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I have been reminded (thanks GSW) that some of you have recently started reading my blog, and may be unaware of how I started what I am calling Joyful living.  It comes from a blog that I read by Ann Voskamp and the list of things for which to give thanks to God that she calls the June Joy Dare.  If you follow this link, and scroll down the page, you can read more about it….  http://annvoskamp.com/

So that brings me to today’s list of things to be thankful for.  Something Bent.  Something beautiful.  Something loved.

  1. Something bent:  You know this one stumped me for a long time, and then I looked up at the clock in the hallway.  From the time I hung this clock years ago it has not worked.  I got it on a trip home, from a friend who had a business making and selling them.  Yet even though we packaged it carefully, the arms to the clock became bent in transit, and they simply do not revolve around the clock.  Yes, I know that I can go to a craft store and buy a new mechanism and fix it so that it will work wonderfully, but anyone who knows me will tell you that I am not crafty and that this sounds like way too much work, so I won’t do it.  Also I am not motivated to do so because I didn’t bring home the clock to tell time, I brought it home because as a beautifully finished burl it reminds me of the west coast, and because a friend made it is brings memories that I cherish.  So this clock with the bent arms is really just a fantastic sculpture.  And I am happy with that.
  2. Something beautiful:  I give thanks for the beauty that is all around me here.  If I have a need to connect with God in nature there at least 5 places on the lake that are an easy drive away, all extremely beautiful. Then there are 3 or 4 spots on the river where I like to go and contemplate God and life.  Finding beauty in God’s world is never a difficult task.  Giving thanks for it is a joy.
  3. Something loved:  I have a painting that I absolutely love.  It had been painted by a woman I knew in Alberta, and when she was moving into a nursing home she invited me to her home to pick out some paintings.  In the end I took home 3 paintings, 2 prairie scenes because after all she was a prairie artist, but the one I fell in love with was a painting of Signal Island, on a grey, rainy, storm tossed day.  It just felt like home at a time when I felt as if I was living in exile in the east.  (Had I known then that God would move me even further east, I might have run screaming from Alberta and  given up on ministry altogether.)  Trips home at that time included one marathon long drive (12-13 hours) when we would arrive at Horseshoe Bay and I would breathe in that unmistakable aroma of rotting seaweed and diesel fuel and think, “I’m home.”  Then as the ferry pulled out of Horseshoe Bay there would be the Island, directly in our path, and I would actually tear up (exhaustion may have had a part to play in my mood) knowing that the next three hours would bring me home.  I no longer feel as alone and cut off from those I love and the good friends God has given me are an important part of that.  But I still love the painting.  It reminds me of where I’ve come from, of how far God has brought me, and of the daily touches of grace he brings into my life.

    a ferry at Horseshoe Bay

I hope that you also find things in your life, that bring you joy as you remember people and places that have touched you in marvelous ways.  Peace to all of you.