Learning the unforced rhythms of grace

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The Kitchen Wanderer

Good morning! It's been 5 months since I've written a blog and so this morning, I thought its a good time to start again! 

I'm about to be 'hooded' with the colours of my degree ... I also just punched a hole in the carpet with my high heels just before I knelt down, so I'm grinning about that! :)

I'm about to be 'hooded' with the colours of my degree ... I also just punched a hole in the carpet with my high heels just before I knelt down, so I'm grinning about that! :)

I took time this past semester to finish my master's degree at seminary and it involved taking two courses. That's one more course than usual - and I found it tough. But I'm done! Graduated! A good feeling. 

So you might wonder, "What now Heather?" I've been asking myself the same question.

I updated my resume and applied for a few job opportunities that presented themselves right away, but they didn't turn out to be quite the right fit. 

Some family members needed support as they were going through some health challenges so my husband and I spent time with them during that first month after graduation. I was glad for the available time. 

Our youngest son moved back home after his first year of University for about one month and then headed off to work at a camp for the summer. Just as he left, our nephew moved in and will live with us while he works here in Edmonton for his summer. Our oldest son just graduated from University and just started his career last month. I've been glad for the opportunity to spend time with them and enjoy and support them by being available for conversation and keeping the fridge full of food. 

So you ask, what does any of this have to do with the title of this blog ... The Kitchen Wanderer? 

Our dog, wanders the kitchen. She vacuums up every crumb or spill or slight hint of food that she can find. Her dog dish is full of nutritious food that has everything she needs to maintain a healthy dog-life. But ... she wanders the kitchen. She would rather have something new. The routine is not exciting for her. The same-old food is her second choice ... so only after wandering the kitchen, and eliminating all possibilities that there may be more exciting food out there, does she surrender to the routine of eating the food laid out for her. 

I've noticed that I too want something new and exciting. I see my fellow graduates and friends and our sons beginning new things, exciting things, that are full of adventure and creativity and challenges and I'm drawn to that. Excitement is alluring. It boasts of action, movement, change, progress and new-ness! 

But living with illness and chronic pain means that there is a certain amount of routine that must always stay the same. Daily vitamins and medications must be taken. Rest is crucial. Doctor appointments must be honoured and pain management takes significant time in the day and sometimes during the night.

So, I've been a kitchen wanderer, looking for exciting new things rather than surrendering to the routine and perhaps what's best for me, tailored for me and will provide me with what I really need. 

I've been thinking about this verse lately,  "(God's) purpose is not a hit-or-miss thing dependent on what we do or don't do, but a sure thing determined by HIS decision, flowing steadily from HIS initiative."  Romans 9:11 (The Message)

So perhaps the question I need to be asking myself is ... am I willing to surrender to the good routine, the good food, the ordinary things that God has put in place for me so that I can be nourished the right way, rather than wandering around the kitchen looking for tasty crumbs? And if I was able to receive this nourishment, what would that enable me to be about? To do? What are the good things that God has in mind for me ... that He is preparing and leading me to? 

Perhaps the 'kitchen wandering' is distracting me from what God actually has in mind for me. So I will choose nourishment, and with God's help, patiently wait for what comes next.