwiches and for Sheldon supporting all the way and pitching in to make it a success. Here are a couple pictures!