Hello my good people! So!  It’s the 1st of the month and I almost missed blogging! The horror! In actuality I am only doing so now because Computenstein is freezing up temporarily to the extent that blogging is all I can do. I suppose it was meant to be.
I actually do have some appropriate thoughts for the beginning of a new month, week, season and adventure that have been swirling around over the last few days.
I’m back to school on Tuesday. Yes, me! Shall I make myself a special breakfast and take a first day of school photo in a new outfit? Hmmm…don’t tempt me.
But truly, I’m excited. I will be embarking upon my Masters in Mental Health Counseling. I have wanted to do this for so long but it was never the “right time”.  And it still isn’t. But that’s not the way to get things done. Waiting for the right time. It rarely presents itself to us, or at least when it does, it’s not the way we pictured it would be, so we don’t recognize it.

I love this picture of Benj on our vacay this summer, because it reminds me of how completely present being in the ocean forces us to be.  I think that’s the part that makes me crave it the most. When the waves come, we can choose to ride them and have an exhilarating experience, or we can be passive and let them crash over us. Sometimes our attempts to ride them are less successful than others, (that’s a lot more likely to happen when we aren’t prepared and/or swimming hard). But sometimes we are swimming hard and doing everything right and still we emerge with a scratched up face and a swimsuit full of sand.  And that just seems unfair. And maybe it is. Still, there can be no question at these times that we are doing more than just existing… we are alive. Unfortunately it’s during the times when I am finding myself swirling and scraping along the ocean bed that I find that I learn and grow the most. And emerge with not just a swimsuit full of sand but that little bit more refined and wise. More compassionate, less judgmental. I guess some of us need more dunkings than others.
Right now the wave is cresting for a new adventure, and I’ve decided to ride it. I was offered a nice grant, if I started by September 3rd, and far be it for me to turn away free money, so start on September 3rd I will.
I think it’s cool the way God prepares us for stuff in seemingly insignificant but completely meaningful ways. The getting up early thing for instance. That’s the only way I’m going to be able to make this work. To add one more major helping on my full plate. And thankfully, I have mostly adapted to that already, so that’s one less thing to adjust to.  I’m sure it will be a rough journey at times but I’m excited to finally be living my “one day I will..” because if not now, then when?
One last tangent. I’ve been challenging the class I teach at church to look for the hand of the Lord in their lives every day, to record it when they see it and to watch as it changes their attitudes, and their lives. I know it works. Even on our worst days, so many more things go right, and unnoticed. Infinitely more things. Like the shower being hot, the towels being clean, the food being abundant, the fact that we aren’t cowering as bombs and gunfire rain down on our neighborhood. Things we just take for granted before we even leave the house. But we don’t tend to expend much energy on noticing those things. Things do go wrong. Sometimes spectacularly wrong. And sometimes those things affect many facets of our lives. But more things go right and the degree to which we notice the right or the wrong has so much bearing on our happiness. I usually put this exercise off ‘til my annual month of gratitude exercise in November but I’m going to make it happen in September. For the most part I think it will be confined to my private journal and it will be more focused on how I saw the Lord’s hand working and guiding my life than just a broad sense of gratitude.
I’ve been thinking a lot about my friend Amanda de Lange lately. She hung around our house a lot for a few years when I was growing up. She was so much fun. We used to lie in the sun next to the pool tanning and talking about boys. In retrospect, I talked about boys, she listened. Her nails on her lovely hands were always impeccable, long and beautifully painted. She had a loud voice and a big booming laugh. She had a sometimes naughty sense of humour.  She wasn’t someone you would picture as a saint. She was just… Amanda. Our super fun friend a family fixture, who we loved to bits. Here is a quick article about  how she took her ordinary life, and made it into a gift to so many people.
She didn’t have money, she wasn’t born into influence or connection, she didn’t have a fancy education or any remarkable talents in the traditional sense. But she had great love and she was willing to work.  She decided to let the Lord use her life, asked Him to show her how, and then she went to work. Together, they made her life a legend.  She ended up saving so many lives and blessing so many more before her life ended far too early.  When she was preparing to leave this world she was peaceful and happy. She had fulfilled her mission. A sense of purpose fulfilled is all any of us can ask for. Check out (and maybe contribute) her life’s work  here and be inspired by her great legacy.
I love a thought I heard at church today:
“It may not be what you want it to be, or the way you imagined it to be, but this is where you are now, this is your life. Find the beauty, find things to be joyful about, find the good…the Lord will build on it.”
Happy September everyone! Find the beauty and ride the wave.

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