TGIF with Ingrid
June 29, 2018
Schools! Out! For Summer! If you are like me, you just got that song stuck in your head for at least three hours 😊
Today is the first full day off of school for elementary students in the valley (high schoolers got out earlier), so as I write this I am surrounded by the noise of relaxed and rested children, happy to have some space to breathe (that is, not having me nag at them to get ready on time for school). We are all in this place of taking space today: I am still in my pjs, coffee in hand, dog in my lap, listening to the beautiful rain outside.
What I am Trusting
Love. It has been the theme of the week. Tuesday, I did a funeral service where the Scripture was 1 Corinthians 13, those familiar lines, “Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude….” Thursday, I led the morning devotional at the Habitat for Humanity North Island build on Lake Trail (Habitat for Humanity is St. G’s partner charity for the year), and while the Scripture was different, the sentiment was the same. Love. In my sermon preparation for Sunday, the same theme arose. Love.
It isn’t always obvious, Love. I don’t mean that flirty, fun, powerful, consuming love of new partnership. I mean love with longevity. Love in the real, busy, messy, ups and downs of life. That love is a verb, an action word. That love shows patience (even when we are ready to pull our hair out), that love acts with kindness (despite having received the opposite), that love, as Paul writes to the church in Corinth in another letter, “stands shoulder to shoulder all the way, your surplus matching their deficit, their surplus matching your deficit.” (2 Cor 8:14, MSG).
We don’t act in this love because we are amazing people – this love comes straight from God. This is the Biblical love that we come to know through that Jew from Nazareth (Jesus!) – love that sticks with us, that challenges us where we need to be challenged, and doesn’t keep a record of our wrongs, but stays with us until we are so full up that it spills out onto others.
What I am Grateful For
I suppose I am grateful for love too! This love-in-action was clear as a bell this week at the church. There is the daily work of feeding nearly 100 in the Sonshine Lunch Club (soup kitchen) – only love can compel all these folks to get up early, get the soup on, get the sandwiches made, the coleslaw dressed, etc. Love was at work as we gathered together the leftovers from the garage sale to benefit Habitat to take to Too Good To Be Threw Thrift Shop. Love fueled the ladies of the UCW in their baking and hosting the funeral of a long time friend and pew-neighbour. Love was harnessed as the safety gear was strapped on at the building site for Habitat. Love was in action this morning at 6:30 when I was woken up (on the first day of Summer Break!).
What Inspires Me
Maybe this is getting redundant, but this week, you’ve got it, I am inspired by love. Inspired by the tireless love at work. Love isn’t always obvious, until you start to look for it. Then you see it in every generous action, in every kindness, in the daily slog of showing up for others. Love, it turns out, surrounds us and fills our lives. I am grateful for the eyes to see it this week, and I hope you can too.
How I am Practicing My Faith
In the change of routine in our house that comes with the end of the school year I am thinking about how the routines of our faith practices will change as well. Our family prayer alarm chimes at 8am and we will continue to gather around the table for our daily reflection, Bible reading, and prayers to get our day started on the right foot. I think it is good to change things up every now and again with faith practices – like anything, they can grow stale and we can lose sight of what they are there for when we just go through the motions.
I will be trying out some new practices through the summer, and I would encourage you to do the same: try something new, let go of a routine that has become…too routine. Find a new way, a new prayer app, read a new reflection book in the morning, begin a practice of daily examen (reviewing your day with God before bed so God can identify with you the treasures and the places you may need some work on).
I’ll keep you posted what I try out!