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August 23, 2009

More Wisdom from Karen Hancock's blog

From the blog of one of my favorite authors, Karen Hancock:

"Then today in mid morning I caught myself doing the weird, tense, things-are-bad-and-wrong thing and sat down to figure out what exactly I was feeling. Turns out it was anxiety and condemnation. Again. Because, again, I had somehow started focusing on all the things I thought I had to do, plus the things I wanted to do, a list, as I said, far too long to ever complete. Knowing it unconsciously, I became tense and anxious, condemning myself because I wasn't working enough. Getting enough done.

Weird how subtly it sneaks in and the next thing you know you're in this weird place. I needed to recall that it's God's plan that matters, not mine, that there's always time to do the will of God, and that if I'm confused about what I should be doing, since I have so many options, perhaps I should stop and ask Him what He wants me to do.

Peace returned. And then tonight in the basics class the pastor-in-training reminded us... the Christian life is about falling on our faces and getting up again, over and over and over. But it doesn't matter how many times we fail, only that we get up and keep on going. He talked, too, of how when faced with a problem or overwhelming circumstances we so easily revert to human viewpoint and start focusing on how we're going to solve the thing, rather than recalling that the problems aren't ours, but God's."

Karen obviously has exactly the same tendencies as I do - only she comes to her senses faster.

August 23, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 19, 2009

Hiking in Elm, Kanton Glarus, Switzerland

We drove for 1 hour 15 mins, from the canton of Zurich, east-south-east through Schwyz, and into the canton of Glarus. I guess that's "canton" in English and French, but "Kanton" in German, hence the confused non-consistency. Up a side valley, at the very end, sits the secluded village of Elm.

CIMG0076 At the end of an unlikely-looking narrow road, a man sat on a wooden bench waiting for customers to ferry up the mountain. Riding a little, 4-person cable car up, we were able to begin our hike at a higher elevation. There were only two of these blue cars going, one on each side. One went up while the other went down (8 minutes each way). Can you see the hole in the mountain rock face on the left? It's Martin’s Hole, a "natural spectacle." Twice a year, in March and October, the sun shines through it onto the church tower in Elm. Kind of cool. It's 16 metres wide.


On our hike, we passed several waterfalls, streams, and wildflower species.

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We climbed up to the top of the waterfall, and beyond, to a plateau where the river was flat and fun to play in. That's my foot on the right, above, and see the rest of my family way down the hill by the stream? No? The three of them are down there resting/playing, just before the stream plunges off the mountain, and that's how steep that hill was, right over the top of the waterfall. I was sitting on an overhang suspended over lots of nothingness. Quite a rush. I had to climb down backwards!

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CIMG0069I just love fields at high altitude, filled with random collections of happy, free flowers planted by God.

August 19, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 15, 2009

Post-vacation, ramping up to school

We're back home in Zurich, Switzerland. Had a truly wonderful summer trip to the U.S., and it was equally truly fantastic to return home here, within sight of the pre-Alps, in the fresh, dry air (no more East Coast humidity) and international community.

It took me a long, long time to go through all the photos from this summer, because we saw so many extended family members and had so much fun. But I finally managed. I've posted a ton on Facebook, so if you know me, you can see them there.

A few highlights for the rest of you in this photo album: Summer 2009 (25 photos with comments). Below, the highlights of the highlights:

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Now off for a family hike, I hope, on the last weekend before Jason starts 11th grade at his new school. Good orientation day yesterday, at which he received his tablet laptop with fingerprint recognition to log in...very cool.

August 15, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 04, 2009

Fun, fun, fun in the summer sun

Since I last posted, it's been fun, fun, fun - with the odd ear infection (Emily) and torrential rainstorm (on the way to the Boston airport). I was out of internet access for ten days - resulting in about 163 emails to wade through upon my return (still working on them). Instead of internet activities, we engaged in:

1. Family Reunion with about 25 people from my dad's side, at my cousin Sarah's in Massachusetts

- kids swimming for 8 hours straight with cousins (hence Emily's water-in-the-ear problems)
- meeting more relatives for the first time (e.g. my cute, twin, one-year-old second cousins once removed :-), and my first cousin's sister-in-law and family)
- 3 dogs interacting with everyone
- catching up with everyone we haven't seen in years

2. InterVarsity Christian Fellowship Family Camp in New Hampshire

- meeting up with old college friends on both David's side and mine
- making many new friends, both for us and the kids
- discussion, reflection, study, singing, worship, and prayer over the topic of "The Way" as described in the Bible and as relating to personal and family life
- pond swimming, canoeing, kayaking, and diving off the floating dock ten times before going ashore
- semi-spontaneous 19th Century Dance Evening which I had the pleasure of calling/teaching
- bonfire with s'mores
- games, games, games (e.g. Hearts, Mafia, Guillotine, a pretty butterfly puzzle, and new-to-us strategy board games: Power Grid, and Ticket to Ride)
- ice cream at Kimball Farm in Jaffrey, NH (try Chocolate Peanut Butter, Coconut Almond Chip, Vanilla Swiss Almond and Moose Tracks - with peanut butter cups)
- pitch-black night-time glow-stick-lit ultimate frisbee for the teens (they wore glow-stick necklaces, and the frisbee lit up, and the goals were likewise lit by glow-sticks - it was surreal to watch, as I couldn't see any of the people, only the disembodied floating red and white necklaces... very cool)


3. Beach Fun at my mom's River House on the Rappahannock River in Virginia

- more kayaking, canoeing, swimming and beach playtime on the lagoon and tidal river
- more games
- more fun interpersonal interaction
- celebrating my mom's birthday (what a blessed daughter am I)
- finally back to internet access!

Only a few days left of our summer vacation...and I'm very, very thankful for all of it.

August 4, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack