Monday, September 5, 2011

The End of Summer and the Beginning of...

As i stare into the backyard wondering why my Father in-law didnt use galvanized chains on the currently rusting swingset a few things come to mind.

1. Madison goes to kindergarten tomorrow and this is crazy, my hope is she does well around people and that school is easy for her.
2. I love where i live. this is mainly due to the people around me and the fact that i love my backyard. did i mention i love my backyard.
3. The magic school bus is a very educational teaching tv show
4. My youngest sister spent her first night living with us. she is downstairs sleeping as i write this. beyond the fact she will be stealing bandwith from my wireless network she is a welcome addition, ask me again in 3 months though:)
5. I want breakfast

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Waffle party

What a great success. When you attend something with the the title "Waffle Party" its a given it will be awesome, but from our perspective it was more than a success. The great things about parties that are not at night is that most people really have no where to go. they dont feel like going home to sleep, or worried about a babysitter being out to late, you show up and sort of plant roots and hang out. Our Morning had its first guest at 9:05 am and its last guest at 1:35 pm, when the door closed for the last time we commented that we should do it again and how nice it is to have people excited to be over. This party was a confirmation of my last post, it was a real example of how full our box of chocolates is.
Being behind the grill i got a chance to observe and what stuck out to me was how relaxed and at home everyone seemed to feel, from the minute Brad walked in and started describing his ticket to ride gameboard and his wife cooly walking by saying "Nerd" to Andrea showing up and just getting right in the kitchen to do her thing, it felt like a family. And thats as good a place as any to end this post.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Life is like a Box of chocolates

Ever since watching tom hanks get shot in the buttocks, i have thought the above Title was an interesting saying. Today i use that metaphor to describe friends and relationships. I can say within the past year the people we have met and become friends with have helped to change our outlook and the way we view other people. They are people that have also helped to change us and make us better and hold us accountable. I would not of wrote this even a year ago but like a box of chocolates a few pieces went missing. Some moved away, some were without partners for a period of time, these changes brought on a different relationship or more likely the chance to see if a friendship was there or if there was more to it.
Blessed is a word not used enough, especially when you talk of friends. Family, for most of us that are lucky, will always be supportive, but friends are different. There is no blood tie, we did not grow up in the same house together, experience joy, sorrow, victory, defeat for the first time together. We met these people at what could be the most hectic time of our lives and we lean on them for support and someone to share the daily struggles of life. The bond grows, we can thank our children for that as every time they drive us crazy or refuse to listen, it makes us wonder where are friends are and what they're dealing with and how much better it would be if you were together while this happened. They resemble a spouse in many ways. The challenge is to bring it past that common bond and bring it deeper. My wife is in a moms bible study and there is no better way to remember that your an individual, and your friends for more than the fact that you are in the same stage of life. This can even apply to hockey, while we are not in study of the Word, we are studying each other and getting to see the real person, there is no hiding anger, frustration, or the ability to deal with others in the heat of competition like hockey. We get to see how human we are and how much we need each other to hold us up.
Our box of chocolates is full, is yours ?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Solution is Relational

You can sometimes forget that being a member of a church is good thing, this is never more evident than when you attend a church meeting. Members are gathered, papers are being rustled and there are always a couple dudes standing in the back pacing. Sitting through a meeting that occupies 4 hours of your night can be testing but it can also be rewarding because its plainly obvious people are there to help the church grow and be better and are concerned about its well being. I try to never roll my eyes at comments or wonder why some people are so plainly retarded when it comes to numbers, i never disregard someones comments as useless but i do see people act like this towards others and it makes me wonder, has no one got the patience to let someone talk and voice there opinion even if it seems ridiculous to you. As time wears on your patience grows thin and simple things like moving one slide further in your power point would answer ten peoples questions but the guy using it keeps pointing the remote at the wall wondering why the slab of drywall is not responding can get frustrating, but the questions are not and many valid points were made. I was sitting beside a friend and when it came time to vote we voted differently (another mistake in my opinion because everyone can see who votes no or yes, intimidating to some) there was no wrong way to vote, even though he did, and i was interested as to why we voted differently, this in no way affected our friendship and we had a simple conversation about it. I read my sisters blog and felt what she wrote could be applied to our church body. take a read at her handiwork:
A friend came over tonight to offer some guidance to a housemate about her future plans, which ended up sparking a conversation about our current jobs and conflicts we are facing. As we delved into the struggles of 'serving' for a year, of recognizing broken systems and the need for Christian support and vision, my friend stated ever so simply and clearly that "in the end, whether it is large-scale problems or small, the solution is relational."

This morning was like a real-life metaphor (is that self-contradictory?). Our garbage day is Wednesday, always has been, always will be for the entirety of our lives in Buffalo. And yet we consistently scramble to put the big blue bin out to the curb in time for the garbagemen to do their job. This morning I woke up earlier than usual and peeked out the front window with the whimsical idea that I would be gently awoken by the scene of fresh snow and thus inspired to get ready for my workday. Instead I saw the blue bins shoved into the mounds of snow on everyones curb but ours. I grabbed a coat and shoved my pyjama pants into a pair of boots and in a mad dash I skidded out the door. To my relief and then panic, the garbage truck was at our neighbours, and without hesitation I yanked our big old bin (almost overflowing at this point) out of its icy cave and onto the walkway. I was halfway down to the curb when it toppled on its side; I tried to motivate myself by yelling 'C'MON!' to the world and with an unexpected surge of adrenaline I pulled it through the snowdrift it was now planted in, like some old horse that refused to move. Unfortunately this really only pushed the bin further into the drift. Crouched there in my pyjamas making weird puffy noises, my hero comes along. "Hey girly, whatcha doing?" Our local garbageman literally jumped over the bank of snow (overtaking what used to be the sidewalk) and took it from my hands, rescuing me from any further embarrassment and stressed muscles. Beneath his scruffy grey beard he smiled and told me not to worry, this was his job, and I hopped back inside with great relief.

Needless to say I didn't need my coffee that morning.

It strikes me how simple service can be. How beautiful that garbageman suddenly became. A simple struggle (maybe simple to some) of bringing the garbage to the curb was resolved by the inclusion of another person. The solution is relational... and isn't this where grace flourishes? We often think we can solve our problems or reach our dreams if we strengthen ourselves as individuals. But the most beautiful solutions are when we share our stories.