Saturday, January 30, 2010

End of January

The end of January all ready... wow! I still write 200, and then pause, go back, and sneak a 1 in between the last 2 zeros - but at least I am pausing now before barrelling ahead with a 9. We're still here! It has been quite a month in the Marsh annals. We spent the last half of December, and the first half of January dealing with David's health. Thankfully, we have some answers now, and are figuring out what life will look like now.

From many perspectives, life is back to normal - David's back at work, school is continuing, we are enjoying the outdoor weather (see above photo!), are making plans again...

In other ways, things are quite different. There are whole new regions of the human body that I know a lot more about, I have a much better understanding of how hospitals work, and I feel thankful for so many more things that I think I have been taking for granted. Here are a few:

1. Our Friends and Family (Our Support Network in brief!) - Whether they are church, homeschooling, have blood ties, or some other connection - we have a pretty amazing bunch of people out there who were quick to offer anything we needed. From snowshovelling, to laundry, babysitting, or delivering a Thermos of tea to the emergency room, we were covered. It is humbling to be so supported. How did I take all of them (you) for granted?

2. The Peace of God - I don't think I can fully describe some of the moments I have lived through in the past 6 weeks. There is a despair to being up in the night, when you are incredibly tired, with a person who is in so much pain they just want to give up. There is an anxiety to hearing "there is "something" there" and wondering what exactly it is. It is unnerving to walk in to a hospital time after time, past the signs for "oncology" and "palliative care" wondering if I will be turning down that hallway in the future. It is hard to sit (anywhere) in a hospital and wait -for your name to be called, for the doctor, for the test, for the result, for the next IV drug... It is wearing to try to be two places at once - to feel you are not just wanted, but needed, by two groups of people at the same time, and most of your time feels like it is spent in driving, and parking. And we won't mention laundry, dishes, meals, the afore-mentioned snow, school schedules, funerals, parking tickets (grr), and bell choirs. However, through the trials I can testify that I had peace - anxieties, worries, yes - but under it all a deep peace that we were in the Lord's hands, and this was all from Him. No panic. Good sleep. Not sure what was coming, but knowing that He would give what we needed to meet it. Now, this is something I did not take for granted at the time, I was a little amazed how peaceful I felt, but I know that I do not always acknowledge the peace the Lord gives in my day-to-day life.

3. Prayer Support - We had a lot of people praying for us, including David's aunt who is a nun and 64 other sisters in her community. And I believe that the peace I felt, and the way the household didn't fall apart, the energy I had, and the quick recovery David is making is thanks to a huge amount (probably more than I know) of prayer. I know I have taken prayer for granted in the past.

4. How Good We Have It - The Haiti earthquake hit the day after David was admitted to hospital. What a great way to get some perspective. And I know people who have gone through, and are going through, much worse with the health of their loved ones. I can take my life for granted, the good things God has given us. A trial can quickly establish perspective - we have it so good.

So these are some things I repent of taking for granted, and I am sincerely thankful for. There's a lot more I have learned, but that may have to wait for another time!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Jubal Cottage School

In a couple of days we start the new term of Jubal Cottage School, so I thought this was a good time to post some pictures from our Christmas Concert (and I finally got them on the computer and off the camera!!) Jubal is a place for homeschoolers to work together in the arts, with a focus on corporate expression (e.g. choir, drama) that is hard to do at home by yourself. The goal of Jubal is to train students in the arts to the glory of God!, with the idea that the training they receive here will help them to worship in the local church. I direct the Junior Choir, and we had 30 students this year! We also have a new location, and it made for a lovely cosy feel for our concert.

As the director of the Junior Choir, I asked my photographer to get lots of photos - so here are some shots of the choir, left and right side. Aren't they a nice bunch of children?

We did a lot of work on practicing getting on and off the platform, and we did pretty well in the concert, but having them in two groups did make it a little complicated.

There is a Senior Choir too, for students aged 10 and up. I think there were 27 in this group, and they spread out across the front of the chapel, so you'll have to look at them in three pictures:

Left Side:

Middle Group:

Right Side:

With a close-up of a section of the choir,

There is also drama at Jubal! Here are a group of the Seniors performing a skit they wrote based on an Aesop Fable:

The Juniors had a lot of drama too! They did a summary of a Midsummer Night's Dream, here Hermia is rejecting the appeal of Demetruis.

The whole evening started with a potluck supper, then we had our concert, and then we all helped clean up. This last picture is of some of the Juniors taking their bows, and I think their expressions sum up nicely how the evening went.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2010! And the start of a new decade! It's been fun talking over the past decade with Tim and Emmi - they can't remember some of the "big" events from the beginning of it (e.g. 9/11 terrorist attacks) but can remember some of the more recent ones (like listening to Barach Obama's inaguration). I've had a little fun just thinking through where we will be at the close of the next decade - with 20 through 14 years olds about. Wishing you all, all the best in the years to come! Amen!