Jehovah was not in the wind. And after the wind, an earthquake: Jehovah was not in the earthquake.
And after the earthquake, a fire: Jehovah was not in the fire. And after the fire, a soft gentle voice. (1Kings 19:11-12)

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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Seven Things I Learned in September 2013


{Updated to add: this post contains some 'sensitive' facts and statistics}

September is drawing to a close. We pulled the curtain on summer and welcomed the breath-taking performance of autumn. Although spring runs a close second, fall is my favourite time of year. A bonus for me is fall happens to have my birthday month, so there is always some celebration, and special outings, and just plain lovin' on me. I am blessed.

This month, I look back and reflect on what I have learned and share little snippets of the hard lessons, the joyful times, mundane and tedious particulars, or just plain practical sensational information I gleaned.




1. As kids, don't we love getting closer to our birthdays. As we age, some still revel in the coming celebrations, and some, I realize, dread getting older. As I celebrated 37 years this past week, I give thanks for the years God has blessed me with. I'm learning life is sacred and short and why not slow down for a day and simply live it up and have a party. We all live on borrowed time, life is fragile, so marvel in each moment, celebrate the goodness of God, and taste the wonder of life a little before we look back and regret that we were too busy to take time to enjoy the gracious gifts He pours out every day.


"This is the day that the Lord has made let us rejoice and be glad in it." (Psalm 188:24)


2. I love surprises. My husband loves to surprise me and this year he totally surprised me with an early birthday gift!! I have had much learning to do as I get familiar with my new computer as a first-time Mac owner. I learned that it is way more fun than washing/folding laundry.




3. When you are a part of a high risk breast cancer screening clinic and you go in for your annual routine MRI, and five days later are called back for a second-look ultrasound and then asked to come back for a follow-up MRI in 3 months, you learn that it is scary. But, you don't need to live in fear of whatever may come, when you look up verse 6 of Psalm 23 and understand that the Hebrew word for 'follow' is 'pursue me' and when put with the verb it means to run after, to track, like a hunter does, 'suggesting that the Gentle Shepherd is relentless in His care and love for His sheep. God will haunt His followers with the truth of His goodness and unfailing love all the days of their lives.' 

I have no need to fear when I trust in His care and put more confidence in faith in a loving Shepherd than in science.


"Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, 
and I will live in the house of the LORD forever." (Psalm 23:6)






4. I don't know how you would get through tough times in life without family and friends. As I saw my own father in an ICU bed this month suffering with gastrointestinal bleeding, I witnessed my siblings rally around with loving care and concern for his physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being and restoration. I learned how hard it is to see your father so fragile and desperately desire healing to take place. I learned how we need friends at this time to come along and love and support by watching your children, teaching them, making broth, sending a meal, texting reminders that they are praying, going before the throne of grace with you, and walking along in whatever way they could, enabling me to take the time to go visit. 



5. A visit to the Toronto Zoo on a perfect fall day proved to be a wonderful day to meet the giant pandas, Er Shun and Da Mao. I learned that there are less than 2000 giant pandas living today in the wild as well and in zoos and reserves and they are listed as an endangered species. Obviously, the main reason is their habitat has been vastly destroyed by man, their main predator, but what I was't aware of is their low birth rate of one cub every two years. Pandas are not very sociable animals and the female is only able to conceive during a 24-72 hour time frame in a given year. She will also stay with her cub for a full year and will not be receptive to breeding until she has weaned her cub.





6. On that note, we have attended a video marriage seminar this month entitled, 'Laugh your Way to a Better Marriage'. One of the sessions was on the '#1 Key to Incredible Sex.' 
Mark Gungor presented five steps to what women need for a couple to improve in this area of their marriage:
5. Romance 
4. Time 

3. Foreplay 

2. Privacy 

1. Exclusivity 
One of the statistics that Mark quoted while discussing the steps was that 50% of men 'in the church' are wrestling with sexual addictions. Pornography is destroying marriages. Men especially are being 'rewired' as they are engaging in behaviours that are not healthy for marriages and they are increasingly becoming unable to 'perform'. 

Also, part of the problem is the selfish attitudes in couples. He mentioned the statistic that it takes on average 11 minutes for a woman to reach orgasm and on average only 2 minutes for a man. We have a math problem, he says. No wonder there are so many wives longing for real love and affection if there are husbands not desiring to look beyond their own 'needs'. 

Although this information was sobering, most of the material was presented in a light-hearted and humorous manner and led to great discussion for us as a couple and a renewed appreciation for the marriage we do have and our desire to make in even better.





7. I have been reading and studying for a couple of speaking engagements at ladies events as well as preparing for writing 31 Days in October. It is life-changing to learn about who we are In Christ. I look forward to stepping way out of my comfort zone on both accounts--speaking and writing (with consistency, I hope) and being vulnerable with how God has unfolded His story in my life. 

The series I did last year for 31 Days was rewarding as an exercise to be more consistent at writing as well as in life it was a beneficial time of growth. 

Come back on Monday as I begin unpacking this 31 Days series of our identity "In Christ"





{Birthday photos taken by my daughter}

Linking with Emily at Chatting at the Sky

2 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed the things you learned in September...Happy Birthday! So sorry to hear that your Dad was ill AND that you have had to go through a breast cancer scare....I had the exact same scenario last year.

    I want to applaud you for writing about sex as a Christian wife. That takes guts and I respect it immensely!

    I found you from Emily's site!!! Keep writing! I look forward to your 31 days series!


    Love/hugs/blessings,
    Lana
    www.lanaseuropeanvintage.com

    ReplyDelete

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