Thursday, May 31, 2012

ABC Wednesday: T is for...

"Of all disciples theology is the fairest, the one that moves the head and heart most fully, the one that comes closest to human reality, the one that gives the clearest perspective on the truth which every disciple seeks. It is a landscape like those of Umbria and Tuscany with views which are distant and yet clear, a work of art which is as well planned and as bizarre as the cathedrals of Cologne or Milan…But of all disciplines theology is also the most difficult and the most dangerous, the one in which a man is most likely to end in despair, or–and this is almost worse–in arrogance. Theology can float off into thin air or turn to stone, and worst of all it can become a caricature of itself.”
(Karl Barth: His Life from Letters and Autobiographical Texts by Eberhard Busch)

I love theology!! I got an A- in my Theological Foundations course this past year!! I'm such a geek!! Here are some of the theology books I have in my possession...some were texts for courses, others just for "light" reading! haha

This last one is one of the texts for an upcoming summer course called Liberation and Post-colonial Theology. Looking forward to it, have heard good things about the sessional professor!

Take a tour of more T entries on the ABCW website!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

ABC Wednesday: S is for...


A soulmate marriage does not at all mean that you have found someone you match up with on all the cards – on all the issues, on everything. That would be the most deadly dull thing to even imagine. Instead, it means…they don’t ever want to blow out that little light inside you. And you feel the same way about them. – Diane Sollee

I am deeply blessed to have found a soulmate in my wonderful husband, Dave. We will be celebrating our 25th anniversary this summer and I cannot even imagine life without his warm and steady presence. He grounds me when I am flying off in all directions...and makes me laugh at other times!

Anyone can be passionate, but it takes real lovers to be silly. – Rose Franken

(pssst...he has a serious dislike of having his photo taken, and even stronger dislike of having his photo displayed in public...hence the pic above showing just the back of his head! lol)
Click on over to the ABC Wednesday site to see what has inSpired other bloggers this week!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Rise in glory, precious Liam

If you read my entry on Wednesday (or know me in real life or on Facebook), you know this week has been an emotional roller coaster. My dear friend Valerie's daughter gave birth very prematurely (roughly 24 wks) on Monday morning. Here is the photo I took on Tuesday...

Although he was strong and put up a good fight, Liam's tiny body was unable to sustain life on this earth and at 4:26 Thursday afternoon, he rose in glory into the arms of God.

Thursday was a day of agony. Mark named it the worst day of their the nightmare. When the news came Thursday morning that Liam was unlikely to make it through the day, grandparents and siblings rushed to be present, as did I and another close family friend. It was such a long day...but there was some comfort at least in our togetherness, in our loving arms in which to hold each other, in the many shoulders on which to cry. I held back my own tears until I got home, wanting to be a support to my friends, but my heart was breaking to witness their intense pain. Throughout the day, the doctors brought updates on Liam's condition, on his deterioration, and gently paved the way for the acceptance that Liam could not survive. Some could not help but get hopes up in the midst of darkness as Liam would briefly rally...others soon knew that it was time to pray for peace at the last. His primary doctor said when the time came, she would be the one to make the decision to take him off life support, for which we are deeply grateful. What a dreadful burden such a choice would have been for his young parents. The staff of the IWK Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) are incredible...they cared for Liam and his family with such deep compassion and loving kindness. God bless them.

In one of those mysterious coincidences, a professional sketch artist was in town giving a couple of talks. She specializes in infant sketches and happened to be in the NICU on Thursday. Upon hearing this little one was nearing the end, she offered to do some sketches of Liam and his parents. She is amazing, what wonderful treasures with which to remember Liam...

Liam's dad and grandpa got matching tattoos on Wednesday to honour this fragile new life in our midst. The design is an impression of Liam's actual footprint, his name, and words from a beautiful hymn based on Isaiah 40:31 and Psalm 91: He will raise you up on eagle's wings.

And now comes the long journey of grieving and healing. My heart aches for Liam's parents, for my friends who bear their own pain and that of their child's, and for all the family and friends so keenly feeling this loss. At first I was surprised at the strength of my own feelings of grief, but then considering how close I am to the family, it is not so surprising...their loss is my loss. I was blessed to be able to sink into the comforting arms of my own mother this afternoon...feeling lost and alone all day yesterday, I got up this morning and knew I needed to go see my mom today. I thank God for her presence and her love and for her understanding that even though Liam was not my flesh and blood, he was the grandson of a woman I love as a sister. And so I too grieve his death.

I am deeply blessed also to be able to draw great and sustaining strength from my faith, and from the words of my church's creed...

In life, in death, in life beyond death,
God is with us.
We are not alone.

Thanks be to God.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

ABC Wednesday: R is for...

Rollercoaster...the emotional kind. The past couple days have been filled with intense emotional highs and lows. My best friend has been joyfully anticipating becoming a grandma in a couple months. (And since she is my soul sister, I've been feeling her anticipation I'm about to be a soul grammy or honorary great auntie or some such thing! lol) Her oldest daughter was married last fall, and she and her husband were expecting their first baby in late August. Exciting times!!! Whoohoooo!!!!!!!

Well...this little boy had a mind of his own and decided to arrive waaaay early. Monday morning, just after 4am, baby Liam came into the world weighing only 1lb-9oz, measuring 12.5 inches in length. He is exquisite from the top of his little round head to the tip of his tiny perfect feet. However, being so incredibly premature - only 24-25 wks gestation - his condition is fragile. So our hearts careen up and down between joy and fear...bubbles of joy at this new life in our midst...fear his life will be a short one.

He has been in and out of critical condition. But he is strong and has pulled through each time. The team at the local children's hospital (the IWK in Halifax) are amazing. I was blessed to be able to visit Liam in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for a few minutes I watched his chest rise and fall with the ventilator, I was powerfully and palpably aware of the breath of the Spirit that enlivens us. The Spirit that flows through the people around us...those who develop life saving equipment, those who devote their lives to caring for others.

My heart is filled with ceaseless prayer and boundless love for Liam and his family, who have become my family over the past few years. I have wept at the outpouring of love and prayer and deepest compassion poured out by all who surround this family. They truly are held in the arms of God. May our journey with Liam be a long one.

Check out the other posts over on the ABC Wednesday site

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Saturday Photohunt: Scoop

You know those folding camp chairs? We have some fun Canada flag patterned ones at the camper. (That's my tiny Boler on the left, Val's big "glamper" on the right!)

On a really windy day, these lightweight chairs will blow over and land on the nearest obstacle...such as the fire pit. If a cell phone happens to be in the cup holder when this is apt to jump out of the holder and into the fire...

If you are quick, you can grab a couple poking sticks and SCOOP it out...alas, it only takes a few seconds for it to melt past the possibility of salvation...

And that is why my friend Valerie now has a new cell phone! lol

Get the scoop on more fun posts over on the Saturday Photohunt site!

ABC Wednesday: Q is for...

I'm seriously late for last week's ABCW letter - Q, but will post anyway to keep on track for next time!

Q is for Quill. My daughter's pet hedgehog is super cute, but not all that cuddly! But he is growing comfortable with her and so will settle into her lap, curled up into a ball. She does have to wear gloves to give him a bath though.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Saturday Photohunt: Zap!

This photo came instantly to mind when I saw this week's photohunt theme - zap.

I took this in Sarteano (in Siena province of Tuscany, Italy). Sarteano is a wonderful hill town near Cetona, where mom and I spent two weeks last summer. We were heading up the hill to explore the castle at the top, when I looked up and saw this incredible display of light and shadow. The clouds look like a zap of lightening across the sky.

Zip on over to Saturday Photohunt and see what else might zap your senses!

ABC Wednesday: P is for...

Pace (Peace)

I saw this flag hanging from a window sill in Venice.

Parco della Pace

Park of Peace just outside the grounds of the castle in Sarteano (a hill town in southern Tuscany, Italy)

Pax (Latin for Peace)

This is the lawn in front of the Basilica of St. Francis, in Assisi.

Francis is the Patron saint of Peace. In his early 20s, he had a vision that led to his renouncing his wealth and living a life of Poverty, as well as Preaching Peace and Penance. He is also the first recorded Person to bear the wounds of Christ's Passion (i.e. he received the stigmata, or marks corresponding to the crucifixion wounds of Jesus - I don't recommend that Particular activity...sounds Painful!) Francis was Pronounced a Saint just a couple years after his death. Supposedly, he died singing Psalm 141.

A very well known Peace Prayer is erroneously attributed to St. Francis, although in actuality the Prayer can only be traced back as far as 1912. In 1967, it was adapted and set to music by Sebastian Temple, into the beautiful hymn Make Me a Channel of Your Peace.

Here is a video I found on youtube of the hymn. There are many other versions, including ones by Sarah McLachlan and Susan Boyle, but this particular video was filmed in Assisi and so, Italophile that I am, I like this one best!


Pop over to the ABC Wednesday website and
Peruse the Prose, Poetry and Photos Posted by other Participants!

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