Tag Archives: God

Revisiting my bucket list from 10,000 feet up

I so very much love to stand out under the expansive sky at night, looking at the countless stars and the beauty of the night sky. The unique globe we live on, the bubble of air we live in, totally astound me. The curve of the atmosphere above and around us … the vastness of God’s creation … that serves to sustain life, almost takes my breath away. I am in awe over and over again. 

All month I’ve been planning to tell you about something I was able to do this summer. As my title suggests, I made a change to my bucket list — you can refer to my bucket list post HERE — because I completed one adventure I’ve been wanting to do for about seven years now. It was time to go …

 tandem  sky-diving!

On August 1st my four daughters, my grandson, and I went to the little local airport where I had reserved time for myself and my youngest daughter to tandem skydive. It was a gorgeous, sunny, hot day with a few fluffy clouds in the wide blue sky and a little breeze. An ideal day for jumping out of a plane.

7.our plane

After filling out and signing those just-in-case legal release forms …

1.Signing forms pre-jumpwe met our jumpmasters and got fitted into the proper safety gear.

We selected the jump with video, which, at the time of this writing, we have not yet seen. I dread mine and later I’ll tell you why. After that we got a short instruction of what to do, what not to do, and what to expect.

Because there were enough jumpmasters (experienced skydivers) available, my daughter and I were able to go up in the same plane together and jump about a minute apart. So cool!

8.Lynn boarding plane

My jumpmaster and I boarded the plane first, as you see in the above photo, followed by my daughter and hers – who happens to be the owner/operator of the business. I sat behind the pilot and faced my jump partner, while my daughter – in order to exit first – sat by the door, her jump partner behind her.

10.waving on take-offIn the above photo the plane’s window is ajar, and behind the pilot’s arm you can just see my hand as I’m waving to my family watching us taking off.

9.there we go!And there we go!

The flight up to 10,000 feet over the beautiful Annapolis Valley was exquisite and I loved it! The Valley is very beautiful and rich with colour and amazing landscape divided up with lakes, the Bay of Fundy, many plots of farmlands, the towns and little communities, and the hilly and forested regions. It was a great opportunity to see in a different way the part of the world God made for me (us) to live in, and it was such a thrill.

The photo below is a small sampling, so imagine this view from completely above the Valley:


This photo of Annapolis Valley is courtesy of TripAdvisor

I do love to fly! In a little Cessna it’s even more thrilling. During the flight I found that I was nervous and excited, more excited than nervous, and not the least bit afraid. You might argue that being nervous is fear, but for me it was just concern about whether I’d remember what to do. As it turned out, I didn’t remember everything and I survived anyway.  :)

Nearing jump time we were securely clipped together, newbies in front of and to our jumpmasters, and at the right elevation the first couple rolled forward out the door and disappeared. We followed. It was astounding! Strangely, I think that was my favourite part of the jump. No fear. It was not terrifying in the smallest way, just plunging out into wide open air space and rolling two or three times in midair. Oh. My. Goodness. Now I can hardly believe I DID IT!

The freefall was so fast, dropping for about 40 seconds before the ‘chute was released. I found the freefall to be very loud with the air beating against us as we plummeted (as one daughter on the ground called it) toward the earth. I had no bearings and found the straps uncomfortably tight – but that’s a good thing, really. It was when the parachute was released that the discomfort hit me. The tight straps, the feeling of motion sickness, the problems I had because of not remembering to keep myself positioned correctly, all took away from what was otherwise an amazing experience. Yet, I don’t regret it. Not at all. And most people aren’t affected the way I was; my daughter wasn’t.

The view is amazing from up there. What I noticed was the difference in air temperature; the closer we got to the ground the warmer the air became. A bonus for me is that as we neared our landing my jumpmaster surprised me by giving me temporary control of the steering! Pulling the left cord moved us left, pulling the right one … you guessed it … steered us right. Then he took over to guide us safely into our landing. 

coming down; Althea orange, Lynn multiIn the above photo look for the two colourful dots, the bottom orange one is my daughter’s parachute, the top tri-coloured one is mine.

Here’s a closer view of my descent: 14.Lynn coming in for a landing

It seemed quite awhile, but was not long at all, before I could make sense of what was beneath us. I could see the landing strip, my family standing watching and taking pictures, and the ground getting closer quickly. My daughter landed neatly with us coming in moments after, landing beside them. It was a thrill to be able to do that, and she was immediately determined it would not be her only jump.  :)

landed.4Moving in for a happy hug.

As you can see above, the clouds were filling in more of the sky after we landed, which made me glad we jumped when we did. Before we left for home we each were given a First Jump certificate as proof and recognition of our accomplishment.  :)

And how do I feel about the experience? I can say “I did it!” I won’t solo, although I might tandem jump a second time; right now I’m not sure. It was exciting. It was something I have wanted to do for several years, even though most people think I’m crazy even to have considered it. That’s okay. I DID IT. And I’m glad I did. I know what to expect now so a second jump should be even better.

Oh, and why do I dread seeing the video? Well, it was a close-up of my less-than-enthusiastic facial expressions as I was trying to take in everything while feeling a little queasy, and it’s not pretty when the wind forces hard against one’s face.  Yes, I know … vanity. (smile)  I was told the first jump is an experience of all that’s happening, and that’s true enough; the second and later jumps are when one can enjoy the experience more fully and be able to appreciate it better. Maybe so. Perhaps one day I will test that theory.

I doubt I would ever discourage anyone from tandem skydiving. What I would do is urge them to relax and remember to do all that is instructed. It will make it much more fun. It’s an amazing experience! I am so glad I DID IT!

we did it! 3

Have you ever skydived? What crazy adventure have you done that you would love to do again, or why would you never repeat it?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

 

 

 

 

What a winter was 2014-2015! Let me tell you my story

As goes life, 2015 is proving to be another year of challenges and concerns. I was going to share a little with you months ago; however, the way things have been going I am so very late starting it. It’s amazing to me how quickly we are almost half way through 2015! Perhaps you won’t mind indulging me anyway?

It seems there is always one grief or stress to deal with, hardly is one behind us then another is on the horizon, besides the ongoing ones. A cousin of my mum passed away during the winter; however, because of the tremendous amount of snow we were getting, and the storms that seemed never-ending for awhile, the funeral service was not held until May when family could get together again. Of course, the next day Dad didn’t remember anything about it.

In January our daughter in Alberta asked for our advice. She’d decided it was time to move home and had a job offer here in NS! After six years of being away it was a major life change for her, an exciting one for all of us. Once the plan was settled I got busy on this end of the country. Online shopping can be fun when looking for good secondhand furniture on Kijiji. After I found an apartment that way, located a few minutes from her new job, we also were able to get a washer, a dryer, and a table and chairs set for her. Our main concern, though, was that she was determined to drive home, about 3000 miles or about 5000 kilometers – in her jeep, with all her belongings – including her two adult cats. Alone. In the dead of winter.   um… NO!   We bought a ticket for my husband who flew out to Alberta the first of February to drive home with her. That was the beginning of a crazy week.

After arriving there and getting a good night’s sleep, the next day he and she packed her belongings into a U-haul rental trailer – so full he said they couldn’t have wedged in a box of kleenex. They drove farther north to briefly visit her friend from NS who has lived out there longer than she, then started their long journey home. Since the plan was to take turns – one sleeping when needing to while the other was driving and then switching roles – and with the cats in their enclosure taking up the back seat, there was only room to sleep sitting up in the front passenger seat … as comfortably as could be arranged.

Remember, this was in the worst of our unpredictable Canadian winter. Coming across the middle of the country they experienced frigid minus-degree temperatures and bitterly cold winds in which no one should be out in the elements in miles/kilometers of nothing but dangerous weather. Nevertheless, they passed a hitchhiker daring to do just that! The jeep was crammed so full they had no room for an extra passenger, so when they stopped at a little diner they told a police officer. The officer picked up the hitchhiker to find a place for him to stay the night; otherwise, that person very possibly would have succumbed to the elements. 

 Meanwhile …

It was my week at home (instead of at my dad’s), so I was trying to keep the house and myself warm. The challenge for me was our outdoor wood furnace which I had never loaded or maintained because my husband always took care of it. I just didn’t want to. Usually, most of the wood my husband lifts into it is very heavy, way beyond what I can lift. It’s actually whole tree trunks cut into three-foot lengths or so, much of it not even split as it’s not necessary because it burns well as it is. It was only split if it was not possible for him to lift whole. Fortunately, last winter’s stash of wood had more small-sized sticks available than usual, many of a size I could handle without injury – if I were careful in how I lifted, didn’t slip in the very deep snow, and could propel the wood into the furnace to properly load it for efficient airflow. 

Now, the wood my husband can load in is so big the furnace has to be reloaded only twice a day, morning and evening. The wood I could manage was much smaller, therefore it had to be replenished much more often as it burned quicker. Let me tell you, I got more exercise than I wanted!

Because …

Unfortunately, soon after my husband and daughter started their journey eastward, here in NS we were hit with a wild blizzard that dumped a few feet of snow on us. When that settled I found, because of how the ‘white stuff’ had drifted, I could still make my way through a path in the snow to keep the furnace stoked. Then, hardly had a way been cleared in this province when we were hit with a snowstorm. A huge one. With loads more snow. By the time that one ended I had so much snow I couldn’t get out my back door so had to battle my way out the front and around the house to the now buried path to the furnace. Did I say buried? There was no longer a path beside the truck which was half buried. (see top right photo below) I have never spent so much effort and energy repeatedly struggling through such deep snow, bitter cold, and biting wind – quite an experience for little me. It had to be done. I couldn’t let the fire die out, but the snow was so high and dense I couldn’t struggle through it anymore. I wasn’t sure how I was going to do it but I was determined not to ask for help for as long as I could hold out.

snow halfway up our back doorMORE snow, truck half buried

can't get in this way our back door from the outside

 

 

 

 

That’s when my dear father-in-law came to my rescue. That morning he arrived on his tractor equipped with snowplow and blower, after I’d been shovelling in an attempt to clear snow off my deck so I could open the door and also begin a new path to the furnace. If you look at the above photos, the bottom right one, my path was along the front of the deck railing on the right, across what was our lawn and up a rise.The snow was very heavy and packed solid, so by that time I was so depleted of energy I’d given up for awhile and gone inside to warm up and gain some energy back. I told my dad-in-law I would finish the deck, just had to stop awhile because I was so exhausted, but I would do it. He insisted on doing it for me. Bless his heart. I knew he was not feeling well, either, but he still insisted despite my objections. He got it done much quicker than I could have, for sure. I certainly appreciate him, he’s a good man.

Dad D clearing deck for meDad D plowing for me

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As for the travellers …

My husband and daughter stayed in a hotel one night – a place that allowed her cats – because it was a long stretch of nothing they were on, getting on for dark, with no idea what they might encounter since it was blustery and very, very cold. I’m sure they slept better that night; the rest of the time they slept on route.

In less than five days they made it home and I was so excited to get my arms around them! I’d prayed much for their safe travels. Interestingly,  they missed all the storms since it began storming in Alberta after they left so the bad weather heading east was always behind them, and the worst happened in Nova Scotia before they arrived. :)  Granted, there was a lot of snow clearing for my beloved to undertake once he got back, and he felt sorry I’d been stuck with so much to handle while he was away, but I survived!  :)  (And now he knows I can load that darn furnace if the wood is small enough. ah well.)

In this photo (left), with more snow coming down, I was leaning on a snowbank under which was our lawn swinging-chairs set. Somewhere.
I am happy to say there is NO SNOW now. :)  How I do love Spring and Summer!

too much snow!I'm leaning on a snowbank

 

 

 

The last thing I’ll say for now is this …

My dad – who will be 90 in a few days – is getting worse (wretched Alzheimer’s, and weak heart) but is still spunky and usually cheerful; and another dear family member has been recently diagnosed with Mesothelioma (incurable cancer) with not much time left with us. Some days life’s stresses feel so heavy on me, but then I remember the Lord is my Strength and the Song and Light in my heart. If God is for me, who can be against me?

I wish you each a sweet song in your heart.

What has been going on in your life? How do you cope? What joys do you have to share with us?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

 

 


 

 

 

The Atonement

I hope you have had a blessed Easter.  This amazing occasion is a time, for me, of thinking over what it really means, what God did for us through Jesus Christ. It is a time to marvel and stand in awe and gratitude.

If you have ever wondered what it is really all about, there is a website that explains The Atonement better than anywhere I’ve read it or heard it discussed. Go to The Threshing Floor to read it for yourself.

Easter.crossToday has been a busy family day. Sixteen of us met at Dad’s to share a delicious meal together, a meal to which there were many contributions so that one or two people don’t have to do the whole thing. The youngest in attendance is almost 10, the oldest is almost 90. It used to be the females outnumbered the males, but it’s now the other way around – today girls 6, guys 10. As you can imagine, there is always a lot of food prepared – and eaten, but always there are some leftovers to divide up. 

Do you have family events to enjoy? What does Easter mean to you?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

Instead of a book review

Hello, everyone!

Today is supposed to be a book review day but, as you can see, this is not one. I’m sorry, I just haven’t managed to get one written yet. My apologies for not even getting a post up over the week-end.

It was an exhausting week for me with spending so much of it with Dad in hospital. He was admitted Monday evening when they determined he had suffered a heart attack. In the morning he was moved to ICU even though he didn’t really need to be there, but it was really God’s blessing because of his state of mind and the excellent attentive nursing care he needed and received. Most of the time he didn’t seem to understand for long where he was. He thought he was home or in another hospital which would have been where he was if he were still living where he grew up. The heart attack really served to add to his confusion, so it was difficult when he became agitated.

What we learned through all of this is that we are losing our dad more quickly now as certain things are not working well anymore. It is a waiting game, not within an expected amount of time as it was with our dear Mum, but time is shortened. As his daughters, my sister and I have much to be thankful for and much to deal with yet, but we have very good support in place and we have each other. Teamwork counts a great deal in this.

What I learned is that God’s provision comes in many ways, usually without our realizing it in the moment, and in such a loving fatherly way. Also, on another track, I learned through our recent experience more about how totally fascinating the brain is — and if I were younger I would want to make that my advanced study and learn more about dementia and how to treat it or even prevent it. How much I want to know! How much there is to know!

Now I wish to thank you for faithfully checking in to read my book reviews and other posts. You make blogging enjoyable for me, and it helps to keep me writing. Please remember to visit my BUY THE BOOK page when you are looking for a book to read as there are many good ones listed there that I’ve reviewed, and check out my Writers’ Helps page for helpful links and fun things to do, not only for writers.

I will get into my reading and writing again, and a new book review will be up soon. Thank you for your patience.

I have two questions for you today:

  1. Have you learned something helpful during time of crisis?
  2. If you could study something that would be of benefit to mankind what would it be?

PS:  I just realized I failed to mention Dad was released from hospital Friday afternoon. He is doing well enough they said it would be okay but we keep the nitro spray handy and continue on as we were. He is more content in his own home and sleeping better at night. Not having to remain in bed or in one room works so much better for him.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

 

 

 

Bless your soul today

I don’t know about you, but I am consistently brought into places of need for my soul, places where I need encouragement, restoration of my peace, reconnection with God on a deeper level again. It is at those times I often soak in His blessing of sweet ministering music.

I don’t usually share openly about my faith here, but today I will just say this … without Him I am nothing. He is the Meaning to my life.  Oh, that everyone would know Him that way.

Here is a beautiful collection by Hillsong. I hope you enjoy it and have a blessed day.

For who in heaven can be compared unto the LORD? Who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the LORD? – Psalm 89:6

Praise the LORD oh my soul! Do not forget all His kind deeds. – Psalm 103:2

Therefore my heart was glad and my tongue rejoiced; my body also will live in hope,  – Acts 2:26

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

 

 

Hillsong

Book Review: Heaven’s PREY – by Janet Sketchley

Heaven's PreyBook: Heaven’s PREY: A Redemption’s Edge novel
Author: Janet Sketchley
Publisher: Choose NOW Publishing
Date: November 1, 2013
Genre: suspense; regional fiction
Pages: 322
Price: Paperback under $16; Kindle under $4
My rating: hard to read but harder to put down
 

I received a copy of Heaven’s Prey from the author for my honest review.

This was a novel hard for me to read but also hard to put out of mind. I had to know how it ended, and not only in order to write a review.

In Heaven’s Prey by Janet Sketchley we meet Ruth, the main female character who is still mourning the loss of her niece, a young woman who had been brutally attacked and murdered. We meet Tony, Ruth’s husband who refuses to accept the God to Whom his wife prays … for the killer! In a dramatic turn of events we meet the killer, Harry, who had escaped from prison and was not on the west coast of Canada where everyone was looking for him, but in Nova Scotia – on Canada’s east coast.

Mild spoiler alert: On her way home from a prayer meeting Ruth makes a stop at a convenience store. That’s when things get dramatic. In an odd turn of events Harry is there and kidnaps Ruth, not knowing her connection to his last victim (her niece) before he was caught. This traumatic event leads to dramatic change in the lives of Ruth, Tony and Harry.

Janet Sketchley is a strong writer. Heaven’s Prey is well-structured, dramatic, hard to read in places because of content, and keeps the reader interested in knowing if/how Ruth will survive, and what will happen to Harry.

Although this novel is a story of redemption and forgiveness it is definitely not a book for young readers. If you enjoy a good suspense with no foul language, scenes that are on the edge but not graphic, drama that rises and falls and increases again, then this is the book for you.

Heaven’s PREY by Janet Sketchley was a finalist in the 2014 Word Awards in the suspense category.

You can find Heaven’s PREY listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

 Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

 

Book Review: Balanced: Finding Center as a Work-at-Home Mom – by Tricia Goyer

BalancedBook: Balanced: Finding Center as a Work-at-Home Mom
Author: Tricia Goyer
Publisher: GoyerInk
Date: December 17, 2013
Genre: women’s non-fiction, family living
Pages: 106
Price: Kindle, $4.97
My Rating: a must-read for all work-at-home moms who feel guilty because they can’t do it all
 
 

If you are a mother with still-at-home children to care for, if you are trying to work at home while caring for your children (this doesn’t mean that caring for your children is not work), if you are super-stressed with trying to do it all and maintain your sanity — this book is for you! Or if you know someone who falls into that category, perhaps even a work-at-home dad, this book should be in her/his hands.

Author Tricia Goyer is a prolific writer having many books to her credit. She doesn’t hide the fact that she lives by her faith in God, and that her writing talent is a gift from Him. If you are worried about “religious” content, don’t be. In a non-preachy way she shares about how to make change happen in your life to help you find balance as you try to handle both children and career.

The following is a list of the eleven chapters in which she shares practical and sound advice, ideas, and suggestions in a conversational, non-clinical manner.

  1. My Story of Finding Balance {And Some Practical Starter Ideas}
  2. How Your Work Benefits from You Being at Home
  3. How My Kids Benefit from My Work-at-Home-Ness
  4. What Does God Have In Mind When He Selects and Shapes a Person?
  5. Working and Serving from Your Core
  6. Becoming the Architect of Your Own Schedule
  7. Successful {Not Stressful} Family Living
  8. I Can’t Tell You How Many Times a Week I’m Asked, “How Do You Do It All?”
  9. Being a Mom and Following Your God-Given Dreams … I Give You Permission
  10. The Freedom of Knowing Yourself
  11. Balance Isn’t the Ultimate Goal – Knowing God Is

Since I seem to like quotes, a few things Tricia Goyer said stood out to me, such as:

  • “Dreams don’t happen if they stay dreams; you have to do something about them.”
  • “When we do the work He’s called us to do, we can trust the outcome to Him.”
  • “I want to live the type of life I can write about.”

I also liked these quotes she mentioned by other people:

  • “I am here to serve; not to show off. I am here to inspire; not to impress. I am here to make a difference; not to make a name.” – mantra of author and speaker Sam Horn when she gets up to speak
  • “When you want what God wants for the reasons God wants it you’re unstoppable … for the glory of God.” – Steven Furtick, pastor at Elevation Church
  • “There are two great days in our lives. The day we were born, and the day we discovered why.” – William Barclay

From my personal position, I found this book is not only for work-at-home moms, but for anyone with legitimate demands on their time and attention as they try to ‘work at home.’ Balanced: Finding Center as a Work-at-Home Mom is worth the short time required to read it, and may help you discover things you didn’t know about yourself.

You can find Balanced: Finding Center as a Work-at-Home Mom listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)