About mittonmusings

A Canadian, lifestyle blog with an inspirational twist!

Garbage In…

It’s been a long, stressful day, and I am tired and a wee bit grumpy. In fact, the last month or so has been long and wearisome. Covid-19 is taking a toll, the new puppy is full of energy, I started a new-to-me job, it’s been difficult deciding how to school the kids, church in person or church online… it’s been a challenge navigating this pandemic and all the seemingly normal tasks have had added demands and adjustments. Maybe you’ve been feeling it too. Perhaps my job is not to complain. Joy in circumstances and all that. I don’t know about you, but some days I have a hard time being joyful. Some days I have a hard time connecting and being the light of Jesus in ways I know that I ought. Some days I choose not to shine.

You wanna know what the new puppy did this week? He’s been barfing socks. He’s a labrador — and I know they have iron stomachs, but he has a particular affinity for socks… and with a house full of teenage boys, socks seem to be quite readily available. And he’s quick, too. And so, I have been panicking about intestinal obstructions, up at night worrying about possible major surgeries in our future for exploratory searches to find foreign bodies — and the guilt about not having enough energy to follow around the dog and his adventures in eating strange things. I was told not to worry “he throws them up whole”… and I wondered at this gift – until I got to see it for myself. Yup, an esophageal miracle: sport sock completely intact, gagged back up, packaged neatly in a thin film of bile. (Sorry * graphic warning* for those of you who are squeamish). It’s actually quite impressive in a sword swallowing magician kind of way… how did that little body encapsulate such a bulky thing and expel it, all while wagging it’s tail and happily playing for the last hour?

Alright, enough of the gory details — but I share them with you to explore some thoughts with me. I’m sure many of you have heard the phrase: “garbage in, garbage out”. It’s actually a computer reference, implying that what you enter into a software will influence the information the computer will spit back at you. Perhaps you’ve even experienced it as my new co-workers and I have as we navigated this new computer system implemented in the last few weeks. Unless you follow the correct steps, you don’t get to the place you need to be. And that can be frustrating. And so it is with life sometimes.

When your faith journey is “disconnected” or you’ve been entering in all the wrong stuff, it tends to come back up. Or come back out. And not in the way you want it to. We get grumpy, burnt out, and ill tempered. People say that you need some “self care”. A time to replenish and recoup. And although those words seem fostering and valid, I’ve been challenged recently about that whole idea of “self” care. If, as believers, we have died to self, are we feeding the wrong entity? If He is the vine and we are the branches, does watering the leaf do any good? Or is it better to quench the roots? To dig deep and choose nourishing food that sustains and grows us. Not fillers made of old socks. Do hot baths and candles really replenish the soul?

Do Hot Baths and candles really replenish the soul?

Now, please, don’t get me wrong… I love a good spa day as well as the next girl. And I’ve convinced myself I “need” them once and a while too. Yet, no amount of warm drinks and essential oils are going to repair a damaged heart. It takes the life giving, supernatural gift of grace given to us by a perfect heavenly father. I’m saddened that we are missing some forms of our corporate worship connections during this pandemic. Even being the introvert I am — fellowshipping with other believers fuels the flame of my heart. It is the soul food I sometimes require.

So, what of it, my friend? Are you spending your time devouring sports socks only to throw them up later? Guilty as charged here this week. There. I even admit it to the whole internet. I’m not connected in the way I need to be. But there is always tomorrow…

The Good OLD Days

Welcome back to another week of me feeling old. Wait. That didn’t come out right. Welcome to another week of being old. No. Thinking about being old? Thinking about old things. Yeah. That’s it. Welcome back to another week of musing about old things. I’ve been mulling this one around a bit, and trying to figure out what to pinpoint my thoughts on, but it doesn’t seem to be working. So, I’m just gonna jump right in and see where this post ends up, okay?

Old covered bridge near Kitchener-Waterloo

Okay, back to being old. Uh, I mean thinking about old things. I’ve been diving in to some “time period” books as of late. Now, I am no history buff, so I don’t devour stories of pioneer women locked into hardships and whirlwind romances, but I can appreciate the struggles of these ladies and trying to balance homemaking and being present in civil war times and ‘doing their part’ for the country. Or trying to live big dreams in a world where women are underappreciated and pegged into certain, shall we say, domestic rolls. Somehow, I think American history and the 1800’s seem to be a book genre all it’s own — and kudos to the authors who research such topics. Again, I’m no history buff, but it seems there are a lot of you out there who read these things.

I’m not so sure Canadian times were much different from their American counterparts, especially when it came to homemaking: we have apple pies and little houses on prairies here, too! And it is not just in my recent literature choices. In fact, I’ve been seeing lots of people “returning to their roots” as of late. Perhaps the pandemic of 2020 has allowed us the time to bake from scratch, sew and craft, and appreciate the “good old days” of family gatherings, game playing and gardening. Homesteading has become mainstream — especially for millenials. So what draws us to these old fashioned treasures? Do they hold a mystery of some sort?

A few weeks back, we took an impromptu, post Covid holiday to the Kitchener-Waterloo area in southern Ontario. With our new puppy. That, in itself, is an adventure, but I’ll try and stick to the topic. For those who are unfamiliar, this area is known for its large population of mennonite groups and such delights as the St. Jacob’s farmer’s market. A rich heritage and belief system of “old ways” and “traditions” (not to mention a plethora of mouth watering baked goods and fresh produce!) We’ve been numerous times and have enjoyed the bounty of harvest at several times of the year. This time, we ventured out of our traditional visitor spots and explored some ‘off the beaten path’ trails and smaller towns. We ate lunch at Bonnie Lou’s Cafe (on the patio with the pup) and the Mitton crew heartily recommend it! Oh, the pie….

We also stumbled upon “The West Montrose Covered Bridge” the only remaining covered bridge in Ontario, affectionately known as “the kissing bridge” because the wood covering allows for *ahem* some shadowed privacy. I suppose some traditions never die. Which brings me back to things of “old”. Why do we hold dear to traditions? Are they better ways? Does the future hold promise? Should we change for the sake of change? I don’t know. The jury is out for me on this muse. Some days I feel stuck in the middle of old school pad and paper vs. cell phone texts. Does church need to “get with the times” or be examples of time honoured traditional practice? Is the Bible “old fashioned”? Can Christians be relevant to this fast paced generation of instant gratification? Where does the balance lie?

Does it even come up in conversation anymore? What I do know is that God’s word is timeless. It has passed the test of times past and will continue to inspire and convict well into the future . It’s supernatural. It continues to reach even the youngest generation. Still, we need mentors and wise elders to council and enrich. And vibrant new voices to challenge and question. Perhaps our trip to the KW area was a good example for us: Modern highways and hotels and rich,homemade pies baked in tradition, all with a little love thrown in under the shadow of a covered bridge — for balance between the two worlds.

Back (to school). Not.

Today is supposed to be the first day back to school. The first day of the routine that I crave. The first day of stability and predictability. The anticipation of new books, a new adventure and fresh starts. Alas, 2020 has thrown yet another curve, and school isn’t happening today. I must wait for it. It won’t be the same. Masks. Hand sanitizer. No visitors. No workshops for me. Perhaps you are out of the back-to-school routine and today is just another day for you. But no day is ever routine, is it? Each day brings its own challenges, its own opportunities and its own joys and sorrows. Time doesn’t stop until our final breath has been taken. I want things to go back to normal. I want to have things “the way they were”. Maybe I won’t be granted that. Maybe God is teaching us new things. Different things. Things meant to challenge and grow and stretch us. I must learn to be adaptive. To trust in the future and learn from the past.

I had a few ideas about what to post this week, but none of them seemed settled in my heart. (Did you know that I worry, fret and pray over each week’s post and hope that it touches you and my internet audience in a way that God wants?) And so, I thought I would link a few of my previous “back to school” adventures for you. If you’ve read them before, sorry. If not, enjoy. Joining the adventure of mittonmusings.com means following along in our journey of ups and downs, past and present. All the while learning. So — see you next week friends, with new thoughts.

Teacher’s Gifts: A Lesson in Gratitude

Back to School Blues

What Makes a Good Teacher?

Moving On

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