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Forgive us our trespasses. 

My cousin invited us to go to her church this morning. They have been studying the Lord’s Prayer and today she was doing the sermon based on forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. 

Heavy stuff. 

That forgiveness thing is hard work. I think by a certain age we have all been hurt or betrayed by someone we love, and learning how to come to terms with that can be excruciating. As she said, when you are hurt by someone you love and trust you feel like one of the laws of life have been broken.  Our inner circle of trusted people aren’t supposed to betray us, and when they do it is a life altering experience. 

I struggle with the knowledge that I need to forgive. That the anger I hold towards the betrayer is really only damaging me. But forgiveness is such a complex thing. I feel like we have been taught (or maybe just I was taught) that what we need to do is just forgive and move on. But sometimes the hurt has cut so deep that it’s not that simple. Then I feel like a failure when I have tried to forgive but I just can’t do it.

But forgiveness is a process. And when it’s a deep hurt sometimes that process takes time. Like a lot of time. I need to honour that process. 

Then there is the whole turn the other cheek idea that also seems to be a part of this forgiveness path. My cousin talked (and even had it acted out) about what turning the other cheek really means. How it’s not about continuing to be a victim to the person who is hurting   you, but rather a non violent means of regaining your power and your dignity. 

Which I needed to hear, because  when I get hurt my gut instinct is to make that person feel hurt back – or at the very least let other people know what an ass they have been. But, there is a dignity that is gained by taking the high road and not dropping to their level. Honestly, if it’s a personality trait in the other person, eventually other people see it as well and there is no point in you having also become someone inflicting pain. Easier said than done, but more rewarding in the end. There’s also that small fact that we are all imperfect people trying to do our best – this does not mean that I need to let that forgiven betrayer back into my inner circle of trusted people. But it’s important to remember that if I’m a loved child of God, then so are they. 

I believe that things come to you when you need them. I really needed to her her sermon today. I need to actively continue my process of forgiveness. For my own soul and health, to make me a better person. Hearing these wise and well thought out words from someone I love and respect made them have all the more impact. 

I need to keep working and allowing that process. Listening to her sermon was my spiritual happiness moment today. 

My other joyful happiness moment was this afternoon. The kids and I went to the creek for a swim. It’s still warm water in our mountain creek – huge bonus- and the swimming holes are so deep the kids brought snorkels and flippers. I watched them swim up and down for hours. 

 

When they were done we sat on the shore staring at the water in silence. Jacob sighed and said I miss grandpa. Being at the creek was something he loved so much, and he was always so good about playing with the kids. But then instead of just sitting and crying (ok I admit I sat and cried) we shared memories of fun things we had done with him, memories of things he’d told us, and then moved into the present and future and talked about when we would swim next and which hill looked good for tobogganing this winter. Which is what Dad would want I think – for us to keep loving and living and looking ahead while remembering the past. I miss him so much, especially at times like that. But he gave us a lot of good things to hold onto and move forward with. 

We are very blessed. 
  

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Just another day in paradise. 

We have been away from home long enough that I don’t believe I will ever take for granted how wonderful it is to be back here. Every once in a while though something happens that serves as a good reminder as to the blessings we have. 

This afternoon I headed to the Petro Canada to get batteries for our raft pump so we could go to the creek. Because it’s Friday and a long weekend, the line up to the gas station was all the way back out to the highway. So many people heading to the mountains for the weekend. Fortunate and blessed people in their own way. But all I needed to do was grab some batteries, go home, and head down the hill and we were instantly on vacation. 

  
I love this spot. We have swam and skated this creek with Dad all our lives. I’ve spent hundreds of hours riding Pirate through the fields in younger days. It’s a very healing place. A difficult place sometimes this year, but even so a healihg place. A place I’ve needed to be. 

The kids started out on their rafts and were looking around for someone to pull them upstream and flip them. Dad’s thing to do with the kids. In the amazing way children  have of being in the present moment, they figured out a way to take turns flipping each other off. Not the same as it was – a new normal. Since that is what life is about right now it was a good lesson. Learning to love and live in the new normal. 

Dad loved this place so much I know he is looking down on us and happy that we are moving on, finding happiness, living life. Missing him terribly, but living in this new normal. 

It was Dottie’s first time seeing me on the raft. At first it caused her concern, then she decided she had better join me to keep me safe. 

   My loving dog actually climbed right up, stood on me and then shook her stinky, wet dot hair all over soaking me in the process. I love her. 
A happiness moment that lasted all afternoon. Lazy days at the creek. Deep gratitude for this day. We live in abundance. 

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Jammin’ and the creek. 

I’m noticing that some of my happiness moments are also moments of sadness these days. The happiness outshines the sadness, but there is this bittersweet feeling that comes along with it. 

For example, today I had two happiness moments. I had bought flats of fruit yesterday. Blackberries (the best I’ve had in years), blueberries, strawberries, and cherries. So, today I had to deal with them. Dad always made the best freezer jam, my favorite being strawberry. He showed me how to make it, and I’ve made a few batches over the years. I’d kind of given up recently as it seemed every time I made a nice batch we would move and I’d have to give it all away. Last year I made what would end up being my last batch of jam with Dad while we were home for the summer. Today’s jam making was a happiness moment because I love jam and I love the memories of making jam with Dad. It was sad because it made me miss him oh so much. 

Since I was missing him, I kept on going down my emotional berry journey and made a blackberry pie. When my sister and I  were kids and we would go to Vancouver Island, Dad would go blackberry crazy and we would be out in ditches with buckets picking away. We then had to drive all the way back to Calgary with flats of blackberries in the back of the car (a 12 hour drive). One of the smells of my childhood is blackberries. Blackberries and horses…

  
It was over 30C here today. My car said 37C while I was driving around town. Hot hot hot. After we were done errands, I took the kids down to the creek. One of the best places on earth. 

  
Another happiness moment. One of the best summer moments is at the creek. We are so blessed that we can head down there when we want to cool down or just relax and enjoy the beauty. I have so many memories of being down at this spot. I used to ride my horse down there when I was a kid. Dad would take us swimming there, in the winter we’d skate down the creek. One of Dad’s favorite walking places is the ridge above, and we used to go look at wild flowers along the buffalo jumps. The last thing we did last summer before flying back to Virginia was go to the creek with Dad. I’m so grateful we had those creek moments last year. Again, bittersweet because it kicked me in the gut and made me miss him so. 

The kids were happily running towards the water while I stood there and bawled behind my sunglasses. 

But, the happiness outweighs the sadness. I’m thankful for all the fun memories and thankful we are still able to enjoy happiness. Dad embraced life so completely , I knew he spoke be happy to know that we were enjoying happiness moments that reminded me of him. 

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