RAIN

It’s raining today.  That drizzly rain that just makes the whole day overcast and grey.  It’s clean-the-house-and-do-laundry-day and I am indoors scrubbing counters and finding Lost Socks  — so the rain hasn’t affected my plans much.  However, I’ve been thinking about the weather lately.  Maybe because we still have to take the snow tires off my van before they melt off in the current heatwave.  So much for spring; we jumped directly into summer here.   A few weeks ago we got iced over and had to dig out of more snow.  Yesterday, it was 25 degrees Celsius and we cursed the heat.  I guess this is why us Canadians talk about the weather so much… we can experience it all in a span of a week!  The rain is cool, though.  One minute drizzly and just “damp” like today… and then it can turn evil and dark and pound a beating into everything that lies beneath it’s path. The wind usually is a close partner with the rainstorm.  Many of our neighbours lost power this week, and some big, beautiful, old trees succumbed to the downpours.  My hubby licked his chops at all the free firewood that quickly became available.  It’s pretty amazing that with all our technology we still can’t totally harness the weather.  We need it to nourish our lands and produce our food.  Yet, it can wipe out crops and buildings in a flash flood.  Makes me muse:  God is truly in control.JessieRain

I learned a new word in preparing for this post.  A “pluviophile” is, according to the dictionary,  “a lover of rain; someone who finds joy and peace of mind during rainy days.”  I might be one.  Thunderstorms don’t bother me either.  We are one of those crazy families who run out in the downpour, gets all soaking wet, and scares all the neighbours with our crazy hoots of laughter.  I have video proof of my boys doing just that.  No, I am not going to post it out of respect for my neighbours.  You can imagine it.  Three wildebeests splashing each other in the puddles like Max and his Wild Things, with no regard for the quiet character of our cul-de-sac.  Much more refined, (and thanks to a recent birthday) the girls and I now all have really cute and happy rubber boots — we will be fun “fashionistas” next storm.  Might show you that one on Instagram.  (I’m working on how to make those Instagram worthy pics like all the super-bloggers…. although I wish we had little ones still so they could have sharks or crocodiles or yellow duckies or something on their adorable little wellies… so cute they make these things now!  But I digress…)Rainboots

Besides the obvious story of Noah and the Ark… there are lots of references to rain and weird weather in the Bible.  It’s worth a search.  One that recently made me think a little, was Deuteronomy 28:12:  “The Lord will open up his heavenly storehouse so that the skies send rain on your land at the right time, and He will bless everything you do.”  Now, he’s talking to the Israelites and I’m not great at Old testament history and all their “blessings of everything they did” … so I am not going there.  The part that struck me was the “at the right time” blip.  Our lives are a journey of dry spells and some good soakings.  Deut28Rain comes at the right time… to nourish the land and cleanse it.  Spring is that rainy season that washes away the winter muck and brings us out again to meet our neighbours and taste and smell the “green”.  A little flowering wonderland happens after the rains.  We just have to wait for it.  Sometimes we are parched and dry and have to learn patience as we wait for the rain.  We worry and fret and wonder if all will ever work out like we plan.  Often, this is when we cry out to God and demand that He sends the rain again to quench our needs.  And He does… but in His time.

So, if you are a “pluviophile” like me and enjoy the peace of a rainy day, curled up with a great coffee and a book or some peaceful colouring, then remember that it is “at the right time” that you are there.  Enjoy your blessings and be thankful for them.  If you are patiently waiting for a good soaking and fretting a bit at the parched land you see around you right now, don’t fear my friends.  There is a great big God up there who is in control of the weather.  He’ll send some cooling rain soon.  And if you are in the middle of a scary, dark storm full of pounding rain that refuses to let go and you feel like you just might drown in it… grab some crazy friends and go hoot at the neighbours.  Wear your pretty polka-dot rubber boots.  God’s got it under control.AdiC.Rain


There are soo many great photos of rain!  And trust me, it’s hard to get some good shots of weather!  Today’s post contains only one of my own photos (the boots). The others were graciously loaned to me by two friends: Jessie Robins, a university student and new follower, and Adi C. a friend, blog supporter and great amateur photographer.  Blessings to you both!

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Charity on the Refrigerator

Does anyone else have a refrigerator covered in photos?  Those ones your ex-cousin’s- sister-in-law-once-removed gives you of their perfect family photo poised angelically by the Christmas tree? (Seriously! How many re-takes did that require?!) Or those magnets you get in the mail from all the realtors who are trying to buy your home and the pediatric dentist/walk in clinic that just opened up named “Mr. Smiles”?  Yup.  We have one of those fridges.  I still have those colourful magnet letters on the side… should one of my blessed offspring choose to practice their name.  (Note: my youngest kid is almost finished grade school and has been spelling her name for 8 years now with no troubles).  I love my fridge.  When friends come over they poke at the photos and comment on it.  “Hey!  How do you know these people?” or “Wow…who is that cutie?”  It’s my connection to the people I love.  I heard a speaker say once that God has a big fridge, too, with all our photos and crayon scribbled drawings on it — just because He loves us.  That thought makes me smile.fridge magnets

There are a couple of photos on my fridge that are kinda special, though.  They remind me to expand my love to not just my beloved friends and family… but also to the world at large.  One is a beautiful, dark-skinned newborn still all squeaky and fresh.   She (or he… I don’t even know!) is wearing one of my handmade, crocheted hats.  The hats were delivered via a visiting friend to an African hospital.  The photo makes me just wanna squeeze something.  The other photograph has now been replaced by a digital version delivered to my inbox.  It is of Shurjio, our sponsored child from Bangladesh.  He’s grown a bit since our first photo, but it makes me a proud “foster” momma.  I have never met either of these children, but something I did reached them… so they get a place on my fridge.  A connection to my heartstrings.

Now, I don’t want you to think that I am a super woman who pours my heart into charity and raises thousands of dollars to “save the world”.  Angelina Jolie I am not.  In fact, my heartstringphotosbetter half is much more aware of such issues and his empathy is usually the leading factor in our family donations to charity causes.  He was raised in a missionary family who served in a variety of places out there in the world — many members of which also have “prayer cards” stuck on our fridge to this day.  And so, by association, we share our resources diligently.

The purpose of this post is not to promote one charity mission or the other — it is simply a muse about some stuff that is on my to-do list, and close to my heart.  Some time ago, I read a book by Dr. Wess Stafford, one of the CEO’s of Compassion International, called “Too Small to Ignore”. He too, was a missionary kid growing up in a different culture and shares how his life was impacted by the world around him — so much so that in his adult years, he chose to  passionately make a change.  It’s an inspiring book that changed some of my thinking about sponsor children.  Our sponsor child happens to be with Compassion too… and they have some great resources for how to write letters and such to your sponsor child.  toosmallbookCheck out our Pinterest page if you want some great ideas for your family, school’s class or church group.   It’s on my to-do list to write to Shurjio… his birthday is coming up!! (We “picked” him because he shares the same birthday as my middle son).  I want him to know that some Canadian folks remember him, care about him, and want him to have a life deserving of all children.  Complete with school, hugs and some birthday wishes!

That being said, I truly recognize that not all charity should be directed overseas.  Our own neighbourhoods are filled with the poverty-stricken, the homeless, the helpless.  I applaud the many who do great work right here.  The blogging community is full of them, and my new adventure has connected me with a few new ones that I hope to stick on my fridge sometime soon.  So where do we start?  I read recently, that a according to a recent Angus Reid survey,  one-third of Canadians feel they should be “doing more”.  Tragedies like the Humboldt crash and their overwhelming GoFundMe page response, show that we are definitely trying.  More and more of us give “goats” and “soccer balls” at Christmas via charities. We recognize that we don’t need more stuff… we have plenty to share. Our next generations are so much more aware of their world’s needs and are full of justice seeking ideas.  My daughter’s fourth grade class recently raised enough money for a whole herd of goats.  A bunch of seven and eight years olds made an impact in their ever shrinking world!  Heaven smiles and sticks another photo up….

The skeptic in me wants to be sure, though.  I am not as quick with my cheque book as others.  I want to be sure that my funds are not being fueled into the pockets of those who don’t really need it.  There are lots of articles out there about those charities.  Do your research.  Learn about the work and the people who do it.  And then, if you are like me, and have a few photo cards up on your fridge, make sure you connect.  Take the time to build relationships with some kids you don’t know.  Whether they are down the street or across the ocean.  Kids and moms and dads are the same all over… we worry about the same things, and like to play the same games.  Me? I gotta find some stickers to send to a birthday boy in Bangladesh.  Maybe he will put his birthday card from Canada up on his fridge. 🙂

Refrigerator Charity Photo Samer Daboul

#1.  Do your research.  Pick a charity that uses their funds wisely and makes a difference to the people or things that really need it.

#2.  Be consistant.  Set up monthly payments or keep track.  Don’t commit and then give up on them.

#3.  Connect.  Write letters, fundraise, put some effort in.  Share your talents or gifts to create some unique masterpiece they can use to help.  It will make the cause more special to you. (Don’t forget to put that photo up on the fridge!)

#4.  Share.  If you love a charity, tell others about it.  In this day and age of social media, we have no excuses.

#5.  Pray.  I know so many people supported by this simple act of kindness.  Perhaps you don’t have the funds or are physically unable to walk or fundraise.  You have no idea how God will use your prayers to update the photos on His fridge!