Hey, youths...

Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Young people, it’s wonderful to be young! Enjoy every minute of it. Do everything you want to do; take it all in. But remember that you must give an account to God for everything you do. So refuse to worry, and keep your body healthy. But remember that youth, with a whole life before you, is meaningless.
Ecclesiastes 11

Visits

Wednesday, July 11, 2018
Micah was home for a few days.
We trade off old furniture, dishes, home made food, and game playing for the generosity of his willingness to climb my roof and install an antenna and build some IKEA furniture.

It was a good time these few days, and today he's off to his home in Saskatoon.

Don't know if it ever gets easier to say goodbye to the kids.









Visiting the Kids

Wednesday, July 04, 2018
well, not all the kids, but the ones with the granddaughters.

We took a week off after the annual meeting to cross the river into Wisconsin and visit Johanna and Nate and their girls. Being papa is a part of life I always thought I would love and I sure wasn't wrong. Yet.

Yes it's hard being far away as they grow up and no its not always easy when they are celebrating their milestones but their mom and dad work hard to help us feel connected and we are grateful for that.

And by the way, they have very patient and kind parents who love them. It's really tough parenting small people who get up way too early and are quite demanding and often unreasonable. But they are doing a better job at it than I think I ever did.

We took each girl out for lunch one day and we took them to swimming and gymnastics and watch them play with their neighbourhood friends. Its good.

We make as many memories as we can and try to keep them safe in our minds for the upcoming year, and we take pictures. Some of them prefer not to be in pictures so I try to honour that by asking them if its just a photo of them. Then they come and ask at some point if I can take pictures of them, like they know its going to be a long winter without their photo on my desk. :)

Then, all too soon its time to go home. You kiss and hug them all and your eyes get a little wetter than last time and off you go.

The week goes by quickly, but it is good just to be present to their lives and activities and their growing personalities.

We love em all.










Oh, and Nate introduced me to the best pretzels I have ever tasted. Oh my.



It's INDEPENDENCE Day

This past Sunday I was worshipping in an American church which was certainly less rah rah America than many other US churches I've seen. No visible American flags etc. or the singing of God Bless America.

There was a moving patriotic video that played reminding people to pray for America especially on this week when she celebrates her birthday. And there were prayers offered for America and her brave young fighters throughout the earth.

But apart from that, it wasn't as "that way" as it could have been.

But it struck me in a new way, that the name they have ended up with to describe their birthday is Independence Day.  Independence. Hmm...

I know who they were gaining independence from and I guess it comes from that place, but that word has come to define them and their spirit.

Independent:
"Free from outside control, not subject to another's authority, not depending on another for livelihood or subsistence, not connected with another or with each other; separate, self-governing, self-ruling, self-determining, sovereign, autonomous, free, nonaligned."

Independence is something you want for your thirty something son when he doesn't move out of the basement, so it isn't an evil thing or even a bad thing. But when you are independent for a long time and don't need anyone's help or support or even friendship and you don't need to listen to anyone else when you start making some questionable decisions in life, where does that leave you? You get a little demanding and "My way or the highway" sort of a crankiness happening. You make a few missteps and there are no friends there to help pick you up. The downfall of independent, young and strong individuals as they age can happen pretty quickly.

The community found in interdependence is perhaps a better state for individuals to be in as they face life and all it will throw at them. As they age and can't do all the things they once did, as more and more they need the help of community, its a better and more humble and gracious way to live than with a rugged individualism.

The metaphor breaks down eventually, however on this morning of the 241st birthday of America I wonder if it might be a better position for a country to explore as well.


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