In Memory of Anna

This morning I heard a beautiful arrangement of “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing” sung by City Harbor.  I have heard this CD I was listening to many times, but in this particular moment, the song immediately caught my attention.  As I listened, my thoughts turned to my good friend who tragically lost her mom last week to a car accident.  Her dad is currently in hospital recovering from serious injuries.

This hymn brings comfort in many ways.  Rich phrases like, “streams of mercy, never ceasing” and “how his kindness yet pursues me” and “mount of God’s unchanging love” proclaim God’s pouring of his love on us.  We feel this love especially when we are vulnerable and hurting.  It is God’s people who come together to rally and support a hurting family.  It is through his people, God can act and demonstrate his care and provision.

In times of death, we understand more clearly that God is the only constant in our lives.  People we love, those we know “will always be there for us,” really can’t be.  Praying to be shackled to God, “like a fetter,” is the only way for us to feel grounded in this ever changing world.

We sing with hope.  Tomorrow as friends, family and supporters, we will gather around this hurting family and express our deep love for them and for Anna, their wife, mother and grandmother.  Anna, a woman who dedicated her life in service to her Saviour, Jesus Christ.  Anna, a woman of godly character with a vibrant and joyful personality who loved people and cared deeply for her family and for God’s family.

We will sing boldly.  We will praise God in an urgent way.  Knowing we will someday be “released from flesh and sin” to claim our inheritance.  We take comfort in knowing we will one day know the true extent of God’s love.

Until we meet again.

Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of God’s unchanging love.

Sorrowing I shall be in spirit,
Till released from flesh and sin,
Yet from what I do inherit,
Here Thy praises I’ll begin;
Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Here by Thy great help I’ve come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.

Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood;
How His kindness yet pursues me
Mortal tongue can never tell,
Clothed in flesh, till death shall loose me
I cannot proclaim it well.

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

O that day when freed from sinning,
I shall see Thy lovely face;
Clothed then in blood washed linen
How I’ll sing Thy sovereign grace;
Come, my Lord, no longer tarry,
Take my ransomed soul away;
Send thine angels now to carry
Me to realms of endless day.


Make the Ordinary Come Alive

One day while I was sitting on the couch, folding laundry, drowning in piles of clean clothes, I caught myself thinking about how much I was enjoying the folding of laundry.  Almost immediately, I wondered how I could possibly enjoy the work I was doing.  Laundry around here is endless.  There are either piles of dirty clothes in the laundry baskets or piles of clean clothes ready to be folded or piles of newly folded clothes ready to be put away.  And once I get it all put away, I turn around in satisfaction, only to find another dirty sock lying on the floor.

We all know the work of a mom is anything but glamorous.  A large part of the job description involves taking care of dirty things that need cleaning: floors, walls, toys, clothes, dishes, noses, and the worst of all, bums.   The hardest part of the job is often not in doing the work, but the realization that the job is never done.  I don’t get to leave the work place, I don’t get to set a pile of papers on the “done” pile and walk away.  There is always more and it is usually always the same tasks that need to be done, several times a day.

But to my surprise on this particular day, I found myself enjoying my work.  I realized this contentment came from God and him alone.  When joy is found in the most unusual places, we know God grants this as his gift to us.

One morning I came across a passage in Ecclesiastes 3 that reassured me of God’s gift of satisfaction in my everyday, mundane tasks.

12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God.

Now, I wouldn’t be speaking the truth if I told you I find satisfaction in doing laundry all the time.  Most of the time, I try to put it off.  The idea of doing the work I have to do is often worse than actually doing the job.  I do, however, find much satisfaction when the job is completed.  Sometimes I like to walk in and out of the room a few times where the laundry was once piled, just so I can admire the empty space.

A friend posted a quote on Facebook this week that illuminated an idea of the ordinary and mundane becoming something extraordinary.

ordinary come alive What a beautiful perspective.

Now, finding “wonder” in doing laundry might seem like a bit of a stretch.   But what if I allowed my kids to play in the laundry baskets while I folded the load of clothes?  What if they ran under the sheets, giggling, while I lifted them to get out the wrinkles?  Is this not making the “ordinary come alive”?

My kids love to point out things they marvel at: funny shapes in pieces of fruit, objects made from taking a bite out of their sandwich, a tall tower they built with blocks, new piles of snow on a wintery morning, the moon set in a dark sky or twinkling Christmas lights on a December evening.  These ordinary things are always brought to my attention with a, “look, Mommy!” as they express their wonder.  To me, it is simply ordinary.  Sometimes I’m even annoyed that I have to take my eyes off what I’m doing to take a look.  But once we’ve lost the wonder of the ordinary, I think unhappiness begins to settle in, and we lose sight of the beauty of the things right in front of us.

Although the quote urges parents to make the ordinary come alive, really, it is often the kids teaching us to pay attention and see.  I love that my kids can teach me to wonder again.  They force me to look twice at the ordinary things and marvel at how beautiful God has made this world for us to live in.

“Look, Mommy!” Look.

Fresh snow flakes in our backyard.

Fresh snow flakes in our backyard.


A fresh blanket of fluffy snow.