Welcome to my Blog!

Welcome to my blog! Of course if we were visiting in person, I'd have the teapot out and we could sit and chat.
I'm honored you stopped by to listen to my thoughts and ponderings - and if you have a minute sometime, let me know you dropped by!

You can also find me on Facebook at Grace Notes, Thoughts and Prayers.

I'd love to hear from you.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Smoke Screen

written on a very smoky day in the Okanagan.  

I can't see the mountains.

Oh I know
   they are there.

Smoke
  like a blanket
Wraps the air in grey
Fills lungs that long
  for cleaner air.

I wonder
...the earth as we know it
with immense and great beauty
  yet marred by imperfection
This is our reality.

Do we live with a smokescreen
  A veil
That separates us from the other side.

Have those we've said good-bye to

Emerged into a clean
  pure
    perfect world
That we cannot even imagine.

And one day
  - i try to picture this -
     It will be very clear.

And we shall emerge
     with JOY.

Friday, August 21, 2015

When Doors Close

I wouldn't do what I do today
If it were not for closed doors.

sometimes we look ahead
trying to figure out the mystery of tomorrow

But as I thought about it today, I realized with certainty
And clarity
That I wouldn't be here
now
Without doors closing
firmly
shut.

In 1993,
there was a job I wanted dearly
I didn't make the cut
But because of the connections
I made in applying for that job,
I was able to be part of starting a Women's Center
In Boston Bar.

That closed door gradually opened to
new possibilities and challenges
and learning
and wonderful gratification
and was part of the richness
I experienced living in that community.

It was also in Boston Bar, that
my dear husband died.

Almost 20 years ago now
one of those pivotal moments in life
where you do a 180
and life as you know it has ceased to exist.

As hard as that was
in the school of grief were enormous lessons for me.
And out of my grief
and the closing of that chapter
New Hope began.

New Hope now in it's 18th year
still providing support for
widows and widowers.

I was thinking today of my work as a chaplain...
when the door closed to the work I was doing
and I grieved that, how I grieved it.

I wouldn't have gone to school,
I wouldn't have started to work at the hospital...

And all the closed doors of my life
Have allowed me to learn and to grow
and to develop
  and to seek God in new ways
And I feel so very very thankful.

we all face doors that close behind us
and sometimes the future seems uncertain

and the waiting in between can sometimes be
  fraught with anxiety and questions and uncertainty.

I think it is in those times
  That the real learning becomes the gift,
a gift for the future
   and often gifts we can share with others.

And when we "get there"
  We will find that God was there...
    All along!!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

We won the lottery!

Now that I have our children's attention!.... (smile)

  And I guess it would help if we actually bought tickets.  But that rarely happens.

No, my hubby and I were sitting on the deck recently, enjoying our beautiful view, and he announced, "We won the lottery!".

And it is true.  As we gazed out at the hills across our valley, dotted with farms and orchards and beauty, with rolling colourful hills, and the lakes we know lie just beyond...  it is so easy to take this beauty for granted!!

How did we, of all people, get to be born in Canada, land of plenty?  To land up here, in the beautiful Okanagan, where we drink in beauty every day; it is all around us!

We live every day, without hardly a thought about what we will eat or where we sleep.  In fact our food choices are so varied, and the abundance so great, it is hard to choose some days...

We recognize that we are the privileged ones in the world, and most of the rest of the world cannot imagine such a lifestyle...

I have often thought how privileged I was to be born to parents who loved me, to be raised in a community who cared about me, to live in relative freedom, to be able to make choices and have religious freedom.

We, who are entering an election in Canada can focus on the angst.  And I know life is not perfect.  There are weeds in my garden.

But to have the privilege to vote, to choose, to speak freely!

And yet, if you really stop to really think about it, if we start to focus on all we have, on how incredibly blessed we are, it is good to give thanks.  It is an amazing country in which we live.

I run into grumblers at the hospital... and I get it, when you are sick, life can be incredibly challenging and frightening.  Yet to know we can seek medical attention without fear of going broke, and all of us, regardless of our pocket books have access to some of the best health care in the world.

This week I read of the amazing work of Doctors without Borders, and a story they highlighted was a patient, desperately sick, but could not afford both medication and transportation to and from the hospital.  I don't remember all the details, but we simply cannot imagine such lack...

And yet... while we are rich in possessions and rights and freedoms, we are often poor in contentment.  I wonder about this...And I think with riches also comes responsibility.

I'm not very good at this.  But I think about it more and more.  About how our possessions rule us, and take our time and energy.  And how do I shift that balance?

And I stare at the lovely china cabinet my mother had, so I can store her dishes which I love... and I am conflicted.  We like our things, our houses are full of them.  We like to be comfortable.

Perhaps it starts with awareness.  And cleaning out a room, one room at a time.  Sharing what I have.  Being grateful for all that I have.  And I don't need to win the lottery to know that we are rich, and privileged.



Wednesday, August 12, 2015

August

There is a weariness to August,
sweat a constant companion
the freshness of spring faded like
   the summer flowers.

Like the closing of a chapter,
And the summer we think we love
has become old.

Perhaps it is God's way
of preparing us for autumn

Restless and fickle
We tire of one season and long for another.

And laugh at pictures of snow
Like some long-forgotten memory.

Life is like that
As children we long for maturity

And when we get there
we long for the next stage...
  marriage, a career, achievements
    Retirement

Time passes unconcerned
 of my present longings
  or contentment.

And perhaps contentment
starts within
That quiet space
In the long span of time

That says
For today
I am thankful.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Ode to Pansies

I take them for granted
Little multi-coloured faces
Of brightest purple
And threads of yellow

They stand
Reaching out to the sky
Tethered by roots
Firmly tangled in soil
Held together

By the container

How many today
How many tomorrow?
Does one fade
And another slip into
It's place?

Today they fell
Thirsty
And I found them
In

Their muddled
Mess
Of colour
Fading fast.

Rescued by water
They forgave me
And saluted me
Once more.




Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Refreshment

Refreshment


Refresh
Reboot
Recharge

What does it take?





A cold glass of water.
A nap.

A kind word.
A smile.

I am grateful for what
refreshes

A hug
Words of encouragement.

A nourishing meal.

We all need
   to be renewed.

A prayer
   A poem
      
When I am empty
When I am thirsty
When I am weary

Refreshment is a gift
Restoration.

A gift received,
A gift gladly given.

- Grace 2015

Saturday, August 1, 2015

What are You Thinking?

 It is a favourite question of mine.

Usually asked of by me to my patient hubby.

Inflation set in this week... "a penny for your thoughts" became "a toonie for your thoughts."  Expensive!

But if you are kind enough to read my posts, you will know my thoughts are free.  Recently I passed the 300 blog mark and wondered how I ever had so much to say...

We all have things we love to do.  And the older I get, the more I realize that writing has always been a passion of mine.  I wrote poems in school and loved my English classes and dreamed of becoming a writer.

I had big dreams of writing books, and sent away manuscripts to magazines, (mostly rejected), and even was blessed to have a few small things printed, which was exciting for me.

But the writing has become more reflective as I have grown into this second half of life, when it isn't so important to be successful or to be known, as it is to develop ones own craft, and to continue to learn and grow and process.

Henry Nouwen is one of my favourite authors and he says: "One of the most satisfying aspects of writing is that it can open in us deep wells of hidden treasures that are beautiful for us as well as for others to see."

I find that encouraging.  Because sometimes writing is a risk... a laying open of the heart for others to see, and there is a vulnerability to it.

And I know that much of the learning I have experienced in life is through reading... reading others thoughts, their wisdom, and how they have overcome struggles.  I cannot imagine a world without something to read!

So thank you for reading this.  And I'd love to hear your thoughts.


What are You Thinking?

What are You Thinking?
my curious mind
wonders

Not to intrude
because
some thoughts
are too private
for words.

What are You Thinking?
just interested!
Because
what you
think,
who you are
matters.

I love the fact
that God knows
what I am thinking.

And loves me anyway!

Grace Wulff - August 2015