Tag Archives: God

I Love My Body!

I woke Sunday morning at 5:55. My alarm was set for six. My first thought, I love my body. God has gifted me with an inner alarm. I usually don’t trust it so I set my clock alarm, but I don’t have to. I automatically wake up just before the alarm rings. Tom appreciates my gift, too, especially on days when he doesn’t have to be up early.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t remember ever before thinking, I love my body. Usually, I look at my body and groan. Twenty pounds lighter would make my knees much happier and my clothes look better. I’ve got love handles, and a tummy that is rounder than it should be. My ankles are slightly swollen. My skin is dry. I’ve got lots of wrinkles. Those miserable brown age spots keep popping up here and there. Yes, normally I’m not at all happy with my body. And I don’t think I’m alone in this world.

Our society has taught us to be dissatisfied with our bodies. Watch your weight. Don’t eat too much. Exercise, Exercise, Exercise. Try this diet. No, try that one. If you want to be beautiful, you have to be thin. And so, the messages come at us, fast and furious.

My daughter is a child psychologist. She speaks a different message. “Learn to love your body as it is,” she says. So today, I suggest, appreciate the wonder of your body. Across from me is a vase filled with majestic, brightly coloured gladioli. On the windowsill, are delicate sweet peas. I can see their beauty and smell their sweet fragrance. At night as I go to sleep, I hear Tom whisper, “I love you.” I wake up, and I can still walk. My arms can reach out to hug my fabulous granddaughter.  And those are only a few of the wonders of my body. There is a children’s song titled “Oh, What a Miracle Am I.” It’s time we all tried chanting that line.

Yes, I can love my body even though it’s aging. I have decided to repeat those beautiful words, I love my body, every day as I get up. And give God thanks. What better way to start my day.

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well” (Psalm 139:14).

1+1+God=Creativity

 

I felt called to paraphrase Romans 12:1-8 this morning. This passage is familiar to many of us. Maybe my paraphrase can help someone stop and think about the passage more deeply.

1+1+God=Creativity

  1. Sit down with God, just as you are, your thoughts, intentions, actions. Remember God loves YOU.
  2. Trust in God and in God’s call to you. Live in the world as God’s child. Let God mould your being. God will transform you to be best you can be.
  3. Be happy being you, just as God created you. Enjoy the gifts that God gives to you.
  4. Together we bring to this world, the body of Christ.
  5. Each one of us is essential to the whole, and each one of us is unique.
  6. Use who you are to serve others. What you bring and give is special.
  7. Find your meaning in who you are as God’s creation. Give thanks.
  8. God calls us to co-operate because together we are more, do more, love more. Together we find joy. Together we can transform the world.

Top Ten Reasons for Getting Married – Part 2

 

Top Ten Reasons for Getting Married – Part 2

My first marriage ended in divorce, in my mind, mostly because neither I nor my first husband clearly understood these last five reasons for getting married. Tom and I have just celebrated our 14th anniversary.  The glow, the honeymoon, the joy, the companionship, all are shining just as brightly as they did June 21, 2003. I believe we have this solid relationship because we both accept these last five reasons. God is with us, and, thank God, we are together.

#5. Support – At the Christian marriage ceremony, family and friends pledge their support, at least with prayer. The power of prayer to aid physical and mental healing has been scientifically proven. In this modern society, relationships need all the help we can find. A host of prayers from family and friends can be a wonderful resource, even if you yourself don’t believe in it.

#4. Wedding Vows – Traditional wedding vows speak of sticking together, loving each other in sickness and in health. For young people, that doesn’t seem important. As we age and our body begins to deteriorate, this particular vow takes on a much stronger significance. Hanging in there in health is simple, easy. In sickness, it requires a depth of love and commitment that is much harder to achieve without marriage.

#3. Wedding Vows  To love and to cherish. The words I love you can roll easily off our lips, just as we love ice caps, and rugby. To continue to “cherish,” year after year, requires help, God’s help. It’s easy to take your partner for granted. When I had my marriage counselling business, one of my first questions for troubled couples was to ask them to write down what attracted them to one another in the first place. Sometimes, that one thing had become what aggravates them the most. Often, this discovery brought laughter. Returning to the roots of our love can make a difference. One couple I married memorized their wedding vows. When tempers flared and wars started, it was the job of whoever remembered first, to begin reciting their marriage vows, and the job of the partner to join in. Always, that seemed to bring calm, peace, and a desire for understanding into the troubled situation.

Your public profession of love and commitment made before your family and friends, sealed by the signing of a legal document is a powerful act. A private statement, a vow in a common law relationship, or a drifting together only through circumstance command no explanation if blown away.

For these last two, I go to the Bible because, of course, I think in terms of Christian Marriage.

  1. The Bible offers the ideal of love that we strive for in marriage. In 1 Corinthians 13 – St. Paul’s chapter about love, we find clear instructions for a loving and lasting relationship. When both members of a couple make the commitment before God and human witnesses to do their best to follow the teaching in Paul’s letter, I believe that God is with them helping them to cherish one another.

 

1 Corinthians 13 (GNT) Love

13 I may be able to speak the languages of human beings and even of angels, but if I have no love, my speech is no more than a noisy gong or a clanging bell. I may have the gift of inspired preaching; I may have all knowledge and understand all secrets; I may have all the faith needed to move mountains—but if I have no love, I am nothing. I may give away everything I have, and even give up my body to be burned[a]—but if I have no love, this does me no good.

Love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud; love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs; love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth. Love never gives up; and its faith, hope, and patience never fail.

Love is eternal. There are inspired messages, but they are temporary; there are gifts of speaking in strange tongues, but they will cease; there is knowledge, but it will pass. For our gifts of knowledge and of inspired messages are only partial; 10 but when what is perfect comes, then what is partial will disappear.

11 When I was a child, my speech, feelings, and thinking were all those of a child; now that I am an adult, I have no more use for childish ways. 12 What we see now is like a dim image in a mirror; then we shall see face-to-face. What I know now is only partial; then it will be complete—as complete as God’s knowledge of me.

13 Meanwhile these three remain: faith, hope, and love; and the greatest of these is love.

 

And #1. My number one reason for getting married is that you grow up together, and you grow old together. You make a life time commitment legally, emotionally, and faithfully. When you are married you form a three stranded rope, you, your partner and God. Just as the Bible tells on in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12.

 Two are better off than one, because together they can work more effectively. 10 If one of them falls down, the other can help him up. But if someone is alone and falls, it’s just too bad, because there is no one to help him. 11 If it is cold, two can sleep together and stay warm, but how can you keep warm by yourself 12 Two people can resist an attack that would defeat one person alone. A rope made of three cords is hard to break.”

For me the last sentence in this Biblical passage is particularly significant. “A rope made of three cords is hard to break.” When it comes to a marriage relationship that third strand for me is “God with us.” When we acknowledge God as part of our relationship, which we do in Christian marriage, we bring our faith with us into marriage. We know that we can seek God’s help through prayer together. It’s the knowledge of God’s presence and power with us that can make the difference.

Each night, Tom and I say, “thank you God, for bringing us together.” We say that with honesty and joy. We believe that God played a part in our finding each other. And we are truly grateful.

 

 

 

“Will All Be Well?”

Yesterday Tom and I had a delightful day, celebrating our 14th wedding anniversary. We spent the day surrounded with family. We are truly blessed. Our blended family is an endless source of pleasure and love. We ended the day with granddaughter Ellie’s rugby game and dinner at the Red Lobster. As always, it was delicious, but Shelley, our waitress particularly went the second mile to make sure we were pleased with our anniversary dinner.

This morning we left home early. I needed surgery. The last two months, I have lived with a spot on my chest, growing and changing, while I waited for my turn with a surgeon. Of course, Google showed me pictures of what was actually growing on my body. The doctor did a biopsy. We waited for the report. She called me herself to re-assure me the report said, “not basal cell.” I believed her, but my spot kept growing and changing

My friends and family have prayed and worried with me. Their prayers and their concern have helped tremendously. From this ordeal, and that’s what it has been for Tom and me, I have learned a great deal. First of all, patience and fear require a great deal of energy. I have kept myself even busier than usual in to keep the anxiety at bay. Second, prayer helps. It’s wonderful knowing that others care. Their loving prayer released a strength I needed. Third, I already knew that Tom is wonderful. Over the last two months he has shown me that growing old with him will be the best possible experience. Fourth,my faith keeps me solid. I had no expectation that God was going to just wipe this growth away. I did know in the depths of my heart that God was with me and I would be okay. In the words of the ancient mystic, Julian of Norwich, “All will be well. All will be well. And all manner of things will be well.” No matter what happens.

Today, I celebrated all the way to Lindsay. It was coming off. I could hardly wait. Of course, there was a wait, of over an hour once we got there. I worried the surgeon might be called away to an emergency. But no, like most worries it didn’t happen. Now it’s done. Surgeon thought it was cancer. Has sent it away to be checked. He assured me he got it all and it would not reoccur. Well, I might get a similar type of growth at some point but it would not be related. So now I’m celebrating all the way home.

I am truly grateful. First, to our wonderful country and its medical system. Yes, I had to wait a bit, but I walked into the hospital this morning, had the surgery, walked out and paid nothing. I’m grateful. I willingly pay my taxes for everyone to have this wonderful medical care. Second I’m grateful to Dr. McNab and for his skills. He was kind, gentle and caring and he got it all. Thirdly and most important, I’m grateful to God for all the help over the last two months and for the gift of life. All IS WELL.  I am truly blessed. God’s Spirit is “the wind beneath my wings.”

Jesus said, “I will be with you always, even unto the ends of the earth.”

Does God Have a Sense of Humor?

Does God have a sense of humour? The Bible tells the story of the Israelites wandering in the wilderness. ( Exodus 16). They ran out of food. They asked God for a miracle. God sent manna. Manna was not what the Israelites had in mind to solve their hunger crisis. It didn’t look like food, although it did taste sort of sweet. You couldn’t use it for trade or for wealth. Why? It had a short expiration date. It went rancid on the second day and couldn’t be eaten.

Manna was a powerful illustration of God’s wonderful sense of humor. I can imagine God saying, “Here’s the miracle you asked for. Now learn the lesson in co-operation and sharing that comes with it.” God does answer prayers, but seldom in the way we expect.

Twelve years after my divorce, I asked God for a companion to grow old with me. In a book I was reading, one of the characters prayed, “God, I need a parade of men, so I can choose a mate wisely.” I laughed at the idea. At fifty plus, I knew there would never be a parade of men for me. Not long after I finished that book, a friend suggested, “Try one of the date matching sites on line.”

My first reaction, “Oh no, not safe. Bad idea.”

“Give it a try,” my friend suggested, “Just be careful.”

I went on line and, to my delight, I discovered God was offering me a parade of men. At the time, I called it “window shopping.” I applied all the cautions everyone suggested and sampled a few. The end result, of course, is my Tom, the love of my life. In June, we’ll have been married thirteen wonderful years. As usual, God answered my prayer, not as I expected and not without some effort from me. Yes, God answered my prayer with, I’m sure, a twinkle in God’s eye.

 

A Thought for Today

Be God’s comfort for someone today

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On this beautiful bright sunny day, open your heart to God. Let God’s love and caring fill your heart and spill over to someone you meet today. There will be a stranger, a friend, a neighbour, or family that needs your comfort today. You may offer a smile and a caring thought to the grocery cashier or a phone call to someone you know might need it. Listen carefully to God’s nudge. Your opportunity will come. That’s how God works most often. Be God’s comfort for someone today. 

Here Come the Mountains @travel @mountains @church

September 13 Day 15

Free Spirit United Churcch
Free Spirit United Churcch
Clouds Circle into the Rockies
Clouds Circle into the Rockies

We were up early, all packed and ready to go in time for the 10:30 service at Spirit West United Church. The service started with singing. One of the songs, “Grab Another Hand”, I hadn’t sung in years. It’s heaps of fun, and encourages people to mingle and laugh as they sing. A grand beginning for people like Tom and me. The people were friendly which made it fun. My brother-in-law Bob met us at the service, which was special for both Tom and me. Hotdogs and sweetcorn for lunch after the service gave me an opportunity to sell heaps of books and talk with lots of people. Last Friday, God obviously was a part of our choosing Spirit West as our place for Sunday worship.

Fall has arrived on the Jaspar Highway
Fall has arrived on the Jaspar Highway

We went back to Dina and Bob’s to change our clothes and say goodbye. The trip to Jasper this afternoon was amazing. We watched the season of fall gradually appear as more and more of the trees were golden yellow. Rolling hills replaced the flat vistas and big prairies sky. And then…the majestic Rocky Mountains appeared. Canada is awesome. The distances can be overwhelming but there are not enough words to capture the variety and grandeur of the land. Tonight I am singing, “This land is your land. This land is my land…” Wow. I am so grateful to be making this trip, to experience the wonder of God’s creation.

Here Come the Mountains
Here Come the Mountains
Emerald Green Glacial Lake
Emerald Green Glacial Lake
Getting Taller - Mount Edith Cavell
Getting Taller – Mount Edith Cavell

Tonight, we’re in the Athabasca Hotel in Jasper. There’s a picture in the lobby that says it’s been here since 1929. The rooms therefore are small but comfortable. There’s no swimming pool or hot tub but we’re not spending time inside. This evening we walked the town’s streets gazing at the play of light on the mountains as the sun set. Yes, God is with us as always.

Up Close
Up Close

God Is Good! #travel #gratitude

Sept 10  Day 12

Today we travelled from Saskatoon to Edmonton. Once again our hearts were captured by the endless carpet of mature golden wheat that spread out before us and broken occasionally by lush river valleys. Although we had risen at a reasonable hour, we were late leaving. I needed to prepare and email receipts for yesterdays sales. Consequently, we drove straight through to North Battleford.

Five years ago we had stopped in this northern prairie town to visit Candleberry’s Internet Café. This attractive  community gathering place makes delicious healthy food and supports artists and writers. Last time they bought  Spectacular Stella and Can I Hold Him? to sell in their store. Today when I walked in and introduced myself as Janet Stobie, author to Richard, the owner’s son, he smiled and said, we bought some of your books before. I was amazed. This time he bought three of Fireweed and three of Dipping Your Toes. If I need more I’ll email you he said. I looked at his book shelves. He had mostly local authors. Every book was standing face out for people to see. He treated my work and myself with great respect. When book stores and restaurants are struggling today Richard and his dad have a thriving business. One of the reasons besides providing good food, I’m sure, is that they are interested in people and care about their customers.

2015-04-07 19.03.35 (2)Richard, his dad and I. Tom took the picture.


In my morning prayers I had once again spoken with God about trying to like the selling part of my ministry. My experience at Candleberry’s was an answer to prayer. I enjoyed my conversation with Richard. I recommend Candleberry’s to anyone who is travelling through North Battleford. Your mind, body and heart will be well fed.

Time was flying by, so we made only one other stop. We couldn’t drive by Vegreville and not stop to see the giant Pysanka. Most of you won’t know what that is. Follow this link and learn all about the sculpture. http://www.vegreville.com/visiting/what-to-see-and-do/vegreville-pysanka-easter-egg

2015-04-07 22.27.48When we were too far from Vegreville to return, we heard a sharp ding. Tom looked down at the gas gauge. We were on the last bar and the buy gas sign was flashing. I checked the map for the distance to the next town. There were no towns til Edmonton, about 40 + kilometers away. We had never experimented to find out how far the car would go on empty. I said a silent prayer and then told Tom. “We have CAA.” We both laughed as he kept driving. I pictured the gas running out and putting along on the electric motor at 40 kilometers an hour. I could almost hear the cars and trucks streaming past at 110 and faster. God was good. We made it to a gas station on the edge of Edmonton with gas to spare.

We arrived in Winnipeg in time for a lovely late dinner with my sister Dina and her son Ben. The best part of this whole journey is the visits with family. In this global society we are blessed with the internet for emails and Skype, but you can’t beat real tangible human contact. Dina moved to Edmonton from Tucson Arizona last spring. She feels much closer and yet she’s still far, far, away. I will treasure the next three days with her and her family.

Today we have had lots to be thankful for, family, interested store owners, safe journey. God felt close all day, especially, the last half hour of our journey.