We need love more than anything!

This is from a blog of mine I posted a few years back.

Imagine there’s no countries, It isn’t hard to do, Nothing to kill or die for, And no religion too, Imagine all the people, Living life in peace.. -John Lennon

We are all one. We are all the same. We all strive to be acknowledged and to be loved.

“If you want to awaken all of humanity, then awaken all of yourself, if you want to eliminate the suffering in the world, then eliminate all that is dark and negative in yourself. Truly, the greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation.” – Lao Tzu

Lao Tzu puts it so elegantly. Why are we trying to fix those around us when it is us ourselves who are need of fixing. Look deep within yourself for change and watch how the world around you changes as you change yourself.

I noticed this when I returned from maternity leave at work. Certain people had left our group and were replaced by more calming people. After having kids my attitude had changed. I did not feel as stressed, and I had learned that you need to be flexible with your expectations when something out of the ordinary arises.

We teach our children from a young age to love one another and to share; yet as a society we have a difficult time doing that. Let’s set our differences aside and first learn to love ourselves, then portray that same love outwards to the rest of humanity. As the Bible and many other religions say, “Love thy neighbor as you would love yourself.” – Matthew 22:37-39.

The presidential election in the United States has created a whole pot of turmoil. People have become upset over the choice of electors in voting in President-elect Trump. Now I know Trump has made many racist remarks. Yet if we took his campaign slogan, Let’s Make America Great Again,  we can turn this around to promote peace and love.

Now I’m not an American, however, my viewpoint of making America great should involve a coming together instead of pushing more further apart than ever before. We are all human. We may look different on the outside, yet we are all the same on the inside. We all bleed the same. We all want to love and be loved. All of humanity has the same basic instincts of survival. Making America great should involve setting our differences aside to come to build the country people see in their dreams. Take time to learn something about your neighbor. If you have a new neighbor, bring over a plate of cookies and introduce yourself. People do have a good side to them. Stop thinking that everyone is out to get you.

I pray for my American friends that they may find peace and love.

Tiny little dots

 

Have you ever looked closely at a comic picture? The picture is made up of thousands of tiny dots. Up close it doesn’t look like much, yet step back and view the whole picture, and the scene comes to life.

Life can be like this too at times. Often we are so rushed that we end up only looking at each tiny dot on its own. We forget about the back story and we forget about the other dots that make the picture whole. We are quick to make judgements based on appearances alone.

Everyone is woven together into one big picture. Each of us is a dot in the masterpiece of life. Together, we make a beautiful piece of art.

Picture courtsey of: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Lichtenstein

We’re all the same

The great connection I feel with everyone I speak to stems from bring aware that we are all on the same path, all of us wanting the same things: love, joy, and acknowledgment. – Oprah Winnfrey, What I Know For Sure

The people we meet

It is true that those we meet can change us so profoundly that we are not the same afterwards, even unto our names. – Yann Martel, Life of Pi

Is this a test???

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Is High River ready for an exodus? It may seem like it after the catastrophic flooding of June a month ago, now followed by a hail storm of up to golf ball sized! What’s next, the locusts? It has been a true testing of faith. Like Exodus 7-11, are we being forewarned to leave this area so many have called home, or is it simply a cruel Mother Nature seeking some revenge.

The freak thunderstorm once again flooded some streets as the storm drains have not fully recovered. Hail littered lawns like a fresh fallen snow. Leaves were everywhere, struck down by wind and hail. Insurance companies are not going to like us High Riverittes soon. First flood, now hail.

We should move on further down the Bible to Job 1:21 …”Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and The Lord has taken away, may the name of The Lord be praised.”

I often also find solace in Matthew 7:7-8.

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be open.

During times of hardship it is important to be grateful for what you have. It can be tough, and like Job’s wife, we may want to foresake The Lord. Yet we can persevere, we can rise again from the ashes. Let’s keep on mucking!

Thanks be to God!

An Emotional Rollercoaster!

First, in typical Canadian fashion, an apology to my readers for not blogging these last few weeks. My life has been turned upside down and inside out.
Jen

It started our as an ordinary day; the date, Thursday, June 21. I made it in to work by 7:30 am ready to get as much done before heading out on vacation the next day. At 8:30, a co-worker came in and said the Centre St bridge is closed. For anyone familiar with High River, this is not an unusual occurrence in June during flood season. It had rain quite hard overnight. I called my in-laws to see if they needed help. They told me they were just getting up, and why did they need help. I told them the town was on flood watch.

My husband had dropped our kids off at the preschool at 8:30, and by 9:30, I received a call to pick up our girls immediately as they were evacuating the preschool. There was already a couple of feet of water on the road in front of the school when he got there. They then transported a bunch of kids to a store a few blocks away until other parents could come.

My husband stopped at home and when his parents never came (they were planning on coming to help with a few last minute things before we went on holidays), he thought they were in trouble, so he started the trek to their house.

He then called me around 11am and Ryan and his dad were contemplating getting some sand bags. By this point they thought it would potentially take too long, so instead they moved what they could to higher ground.

Around 11:30 am, Ryan texts me and asks me to check on our house as the water was bad. At work, some employees from our downtown office started to arrive with water marks up to their knees.

I arrived to my block, and this is what I saw:

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First thought was I need to get my dog. I saw some Atco Gas workers on the corner and told them our dog needed to be rescued. One kind fellow volunteered. The water in the intersection was up to his knees. I thought about trying to get our motorhome out of there; then they started evacuating the few neighbours who happened to still be home. I decided it wasn’t worth the risk.

My husband, in-laws and children were now stranded, and I tried finding us a safe haven. I never thought our safe haven would have ended up one if the hardest hit areas.

I wasn’t reunited with my family until around 5:30 that evening. We were them told they were evacuating the entire town.

Around that time, the town lost the levy protecting the one end of town that was designed never to flood. So it flooded, and parts still remain underwater today.

I talked to my parents that day. They offered to help. I said it was too late. The water came so fast. I told them to start preparing their house as they are in Medicine Hat. The flood hit them a few days later. Still devastating in some parts of Medicine Hat, yet nothing will compare to the Hugh River flood.

Thirteen days later, we were finally allowed back to our house. It was incredible. Water came 5 feet up in our basement. Since we were not allowed in sooner, mold started to grow. A thick layer of mud coated the floors.

We were fortunate, our main floor was untouched. Although the stench of the fridges was astronomical. Even the clothes that were untouched have an awful stagnant smell to them. Pillows thrown out. Our mattresses might need to go.

The most incredible part is this has affected the entire town. It wasn’t simply the few idiots who own houses on the flood plan. During the early cleanup and rescue phases, the military occupied the town. Now there are police everywhere, piles of rubble, everywhere, people mucking mud, everywhere.

It has been amazing how the community has pulled together. We are grateful for all the volunteers. For the volunteer vac trucks. For the Tide truck to allow residents to do laundry. For everyone’s health and safety.

It will take a long time to heal from this wound. It will be one step of the way. It has been an emotional rollercoaster!

We never did make it on our holiday. Now the cleanup begins. I look at it from the point where it is now the chance to organize my house. To purge many unneeded things (of course the stuff that was not damaged).

The town is still my home, and it’s time to start a fresh.

Thank you again to all the volunteers. Your help is deeply appreciated. Our town will get rebuilt, one step at a time.

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