Soul Skirmish

Last night when I got home with Meaghan after taking her to a birthday party, my laptop was sitting on the dining room table. With the BOSD (Window's blue screen of death) on the screen. I restarted it, and it ran through some kind of scan and seemed to recognizing and fixing some stuff. But it won't start. It tries to launch Windows, then goes to a nice black screen. Nothing. Not even in safe mode.

Normally, this would drive me right out of my mind. As I have mentioned before, I really really don't like it when my technology doesn't work. My little laptop is my gateway to the world, my connection. I do all kinds of church work, I write, I stay connected with friends, I read, I play music. We are definitely a 2 computer couple. We both use our computers way too much to share.

Since I have been trying not to sweat the petty things, I fiddled with it for awhile and then left it. I played Tetris with my husband (he recently treated our family to a couple of the old style games like Space Invaders and Tetris that plug right into our TV).

I went to bed, resisting the urge to try and fix my computer. I didn't sleep well, dreaming about possible ways to fix it. After awhile I woke up, my mind racing.

At that point, I had a conversation with God. I have been feeling lately that I need to draw better boundaries around my computer use. I need to be better about turning it off, or just leaving it alone. I have known this is my soul. In the darkness, I could fell God pressing this point a little harder, but still gently. I could feel Him probing the balance between my technical time and my spiritual time. And yeah, guess which side came up wanting.

I tried to argue about how much I need the computer for work etc. But my heart had to concede. I know that the balance of computer time to other things needs to decrease.

So I wrestled with my will, to stay in bed, to be still. I resisted the urge to get up, and turn on Troy's computer so I could write this post. I stayed in bed, and I went back to sleep.

Right now I'm running diagnostics on it. I don't know if I'm going to be able to sort it out, or if I will have to take it in. I don't know when I'll have it back.

I do know this though. I will not (with God's help) let it monopolize my heart and thoughts today. I will prepare my Godly Play lesson for church tonight with my whole heart. I will engage in community tonight. Tomorrow I will enjoy Sabbath and rest. I will play with my kids, I will read a book, maybe take a nap.

I know it won't be so easy when the computer is fixed. But I also know that it's something I need to tend to.

On Wednesday night at community group, this image in James 1 really resonated with me:
"In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life." The Message

I think the landscaping is beginning! And maybe where there was an ugly hunk of metal before, God will plant some beautiful flowers.


Catching Up

It's been a long week, and I just haven't felt like blogging much. I got home from Holland on Saturday around noon. Sunday we had a church potluck lunch and game day, and the rest of the week has been a combination of busyness and nasty sinus headaches. I feel better today and am enjoying a quiet day at home with Troy.

I left early last Thursday morning to fly to Amsterdam. It was very windy in Holland, so our flight was delayed. I got myself to Elizabeth & Gerard's house, almost being blown out of my skin on the short walk from the bus stop to their house. After a cup of tea I took another bus into Amstelveen to wander around a bit before meeting Elizabeth for lunch. We shared a wonderful lunch at V&D's La Place, and talked and talked and talked some more :) It was wonderful to catch up. Then we wandered around some more, almost getting blown off our feet (literally!) at one point. But we made it home in one piece and enjoyed dinner with Gerard. I turned in early since I had been up since 3:15 am!

Friday morning Elizabeth and I connected about spiritual stuff, and that was great as always. I'm anxious to see how the things we talked about develop. That will have to be a post for later though.

Later that morning we drove down to Den Haag for Deela's memorial service. Elizabeth played keys and I sang, so we needed to be there early for rehearsal. Our great friends Rogier and Sophie led the band, and as always, it was a joy to sing with them.

The whole day was a beautiful testament to Deela and her amazing life. People flew from all over the world to celebrate Deela. It was truly a celebration, with amazing food prepared by many loving hands. I think it was a great testimony to the people there who usually find no hope at a funeral.

It was heart-wrenching too, of course. As we sang Blessed Be Your Name, I made the mistake of looking over at Al and the kids. This has kind of been their family anthem during Deela's fight against cancer, and I always think of their family whenever I hear it. Anyway, Katie (who is Meaghan's age) was standing there singing her heart out. That almost undid me completely.

Ro and Sophie sang another song that meant a lot to Deela, Your Faithfulness by Brian Doerksen. Ro put together a beautiful power point with photos of Deela. There were few, if any, dry eyes in the church. I don't know how they got through that song! (If you want to see the power point, click here. You can also read the story behind Brian's song here.

At the end of the service, it was announced that Al & Deela's kids had baked cookies for everyone in memory of their mom, and also had printed out copies of her cookie recipes. That almost undid me again, and they got a huge round of applause. It was so amazing to see them ministering in their own way.

Something I had never seen done before (perhaps it's a Dutch custom) is that people brought flowers with them and to

Here are some photos:

When I got home on Saturday, I took these photos of the bombed parking garage at terminal 4.

And this is the kind of excitement that my arrival heralded!


Home Again

Just a quick post to say I'm home from Holland. I feel a bit emotional and raw right now, and not quite ready to write about Deela's memorial service, but I will soon. It was beautiful and heart-breaking at the same time.

More coming soon.