Twenty-five of us were out for dinner. A woman from Mexico was on my left and one from Florida on my right. The conversations were multiple and varied. The noise level made it difficult to hear more than snippets of what was being said across the table.
Suddenly, three words caught my attention. From opposite me I heard, “I’m sufficiently suffonsified.” A few others also heard the words and were confused. I, on the other hand, was totally delighted
You see, this was something my mother said. I don’t remember ever hearing anyone else say it and always assumed it was something made up by her family.
Mom passed away twenty years ago and I hadn’t heard the saying since. What had been temporarily forgotten now returned along with a flood of memories. I was mentally transported to my younger years and could see her smile and hear her voice.
After a large meal, mom would say, “I’m sufficiently suffonsified and any more would be an overindulgence of my already exasperated appetite.” In other words, she was full and couldn’t eat another bite!
It’s funny what can trigger memories. Sometimes, like this night, it was a few words. Other times it is the sight of a humming bird or aroma of freshly baked bread.
The everyday moments form the legacy I will be remembered by. The hugs, the laughter, the time spent together are more important than I realize. Since I don’t know what may trigger memories for my children and grandchildren in future years, I will do my best to leave a positive impression. My goal is to ensure they will be sufficiently suffonsified with the love I have shared.
The English speaking church we attend in Mexico had an interesting beginning. We have met the Canadian couple who were instrumental in the formation of the church. I enjoyed hearing the story both from their perspective and that of the pastor.
After wintering in the area for several years, this couple could see the need for a church service in English. They learned of a pastor in the area who was bilingual and approached him with their idea.
He could see the merit in this but didn’t feel his language skill were good enough. After more conversation he thought it might be possible. “We can start next year” he said.
The immediate response of, “How about next week?” took him by surprise. Sensing this was God’s will, he agreed. The next Sunday fourteen people were in attendance for the first service in English. That was over ten years ago.
We appreciate the ministry of our Mexican church home. I have been privileged to be in attendance for both multicultural and outreach events with the English and Spanish congregations working side by side.
I am grateful for the pastor who didn’t feel equipped but accepted the challenge. He did not give in to the natural tendency to say, “No” or put off what seems too much to handle. Instead, he stepped out in faith and trusted God to lead the way.
This story has inspired me. I know that God has big plans for each of us. He doesn’t always call those of us who feel equipped. Instead, He calls those who are willing and equips them. When I step out in faith and trust the Lord, there is no limit to what He may enable me to do.
My friend and I had just completed an interesting few hours. We had been on a home tour and seen some extensive renovations and many decorating styles.
As we walked away from the last home she said, “I didn’t care for the decorating in that one. Some of the others were beautiful but that was not my taste at all.” She went on to explain why she felt that way.
I agreed with her opinion but put my own twist on it. “At least that one helped me know what I don’t want,” I said. “We certainly saw a variety of styles today and not all were my taste.”
The styles I liked and those I didn’t all contributed to defining my personal design preferences. The differences are what make us unique.
Some of the homes we saw were built for casual entertaining. Others were more sophisticated. We saw subdued colours and expensive artwork in one and colourful walls and bright ceramic accents in the next. One home had inflatable pink flamingo cup holders floating in the pool!
Different taste applies to more than homes and decorating. Your choice of movies, books, clothing and hobbies will not be identical to mine. We might agree on some but it’s rare to agree on everything. That doesn’t make one of us right and one wrong.
I used to be afraid to express my opinion. It wasn’t easy for me to learn I could disagree with someone and still be accepted. Now I know that life is richer when we welcome our differences and learn from one another.
“You were born an original. Don’t die a copy.” John Mason
My new book Another Perspective is available at a special preorder price for ebook format. Click here Paperback will be available the end of March
The piece of yellow nylon rope was partially buried in the sand. A section about thirty centimeters in length was visible.
Each time the water reached the rope the exposed portion twisted and floated with the tide. I watched as it was tossed around while still firmly anchored. The rope was not going to be washed out to sea any time soon.
The image in my mind was that of a lifeline, the type of rope or line thrown to rescue someone having difficulties in the water. I pondered this thought as I continued my walk.
Another meaning for lifeline is a way of help that you depend on to lead your life in a satisfactory way. It is also a line used to keep in contact with a person in a dangerous or potentially dangerous situation.
All of these definitions describe my relationship with Jesus. He is the lifeline that keeps me secure. My life is easily thrown off balance and I am grateful to have Him to hold onto. Each day I come before Him in prayer, asking for strength and guidance for my life.
There are times I am rushed or preoccupied and don’t take the necessary time to seek His wisdom. Those are the days I am likely to be swept off course. Unknowingly I place myself, and sometimes those close to me, in potentially dangerous situations.
When I call out for help, I see Jesus has never left my side. I, in my haste, have let go of Him. I reach out and take hold of Him and am safe and secure once again. My Lord and Saviour is the only lifeline I need.
“I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.” (John 10:28 NIV)
The picture I posted on social media showed me relaxing in a hammock in sparkling turquoise water. What it didn’t show was the agonizingly slow walk to get there.
The tour guide told me there was only one place to enter the water. He said there would be a few rocks, like a ladder, to step on as I went in. They might be slippery but after a few steps I’d be on smooth, soft sand.
This was not the case! The rocks were uneven as well as slippery and I found it difficult to get my footing. I would slip off one rock onto another jagged one and was doing my best to avoid injury. I felt pressure to move faster when I looked back and saw a line-up of people waiting to get into the water. The results were not pretty!
I picked my way carefully over rocks, not smooth sand, and headed for the hammocks. As I neared, I could see only one unoccupied. It was the one with the shorter poles, making it mostly submerged.
I’d come this far and was not going to let that stop me. Climbing into the hammock I realized I couldn’t totally recline or my head would be under water! The water felt wonderful but holding my head up was uncomfortable. I put my hands on the side and pushed my upper body to the top end. That’s when the picture was taken.
A lot of effort was made in order to have a few minutes on the water hammock. Knowing what was required for such a short period of enjoyment, would I do it again? Absolutely!
As I waded back to shore I was filled with a spirit of adventure. It may seem tame to you but I had an opportunity that may never come again and took full advantage of it!
We have taken winter vacations in the same area for several years. During this time we have met a few people but due to our quiet lifestyle, are not well known.
This year we are spending longer in the area and have been able to get involved in a few activities. This means we have made more contacts.
A week ago we were on a walk along the beach when someone called my name. I was surprised to find someone who knew me and enjoyed stopping to talk. We carried on with our walk and five minutes later someone in a nearby house called out my husband’s name. Again, we stopped to talk.
On our walk home we commented that we’d encountered people who knew our names. It felt good to be known.
There is one who has always known me. He knows much more than my name. He knows everything about me. The Bible says God knows the number of hairs on my head. It doesn’t say He knows how many there are but each one is numbered. That means He knows exactly which one falls. I don’t even know that about myself!
This intimate knowledge started before I was born.
God saw me as I was formed in my mother’s womb. Isn’t that incredible?
I no longer wonder if my presence is seen. The scriptures confirm God knows me in a way no other can.
“O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.” (Psalm 139:1 NLT)
“How precious are your thoughts about me, O God! They are innumerable! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand!”( Psalm 139:17-18 NLT)
As a child I enjoyed doing connect the dots pictures. Sometimes I could guess what the picture would look like before I started and other times it was a surprise.
Recently I bought a book with difficult dot to dot pictures. Most have close to five hundred dots and the lines often crisscross or head off in unusual directions. Sometimes they come back to where I thought they should be and other times surprise me with what they create.
Once in a while I haven’t been able to find the next number in sequence. I’ve learned I can start over in a new area and eventually I will find what was needed.
Even when the picture is completed, I can’t always immediately see the image I’ve created. I may have to look at it from a distance to see the big picture and not just the connecting dots.
This book reminds me of life. I don’t always move in a straightforward manner to reach my destination. I may double back or go in the opposite direction for a time. When I temporarily lose my way, I can start over from where I am. Every move I make is contributing to the overall picture of my life. Some days it is far more complicated than others.
At the end of the day I may wonder if I’ve been productive. That’s when I need to step back and look at the day from a distance. This other perspective may be just what is needed. I am able to see the big picture and know where to add colour or shading to enhance what was created.
No matter how I feel about the result, I know that tomorrow I will open the page to a new puzzle and follow the dots to see what this one has in store for me.
There was something different about the property we approached. Then I saw it. A once tall palm tree near the edge of the lot was now lying on its side. It had been upright when we had passed by this way the previous week. There had been a little wind but nothing I thought was powerful enough to topple a tree.
Drawing nearer I could see the entire root ball still attached to the tree. Then I understood the reason for its fall.
The tangle of roots was multiple but they were also thin and short. To have strength to endure they would need to be thick and strong. Without a deep anchor the necessary stability was not present.
Strong, deep roots are also important in my life. They give me the stability to endure the storms of life.
My roots have become much stronger since my life took on the nourishment that Jesus provides. The more I spend time with him, the deeper my roots become.
Over the years I have encountered some strong storms in my life that threatened to topple me. Before I committed my life to Jesus I would have fallen. Now I am rooted in Him. The winds of adversity may cause me to bend but my deep faith tells me Jesus will help me remain upright and strong.
They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. (Jeremiah 17:8 NIV)
My husband and I attended an event a couple of days ago that was an early celebration for February 14th. We are in Mexico and the celebration was different from what we experience at home.
On a large banner, the words Feliz Dia del Amor y la Amistad were printed. Translated, this means Happy Day of Love and Friendship.
Valentine’s Day as we know it, is all about romantic love. It is important to recognize those we love and let them know how much they mean to us. My husband is the most important person in my life. I never want to take for granted the love we share and celebrate it frequently.
But, how often do I celebrate the other types of love in my life?
One significant type of love is the kind I have for my family. My daughter and son-in-law; son and daughter-in-law and my amazing, talented, witty and compassionate grandchildren (absolutely no prejudice here!) mean the world to me. Each of them has enriched my life in her/his own unique way. They deserve to be celebrated and I don’t tell them often enough how much I love them.
Friendships form another kind of love. Whether we have been friends for months, years or decades, these relationships have helped shape me into who I am today. We support each other through the roller coaster of life and I love each of you.
A very special love is the one I have for you, my faithful readers. Your encouragement and support gives me the strength to keep writing. Without you, I wouldn’t be living my passion. From the bottom of my heart I send you thanks and love.
To each of you, I wish you a Happy Love and Friendship Day.
More than ten years ago both of our children moved almost one thousand kilometers away.
We loved our family and missed the closeness we’d once enjoyed. My husband and I wanted to be able to spend more time with them and be active in their lives.
After much prayer, we decided to uproot the life we knew and start again, closer to our loved ones. The Lord provided a job for my husband in our chosen city. We resigned from our jobs and sold our home.
I was excited to know we ‘d soon live only twenty minutes from our family.
I hadn’t considered the difficulty of leaving friends and our church family. The goodbyes were tearful. Knowing we were doing the right thing didn’t make it any easier. I grieved what I would be leaving behind.
The transition had some challenges. The result, however, was more than worth it. We have been restored to a close, loving relationship with our family and are blessed to play an active role in their lives. The sacrifice we made out of love has rewarded us more than we could have imagined.
Our small move was insignificant when I think of the move Jesus made for you and for me. The love I have for my family is nothing compared to the love He has for us.
He knew we were becoming distant and longed for a closer relationship. The Lord knew there was only one course of action to be taken to remedy this situation.
He left his home in heaven and came to live on earth. He sacrificed not only comfort, but his very life in order to restore us to a relationship with God.
What does Jesus require for this love I don’t deserve? He wants us to spend time together. The more I do this, the deeper our relationship becomes. It is amazing to think the Son of God not only offers me forgiveness, comfort and guidance but wants to us have a close personal relationship. Now that is love worth celebrating.