Saturday, December 18, 2010

Digging out in Time for Christmas

I have been rather preoccupied of late, as many of you know, by term papers. I finally finished them and I'm looking forward to finishing school altogether. I have another set of exams and some misc. reading and lecture questions to do to finish the fall semester's classes. I also have two history courses coming in the mail any day now and I'm hoping to get through them as quickly as possible. Other than that, I have one more course to do which I'll hopefully be taking along with the rest of the students at Heritage. We need to work out some things, but they assure me that they can make it work, so that I can graduate in April! I am so excited about the prospect of graduating in the spring with the rest of my class.

On a more holiday-related note, we did eventually get out and get a Christmas tree. We took our nephews out to a tree farm and they 'helped' 'us' to pick a tree. (by 'us' I really mean me) I decided that I didn't want a full sized tree this year and I didn't want to go all out as far as decorations. Moderation is the theme this year; a fact that was very satisfactory for my hubby. I did 'convince' him to watch a Christmas movie with me while 'we' decorated. (Michael put the lights on the tree) We even had peppermint hot chocolate and cookies to go with it. It was as festive as it was going to get and that was ok with both of us. We are looking forward to celebrating our first Christmas living out west, except for the fact that we aren't going to be able to make it back to Ontario until the spring. I'm ok with that for now, but we'll see how it goes as the holidays come and go on the first Christmas away from my family in my entire life. Thankfully we get to spend time this year with my uncle and aunt and cousins out here and we plan on skyping home sometime in the afternoon on Christmas day. I think that it's going to be a holiday that comes and goes and we'll look back at afterward and think, "That was...strange." We'll see. For now, however, we're plugging along, having fun at our new church and enjoying more 'firsts'.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Friday Frenzy

A bit of an update is in order as some of my friends have reminded me. I have started a new part-time job in place of working at Subway, which was short-lived. I am currently working at House of James, the Christian bookstore in Abbotsford, BC. The store has a coffee shop and I work there about fifteen hours per week. It's a pretty good job; the girls that I work with are super and it's a great environment. And, yes, for all those who know my bald bookworm, he's very excited that I get a staff discount.
As for the other major time and energy investment in my life, I am finishing up my degree via distance education this year. I am currently taking three courses and will be taking my last three courses next semester, so that I can graduate in April with my class. I am very excited at this prospect and hope that everything goes along as planned. As much as I love school, I'm looking forward to having it completed and having a degree to hang on my wall. I'm also looking forward to having the time to put my education into practice, which is the goal I would think. But for now, I plug away at my papers, readings, lectures and exams. I miss the folks at Heritage and wish that I could just pop in now and then; I also miss 'my' little room in the library where I could hole away when I needed a higher level of focus. Needing that space, I carved out a little room at home where I can study and write my papers. I'm thankful for where God's led us and I'm looking forward to the road ahead.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Cup of Christmas Apathy

As the beginning of the Christmas holidays are inaugurated by the decorations at any given retail establishment, I find my Christmas spirit lacking the luster of so many other years. I can't remember a time when I've felt so apathetic toward holiday preparations. I'm not sure why I feel this way; perhaps it is being so far away from home and knowing that I won't be there with my family for the first time in my life. Perhaps it's the weight of so much school work still ahead of me that's grinding off the sparkle. I think that much of it has to do with the conviction of meaning. I think that I'm struggling to balance tinsel and trappings with a King who set aside his kingdom to be born in barn to save us from sin. I say balance because I think that presents and festivities are important parts of holidays; when God institutes a festival, He goes all out and often the people party for a week! But I also think that our traditions require evaluation and scrutiny if they are to remain holy unto the Lord. Why do we do what we do? I think that we need to ask this question and be prepared to trim the trimmings that take away from our worship of God. What this looks like in my own life I haven't figured out yet, but I will ponder as I wander through the advent of our Lord.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


I have come to realize, once again, just how efficient I am at being inefficient. I would give examples, but I'm writing on my blog which is example enough. God has really been putting His finger on the issue of our time is spent, but for some reason, I just don't seem to get it to the point of action - sigh, like with so many other things. Like Paul, I identify with the battle between the flesh and spirit. I know that it's not worth it, the tiniest of silly things that so often win my attention, but I just can't seem to kick them to the curb. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that I don't have a strong enough desire to let go of the gravel and grasp the diamonds that are in front of me. I am grateful that God is gracious and remembers that I am dust, but treats me like the daughter that He's making me to be. I would be awfully frustrated if I were Him, so I'm glad that I'm not. His grace is sufficient, if only I weren't so stubborn, I could enjoy it a little more.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Daykins on the Move

I decided to create a blog in order to be able to have a space of our own to allow family and friends to track with us on our journey. I've entitled it 'Tools of Grace', because over the years and espeicially lately, we have experienced some of the many tools that God uses to work in our lives to build, shape and polish us; tools that look very much like the events of everyday life, both big and small.

We have waved good-bye to another full and unique chapter of our lives. On May 1st, 2010, after two and a half years, Michael graduated from Heritage Seminary with his Masters of Divinity. Though I have some courses yet to take, the full-time student days are over for both of us.  We were sad to leave our school, friends and family behind, we knew that we must move on to what God had in store for us in the west.

We are presently on a new adventure together having set off across the country earlier this past summer and have entered the world of pastoral ministry. We are very excited that Michael has accepted the invitation from North Valley Baptist Church in Mission, B.C., to take on the role of lead pastor. The folks at the church have been welcoming and kind in every way and over the past three months it has begun to feel like home . As we settle into our new community, we are praying that God will give us an increasing heart for the people and a greater longing to serve them.

We are excited to begin this new chapter in our lives, but it is a bit intimidating to be heading out of the training ground and into the field. We are trusting God to strengthen us and to help us to navigate our way in this new role. We are certain that He has a task for us to do and we trust Him to lead us as we move forward in it.

We would also like to thank all of those who have prayed for us and supported us in so many ways as we have finished up at school, as well as in this major transition in our lives. It has been such a blessing to us that so many people have encouraged us through this time. We would also like to express our deepest thanks to all of you who have helped us through this time by allowing us to share your time, space, guest beds, meals, washer and dryers, your families and more. We have seen the hand of God provide through you a haven in the midst of the uncertainty and need that we faced. We pray that He will bless you abundantly as you bless others.

We will try our best to keep in touch and let you know what the Lord is doing in and through our lives. We hope that you will continue to pray for us in this new stage of our journey and that before long our paths will cross that we may see each other again.