Welcome to A Life Examined

What is the examined life? A life worth living! As I look at the road ahead, I take all the baggage from the past and use it as experience - the pain and the passion, the sorrow and the joy - allowing it to carve wisdom into my mind and hope into my spirit.
There is no experience that can't be useful to me at some point in my life. There is no lesson learned that cannot make a contribution to the future.
A tiny drop of water is a part of the ocean. A tiny speck in the night sky is a ginormous star in the distance. It all depends on perspective.
So, this examined life is to offer reflections in the hope of discussing things which are of value to myself and to others.
Love, Sarah






Thursday, 22 January 2015

Living in Free-Fall Part 3 Parenting from a new perspective

I'm a parent. I'm discovering that living in free-fall effects this part of my life too. I am becoming clearer about the things I do well as a parent and the things I do not. Opening my eyes, removing the habits, changes dynamics and brings forth awareness about the good and the weak aspects in the relationship between my son and me.

I'm not, for instance, good at letting go. And this is vital for the sake of harmony in the home and the maturity of my son. We are close, my son and I. But I think it's time I partially withdraw emotionally, to give him room to mature.

I'm not one to believe in 'big boys don't cry' and so my son has learned to express his range of feelings. Like most parents, I've always hoped to do a good job at enabling my son to learn and grow into a decent person, and to discover the person he was created to be. But I think we're a bit too connected in this vein and he needs to have room to develop an more autonomous emotional well.

For this to happen, I need to adapt my parenting to today's needs: I need to be more consistent in my expectations of his behaviour and in my own. I need to be more aloof because, while he's getting older, he's not getting more independent, which is not good for him. I need to hold onto lovely memories and be available to discover the new connection we'll make. (It's already happening, it's fun in surprising ways!)
My Active and Athletic Son by Sarah Tun
While I don't want to force him to grow up, I don't want to hold back my son either. Time mustn't stand still for the sake of sentimentality. Rather, even in practical ways, he needs to develop the desire to organize himself, make important decisions appropriate for his age and abilities, and reach out more toward other people.

This hasn't been easy for me to recognize. I wonder if other parents, particularly mothers, find it difficult to see how the relationship between themselves and their children needs to change as their children grow. It seems obvious now, as I write it down, but I'm not sure I saw so clearly before this month, how things need to change - how I need to change toward my child - to be the parent my child needs today.

I see in many ways that he's thriving in the transition... more responsibility given to him is translating into greater self worth within him. As I adapt to living in free-fall, I'm discovering that a part of it is releasing the reins on my son, and we're both the better for it.

Love and God bless to you this week. See you next Thursday... AND:




END NOTE: For those who haven't known me for long, and perhaps for some who have: You might enjoy my other blog:
Life from the Lighthouse -- all about what God shows me when He talks to me and I listen. New posts monthly on the 1st.










My website for the Self Publishing House is www.LarusPress.com where I blog on wholeness, witness, the Word of God and worship & warfare. Larus Press offers Christian-based books, blogs and literature to inspire, encourage, equip and empower your living spirit.
Subscribe to our free newsletter, Soaring Post, with issues every Thursday to equip you for your spiritual walk.




See you next Thursday here at A Life Examined.





Thursday, 15 January 2015

Living in Free-Fall: Part 2 Set free from living according to Schedule


This week I have been discovering how to let go of my schedule. Just after I'd written the last post, about escaping life on a schedule, I had my resolve tested and... I passed! In other words, instead of sticking to my plan, I allowed an invitation to change my path. Now, I am really encouraged.

For some, this strategy would be the wrong thing to do. Some of us are born to procrastinate. But for me and others like me, I think the 'free-fall' - the attempt to live with a lack-of-plan - is a turn for the best.

I'm thankful for this stage in my life: My study is now set up again for my thoughts to ruminate, for me to mediate and create. Here I am in quiet surroundings - at the top of a mountain in Spain - with a glimpse of the sea and a great deal of open sky. My desk, my computer, and the instrumental music I love to listen to while I write - all are at the 'ready'.

I have discovered this week that so much of what I do in a day is by compulsion rather than by conviction.I feel compelled to tidy up before sitting down to write; compelled to focus on various projects instead of one-at-a-time; compelled to list the people I need to contact, and to catch up on overdue paperwork. Even though much of my work had to be suspended because of our move, nothing bad happened, so I realize some things just aren't necessary for life!

To live by compulsion as I have been doing up until recently, is not a life fulfilling existence. It isn't at least for me. It gave me a superficial sense of satisfaction when physical order was restored or a mental list was recorded.

On the other hand, to follow my convictions - allowing them to arise from the well inside of me and then to take action - there lies fulfillment for me. Followed sequentially, my convictions will I believe, bring me the sense of completion, achievement, even the victory I so long for.

So, as I live in free-fall, my first understanding has become to WAIT rather than to follow what I feel compelled to do. Even as I write this, I'm distracted by that inner voice that says, 'make that phone call now!'

I experience waiting as active, by-the-way. WAITING, LISTENING, ALLOWING my mind to receive the drops of wisdom, guidance, memory, inspiration and understanding from the well that is within me is active.

So, I wait, I receive, then I create.

I love free-fall. It's scary, but its rewards far outweigh the fear factor.

Love and God bless to you this week. See you next Thursday... AND:




END NOTE: For those who haven't known me for long, and perhaps for some who have: You might enjoy my other blog:
Life from the Lighthouse -- all about what God shows me when He talks to me and I listen. New posts monthly on the 1st.










My website for the Self Publishing House is www.LarusPress.com where I blog on wholeness, witness, the Word of God and worship & warfare. Larus Press offers Christian-based books, blogs and literature to inspire, encourage, equip and empower your living spirit.
Subscribe to our free newsletter, Soaring Post, with issues every Thursday to equip you for your spiritual walk.


See you next Thursday here at A Life Examined.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Living in Free-fall: New Year, New Direction. New Behaviour?

A Lifestyle in FREE-FALL:

I've always liked to be busy. Now I realize it's been a form of hiding - of hiding behind doing so that I don't feel too vulnerable or too useless.

Instead, I wonder: What's it like to live with less planning and more spontaneity?

I feel like I'm in free-fall right now. It is a new year and I'm full of desire to live differently, to live as though every moment has a purpose and not to miss its purpose because I'm busy with my own agenda.

I've never parachuted and I'm not interested in doing so. But I reckon I feel as one might feel after jumping out of a plane and falling; I'm floating, drifting in the air. It's the time before pulling the rip chord, safe in midair. That's what I feel like right now.

During this free-fall, I know I'm not going to die. But I've not got anything to hang onto.

I'd like to be able to live this way permanently.... not hanging onto being busy, but instead being available for what is to come.

I hope to live this way: to behave as though I'll land safely, but not to grip on to planning, organizing, volunteering, doing, as I usually do. Instead I'd rather float through time, waiting for what needs to be done at the perfect moment, and to be easy about the meanwhile. That's how I'd like to live from now on.

There's no New Year's Resolution for me. Instead there is a hope and desire to live differently; to abandon old patterns and to live as though today and tomorrow - time - will pass, and that if I release myself to live through time, I'll do the meaningful things life offers me and be available to those around me who need me.

A few years ago, a particular friend of mine died and I hadn't even known she was ill. I'd not seen her for a couple of years and even with internet we'd not been in touch for as long. When I heard the news she had died I was sad, shocked and I learned a valuable lesson from it that forever changed how I live in relation to people. I don't take opportunities to deepen a relationship for granted. I realize that such moments may not be repeated, so I don't let too much time pass, without keeping a friend informed, or without taking an opportunity to connect.

Just as I learned from that experienced and allowed myself to be changed by it, I hope I'll grow through this year's lesson: to live free of the busyness I've allowed to become a habit and a smokescreen for my inability to be vulnerable.

Welcome to 2015 - the year of living free! I've got no chute, I've got no plan, but plenty of ideas, aspirations and longings. May I surrender these, and wait to see what moments come without unnecessary busyness, and how they will lead me to fulfilled purpose.



END NOTE: For those who haven't known me for long, and perhaps for some who have: You might enjoy my other blog:
Life from the Lighthouse -- all about what God shows me when He talks to me and I listen. New posts monthly on the 1st.





My website for the Self Publishing House is www.LarusPress.com where I blog on wholeness, witness, the Word of God and worship & warfare. Larus Press offers Christian-based books, blogs and literature to inspire, encourage, equip and empower your living spirit.
Or subscribe to the Soaring Post free newsletter, with issues every Thursday.


See you again next Thursday for Part 2 of Living in Free-fall.

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

New Beginnings - Part 10: Dealing with Homesickness

Waking yesterday morning - New Year's Eve - I felt broken-hearted. My family and I have spent Christmas in the UK and it has been wonderful visiting relatives. Aware of returning to Spain, I feel hemmed in and sad... I miss Canada. How can being in the UK, where I used to live, make me long for Canada, where I no longer live? And how can thinking of Spain, where there is far more space than in England, make me feel hemmed in?

It isn't just the unpacking that I am not looking forward to, or the indoor winter chill that is Spain, because they have no insulation and houses are built to repel heat. It is the sadness of not yet fitting in - of being loved, yet not quite feeling at home and able to receive - that is difficult. And I realize, this is homesickness.

I've never felt homesick before. Never. Not at summer camp as a child, not when I moved to England, nor when I left England after nearly twenty years. Never. But I do now.

It won't last. At least I hope not, because it isn't a nice feeling, and it certainly is not worthy of my attention for a prolonged period of time. I have experienced many wonderful people and sites, since my move to Spain. But heartache isn't easily healed and isn't repaired with logic or psychology. While I've never experienced it before, I think perhaps homesickness is 'fixed' through recognition, imagination and hope.

1. I recognize my state and accept it.

2. I imagine the good and the difficult - the advantages and the disadvantages - of my previous home.

3. I look forward to how I and my family members will grow in our new life, and hope - trust and believe - that the New is full of promise and growth and joy.

There are so many advantages to living in Spain: We are closer to paternal family members, with whom my son can build deeper and lasting relationships. We are nearer to the older and the younger generations of my husband's family. We have sea and mountains to explore, ministry to employ, work and play to discover. And new people.

Relationship is what really moves humanity. We earn a living, we experience hobbies, but it is relationship with others that really touches our hearts as human beings.

I have been missing the landscape and the people that is my homeland of Canada. I have been celebrating family relationships in the UK this past Christmas, after years of being apart. I have been coping with the thought of returning to a new residence - that is not yet home - chiefly because there are not experiences and relationships that have been deepened over time.

Time heals. And in this case, time will reveal the purpose and the plan and the relationships that will grow in this phase of my life and the lives of my husband and son.

I'd like to know my purpose, and to be working and walking in it. But, will it be through this post, some booklet, or through the young people's novel I yearn to complete? Will it be by using past experience or expertise I shelved a long time ago? Or will it take a shape I do not yet imagine? I don't honestly know.

What does the next chapter hold for me? I am ready to turn the page...

Looking backwards, I am gaining perspective, finally. As I have navigated this move to a new country and the changes experienced by my family and myself, I have travelled a road that was sometimes expansive and beautiful: the sort of road that leads to glory.

Often-times though, the road I've travelled along has been narrow and dark with overcast skies.


But no matter the road, I've always known I am right where I am meant to be.

Now, I see partly, yet more clearly than I have for months. My attitude and my hope helps me to 'walk on water'. With my unpacking on track and my hope and confidence for the future intact, I'm developing a new routine. My feet have some direction as I tread new ground but in comfortable, old shoes.

As we look forward into 2015, may we rise to our challenges, be quick to help others, be certain in our purpose and be joyful in all circumstances.

Best to you for 2015!!

Love and God bless to you this week. See you next Thursday... AND:




END NOTE: For those who haven't known me for long, and perhaps for some who have: You might enjoy my other blog:
Life from the Lighthouse -- all about what God shows me when He talks to me and I listen. New posts monthly on the 1st.










My website for the Self Publishing House is www.LarusPress.com where I blog on wholeness, witness, the Word of God and worship & warfare. Larus Press offers Christian-based books, blogs and literature to inspire, encourage, equip and empower your living spirit.
Subscribe to our free newsletter, Soaring Post, with issues every Thursday to equip you for your spiritual walk.




See you next Thursday here at A Life Examined.

Thursday, 25 December 2014

A Christmas Promise

A Christmas Promise: 

I promise to look upon each person I meet with open eyes and an open heart.

I commit to kindness and patience to every person in my family.

I hope for a meaningful connection with each colleague I have.

I wish for the best outcome in every disagreement I encounter, where neither party feels intimidated, small or weak.

I thank each of you readers for your lives, and hope for your aspirations to be met, if not precisely how you expected, then in a way that is significant and lasting.

And I pray you have a splendid Christmas Season and a prosperous 2015.

A Christmas Blessing: 

May your heart be light, your hope be deep, your faith be strong and your life be changed as you look upward and outward this Christmas Day.
One Snowy Christmas Day by Sarah Tun

God bless,

Sarah xx

Love and God bless to you this week. See you next Thursday... AND:




END NOTE: For those who haven't known me for long, and perhaps for some who have: You might enjoy my other blog:
Life from the Lighthouse -- all about what God shows me when He talks to me and I listen. New posts monthly on the 1st.










My website for the Self Publishing House is www.LarusPress.com where I blog on wholeness, witness, the Word of God and worship & warfare. Larus Press offers Christian-based books, blogs and literature to inspire, encourage, equip and empower your living spirit.
Subscribe to our free newsletter, Soaring Post, with issues every Thursday to equip you for your spiritual walk.




See you next Thursday here at A Life Examined.


Thursday, 18 December 2014

What is Christmas?

What is Christmas? And, how much is 'too much' at Christmas?

Is there any such thing as 'too much of a good thing?'

For some, Christmas is a joy. For others, it is a duty at best, an annoyance at worst. Commercialism certainly thrives on Christmas and many would say it preys on people's good will, sense of obligation or sentimentality.

As for me, there are elements of Christmas I cherish. I love Christmas Carols. I love the idea of giving and sharing with close friends and family. Cliff Richard has a song called, "Saviour's Day" which for me, says it all. I love the song because it puts the emphasis on Jesus, without the holiday fervour or excess of 'too much' eating, drinking or spending.

There is a great gift of Christmas. And I'm not going to say the cliche of Christ. I think in Christmas there is a primary lesson; it is not about tinsel, nor about children, not even about the baby Jesus.

I think Christmas is about love.

We may not like everyone we meet, but we can choose to love them. We can learn from Jesus what he came and shared about love, so that we can get along better and enjoy life far more all 365 days of the year.

Love came down at Christmas in the package of a baby boy. Love grew up and shared his understanding of what it means to love one another on a massive scale.

If we can learn to love as Jesus taught about love, then we can learn to cope at work when the person in the next cubical is annoying. We can accept the choices other people make, even when we believe their choices are bad choices. We can engage with people we seem to have nothing in common with, knowing we are all part of humanity.

As I celebrate the Season of Christmas this year, I'm going to choose to cope with, accept and engage with others lovingly, knowing we are all imperfect people aiming to protect ourselves and share with others whatever part of us we think is best to offer. This is my choice for this day, and for every day.

I won't drop in at An Examined Life next week because it's Christmas Day. I hope you and yours will enjoy - in your own way - the day and the season, in the fullness of your understanding of what it's all about. From me to you, God bless! Personally, I don't think there is any such thing as too much love in the world, so I'm hoping Christmas - defined in that light - goes to excess for all.


Love and God bless to you this week. See you next Thursday... AND:




END NOTE: For those who haven't known me for long, and perhaps for some who have: You might enjoy my other blog:
Life from the Lighthouse -- all about what God shows me when He talks to me and I listen. New posts monthly on the 1st.










My website for the Self Publishing House is www.LarusPress.com where I blog on wholeness, witness, the Word of God and worship & warfare. Larus Press offers Christian-based books, blogs and literature to inspire, encourage, equip and empower your living spirit.
Subscribe to our free newsletter, Soaring Post, with issues every Thursday to equip you for your spiritual walk.




See you next Thursday here at A Life Examined.



Thursday, 11 December 2014

New Beginnings - Part 9 Home & the Reality of Change

A cloud of reality leads me upward, and I realize: I'm scared. I'm also relieved.

First, the scared part: I'm in a new land which is now my home. I couldn't call it home until now, but now the official documents say I'm here. Until recently, I was caught between two worlds, my homeland of Canada and a new start in Spain. I confess I've considered turning back, going home to what I know and love. The thought, "I've been a tourist, perhaps it's time I went home" went through my mind, and I was serious. But now I'm here, to stay, and with that reality, I admit I'm scared.

What am I scared of? It isn't the new language or new orientation or people. It isn't starting over with relationships to build and places to discover. What it is, is having no control. I'm in free-fall and I'm not usually the paratrooper type. I like planes well enough; to stay in them until they're back on the ground is adventure enough. I'm in a new land and have no idea what I'll do with my time from this moment on. Oh, I'll be a mom and wife and companion to people. I reckon I'll continue to write. But what is in store? I've no idea. And though I'm scared of the unknown and what is beyond my control, I am anticipating the positive. So I am scared, but I'm not afraid to fly.

Now, the relieved part: Here I am, living in Spain, with my family. We've lived in 3 countries within 5 years. I've found it difficult to have time to myself over the past few months of transition - the leaving and the arriving both consuming my focus. I have been saying since arriving in Spain: "I've moved" while in my heart of hearts I've only been in trial mode. Now, with my belongings (red tape finally cleared! - see last week's excerpt if you aren't familiar with the reference point) and my family here, it's hard to imagine moving on - again.

So, I'm at peace with this new situation and after a long transition and a few doubts behind me, I'm relieved.

Apart from becoming acquainted with a new language, I have a lot of adjustments to make and a lot of information to digest. Among these adjustments to my changes in circumstance, I need to know: How will my writing be a part of this new life? I feel like it - as well as I - have been in a holding pattern since October. Now, I'm in my own office again - albeit a new one to me - and I have my space and my time to compose. But is there something else to be focusing on, something more immediate or important to the general pulse of the universe that I must do, to ensure I'm playing my part? Truth is, I don't know. That's what scares me, and intrigues me as well.
Me at Work


You see, I see that I'm not really in control anymore. I realize life has moved me on, and at breakneck speed, to a surprising place. There are few moments in my life when I wasn't 'in control' and now I have a feeling I won't have that control any longer.

I want to continue to write. It is a life pulse for me. But what shall I write? And how shall I convey what I've already learned to others? After all, as a teacher once, it's hard to completely turn my back on something that's inside me. So I write, and I talk about writing. And what else?

My family is settling in. Now, it is perhaps my turn to discover what's here for me.

As Christmas approaches, I'd like to complete this cycle of New Beginnings and look toward the festive season and how all things point to another moment in time, one that is and was and will always be outside of ourselves and yet a part of ourselves. We all need love, joy and peace. For me, Jesus is the reason for this upcoming Season; but whether or not it is for you, this season does offer lots of love and joy and peace in little surprising places and moments and faces. As we come upon this Season, may you embrace every opportunity to enjoy those unexpected places, moments and faces.

Love and God bless to you this week. See you next Thursday... AND:




END NOTE: For those who haven't known me for long, and perhaps for some who have: You might enjoy my other blog:
Life from the Lighthouse -- all about what God shows me when He talks to me and I listen. New posts monthly on the 1st.










My website for the Self Publishing House is www.LarusPress.com where I blog on wholeness, witness, the Word of God and worship & warfare. Larus Press offers Christian-based books, blogs and literature to inspire, encourage, equip and empower your living spirit.
Subscribe to our free newsletter, Soaring Post, with issues every Thursday to equip you for your spiritual walk.




See you next Thursday here at A Life Examined.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

New Beginnings - Part 8 Red Tape

Spain. Land of sunshine, friendly people and... bureaucracy!

I like the reality of administration. It is necessary. It keeps people organized and if someone is trying to get away with something, it helps to keep them accountable... and society safer.

But those in Administration really need to have their thinking caps checked to ensure they are able to cope with their responsibilities, without extremes of megalomania or the propensity to get stuck in a box.

Spain is 'known' for its bureaucracy. I admire their system that so effectively manages to ensure its inhabitants are officially accounted for, so that benefits are available to those deserving, and taxes are paid by those who are required.

But sometimes, be it in Canada, Britain, Spain or worldwide, some Administrators seem to lack common sense.

As I write, my property is in a holding pattern, because a particular Customs official can't seem to grasp the fact that I've moved from Canada, where I lived for the past 4+ years. Perhaps leaving the wide plains of North America, 'land of the free', is unfathomable for him (or her). Or perhaps 15 documents that prove I lived there aren't enough. (Apparently there is a transfer document for residents who depart Spain - but Canada doesn't provide that, and neither do many/most other countries.) Or maybe he or she is seeking a promotion and so thinks that blocking my shipment and charging a duty will earn brownie points.

I remember once years ago (in Canada), when I had changed my name and sought to get a government social insurance card changed, the administrator had difficulty restraining herself from charging me. The rules stipulated that there was no charge for a legal name change. I'd changed my first name, legally; however, the woman at the desk couldn't reconcile her concept of a name change - so narrow as to include only a sir name through marriage - when I'd changed my Christian name by choice. She just couldn't widen her scope beyond her assumptions. Eventually, I invited her to call her superior, who was a more flexible thinker, and I had my card revised to incorporate my new name, free of charge.

We all experience red tape from time to time. It can be annoying and inconvenient. It's important not to let our frustrations out on the person behind the desk who is, after all, only trying to do his job.

Yet, when the individual is incompetent, we'd like to draw the line, wouldn't we? How do we cope when we don't experience 'fair play'?

The key is grace.

We all make mistakes. Patience, kindness, giving the benefit of the doubt is what we want when we make a mistake. Likewise, it's what we need to offer when we know we're right but have to wait for the other person to 'see the light', even when it is at our expense and inconvenience.

I'm telling myself this because it's getting more and more difficult for me to live this out at the present time.

Is my shipment going to be released tomorrow? Or will I be denied my goods again and be asked to offer further documents, charged for delays I didn't cause, and shuffle my schedule yet again? I don't know. But I do know shouting down a phone won't get me any closer to getting what I want.

I do ask myself "Why?" Why am I being forced the expense and inconvenience of waiting? Why is my documentation not being taken at face value when others before me have had theirs accepted? Why don't Customs officials have a better grasp of international bureaucracy so they don't ask of someone from another nation documentation that doesn't exist?

To be honest, I don't think the "Why" has as much to do with the Customs agent as it has to do with me. I think this experience is the opportunity for me to stretch my grace muscles. I'm getting a workout, that's for sure. Let's see how I manage tomorrow.

Until next week... and I'll let you know how things have panned out at the Customs office here in Spain.






Love and God bless to you this week. See you next Thursday... AND:




END NOTE: For those who haven't known me for long, and perhaps for some who have: You might enjoy my other blog:
Life from the Lighthouse -- all about what God shows me when He talks to me and I listen. New posts monthly on the 1st.










My website for the Self Publishing House is www.LarusPress.com where I blog on wholeness, witness, the Word of God and worship & warfare. Larus Press offers Christian-based books, blogs and literature to inspire, encourage, equip and empower your living spirit.
Subscribe to our free newsletter, Soaring Post, with issues every Thursday to equip you for your spiritual walk.




See you next Thursday here at A Life Examined.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

New Beginnings - Part 7 Loneliness

Moving has an inevitable aspect to it: loneliness.

J fishing by Alan Tun


I observe my son, who is happy enough at his new school; however, he shows signs of being lonely and he's not made a connection with any special friend yet. While he, at age nine, is not old enough to grasp the content of this discussion, I'd like to share some strategy to overcoming loneliness, or at least that sense of 'aloneness' which arises every now and then in life.

Moving to a new place isn't the only time we may encounter loneliness. We may feel lonely when we hold sole responsibility, or when we experience a poignant moment in our lives, but have no one to share it with. Whether the season is a challenging one or a victorious one, in life's ebb and flow, we all fair better when we have others with whom to share the significant moments.

So, how do we get through those times when we feel lonely?

We can keep busy, but that only masks the problem, rather than solving it.

I find I feel lonely when I've got no one with whom to share my thoughts, so I overcome by writing. Whether I am writing to myself, my God, or my journal, I am taking the ideas and impressions that are inside me and putting them outside of myself. The specific audience is less important to me than the communication. For me, the inability to express my thoughts is what makes me feel lonely, so finding a way to express myself takes away much of the isolation.

Maybe that's why so many people blog! Is that what is at the heart of the billions on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest? In our need to find a way to express ourselves we take our opportunities though the forums provided.

Creative expression of any kind is a way forward through 'Alone Seasons'. I see it in paintings, sculpture, dance, stories. I think it was Earnest Hemmingway who wrote 'the' shortest story:
"For Sale: One Pair of Baby Shoes, Never Been Worn."
That would have been a very lonely moment for the character who lived that ad.

A sense of isolation can be with us, whether surrounded by friends or by strangers. When we are aware of it, I think we need to face that sense head on. There is an emptiness inside each of us that, until recognized and addressed, will effect our decisions and behaviour. No one feels completely fulfilled, accepted, peaceful, understood, heard all of the time. Those 'empty' moments are also opportunities. They are moments that give us time to reflect on, to take stock of who we are: our character, our attitudes, our ambitions and our purpose. I believe that if we never look inside we never really grow, and so I think those moments of solitude - aka loneliness - are an essential part of life.

I welcome solitude. I dislike loneliness. To me, they are simply the flip side of each other. Like sunshine and rain, they have an attractive aspect and an unattractive one. But both are essential to ensure growth to maturity.

My son is experiencing loneliness. I hope he'll learn much in the solitude. I also hope he finds a special friend soon. For both solitude and relationship are essential to life.

Until next Thursday, may you find special moments to enjoy - with a friend and with yourself...for you can be your own best friend.

Love and God bless to you this week. See you next Thursday... AND:




END NOTE: For those who haven't known me for long, and perhaps for some who have: You might enjoy my other blog:
Life from the Lighthouse -- all about what God shows me when He talks to me and I listen. New posts monthly on the 1st.










My website for the Self Publishing House is www.LarusPress.com where I blog on wholeness, witness, the Word of God and worship & warfare. Larus Press offers Christian-based books, blogs and literature to inspire, encourage, equip and empower your living spirit.
Subscribe to our free newsletter, Soaring Post, with issues every Thursday to equip you for your spiritual walk.




See you next Thursday here at A Life Examined.


Thursday, 20 November 2014

New Beginnings - Part 6: What is the ultimate fresh start?

My Wedding Day


In a few days' time I will witness a wedding between two lovely people, as they agree to become one in spirit.

Two most obvious circumstances that represent new life come at birth and at marriage. But new life may also spring from any major change: confirmation, graduation, a new job, or a new home. 'Firsts' mark new beginnings: the first time you buy your own clothes, the first job, the first mortgage, the first baby - these are a few markers of change, responsibility and maturity. Card shops even encourage a new take on tragedies such as divorce, and encourage us to see the beauty and majesty when a loved one dies. Almost any change then, is a spark toward the new - the new being a trigger for positive feelings and hope.

While I'm in the process of experiencing the upheaval and excitement of a transcontinental move, I will pause and gaze at the newlyweds, who are full of hope, anticipation and the challenges of a new life together. I will look forward in my life with its own quirks, and will reflect back on the good fortunes and surprises life has given me. Yet, at such a time as this, nothing quite compares to the enthusiastic confidence between a couple of young adults, about to embark on momentous change: from depending on themselves to depending on each other, trusting in love, and a future full of promise. In whatever life may bring, they will stand together through it all, strong in themselves, but stronger with each other.

Next week I'll be back in Spain, with more thoughts and reflections about change, and how I manage to grapple with New Beginnings.

Love and God bless to you this week. See you next Thursday... AND:




END NOTE: For those who haven't known me for long, and perhaps for some who have: You might enjoy my other blog:
Life from the Lighthouse -- all about what God shows me when He talks to me and I listen. New posts monthly on the 1st.










My website for the Self Publishing House is www.LarusPress.com where I blog on wholeness, witness, the Word of God and worship & warfare. Larus Press offers Christian-based books, blogs and literature to inspire, encourage, equip and empower your living spirit.
Subscribe to our free newsletter, Soaring Post, with issues every Thursday to equip you for your spiritual walk.




See you next Thursday here at A Life Examined.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

New Beginnings - Part 5: Hiatus


Whirlwind Season

Makes me smile:

Wedding wonders

In my pathway to adore.

Visiting homeland

Number 2

Great Britain, great friends

And family too.

Off from Spain, to England I roam

When I'm done

I'll go back home.

Home is a new land

Adventure is near.

Home - where my furniture

Plants me for now.

Feet are stayed

On firm rock of truth:

Never forsaken

I'm looking to hope.

Feet escalating

From sand to sky to roads

Excited and feeling

Joy inside.

For wedding and wonders

Renewed ties galore

Love never-ending

Expression and release.

I'll attend the wedding

And celebrate their joy

Then go back to my new life

Ready to comply

With all of the changes

All new, fresh and real

My idea is "live,

Love, laugh.

And celebrate."

Whatever the countryside,

Language or verse

I'll climb every mountain

To gaze on this earth.

(This week I've returned back to England after a 5 year absence. It's great to be back among family and friends. Returning for the joyous occasion of the wedding of my step daughter, family and friends meet and embrace, and laugh together. It's wonderful. I hope you'll enjoy your occasions this week, be they formal or informal.)


Ready to Celebrate!

Love and God bless to you this week. See you next Thursday... AND:




END NOTE: For those who haven't known me for long, and perhaps for some who have: You might enjoy my other blog:
Life from the Lighthouse -- all about what God shows me when He talks to me and I listen. New posts monthly on the 1st.










My website for the Self Publishing House is www.LarusPress.com where I blog on wholeness, witness, the Word of God and worship & warfare. Larus Press offers Christian-based books, blogs and literature to inspire, encourage, equip and empower your living spirit.
Subscribe to our free newsletter, Soaring Post, with issues every Thursday to equip you for your spiritual walk.




See you next Thursday here at A Life Examined.


Wednesday, 5 November 2014

New Beginnings - Part 4: Low Point

Mediterranean Waterfront by Sarah Tun


I reached a low point in The Adventure this past week. Someone else who has already experienced the transcontinental move to Spain calls it 'a wall'.

I felt weary at this wall, isolated and unfocused.

Have you ever felt like that? Have you ever felt defeated, disappointed, alone and weary all at once?

Some might call the feeling 'depression', though it didn't last more than a day; it was sharp but mercifully short.

The low was triggered by our finding the possibility of a new home. Was it distressing because it symbolized permanence? It should be exciting, a relief! But the near-certainty of it brought me low, I think in part because I'm aware it isn't ideal. The location is a bit isolated.

This triggered my awareness of isolation.

The low that came upon me last week was exacerbated with my son being on school holiday; home all week, we used the time for him to catch up on worked missed because he joined the school in mid-October. But my son doesn't home school well. He's a perfectionist who rushes through everything, so it's never perfect, and he's repeatedly upset.

In giving him my time and attention, I had little left for myself. My outlet is creative writing and prayerful consideration of relationships and circumstances. Without quiet and solitude, I cannot process my own thoughts and impressions. I get lost.

Last week I got lost.

Further, we've attended the same church three consecutive weeks and are beginning to engage in some meaningful conversation. But we will, by necessity, be absent for the next few weeks. Have we had a false start at relationships?

I'm feeling better now - circumstances haven't changed but I found time for peace and quiet reflection during the wee hours, while the rest of the house slept. Putting pen to paper, solitude and time with God has changed me.

Over the wall, I can now look back at it, inspect it and learn from it.

What was I experiencing during that low dip?

Lethargy. Sadness. The desire to curl up and keep warm (although the room temperature and outside temperature has been over 20 degrees Celsius). The need to be held (though human arms won't satisfy my need).

The cure? Prayer, silence, writing, and knowing I have the choice to persevere. This is the place where I find God's perspective, and the reminder of why I'm in transition in the first place: because I sought the LORD and His will. Every time I've surrendered, my life has blossomed. Why would this time bring anything different?

Now, there is praise. It came both during and after the low. For praise in what is certain lifts us out of uncertainty. And praise helps our determination. We know that this season won't last forever, that old friends are available, and new friends are around the corner.

Now isn't easy. But now is always temporary.

Until next week... may you be richly blessed, stay blessed, know yourself and enjoy being you.

Getting my toes wet by Sarah Tun

Love and God bless to you this week. See you next Thursday... AND:




END NOTE: For those who haven't known me for long, and perhaps for some who have: You might enjoy my other blog:
Life from the Lighthouse -- all about what God shows me when He talks to me and I listen. New posts monthly on the 1st.










My website for the Self Publishing House is www.LarusPress.com where I blog on wholeness, witness, the Word of God and worship & warfare. Larus Press offers Christian-based books, blogs and literature to inspire, encourage, equip and empower your living spirit.
Subscribe to our free newsletter, Soaring Post, with issues every Thursday to equip you for your spiritual walk.




See you next Thursday here at A Life Examined.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

New Beginnings Part 3 - Recognizing the blessings in a foreign land


I used to wake up to the sun. My house in Bath, Ontario, Canada overlooked Lake Ontario. Our house sat 50 feet from the lake and my bed overlooked the sunrise.

Today I drove my son to school. It's a short drive from La Cala to Fuengirola, along the Costa del Sol. I drive along the Mediterranean, facing east as I travel.

The sun rises in Spain after 8 am. Today, as every day since my son began school 9 days ago, I drove him to school and faced the red round ball as it came over the horizon. But today was special. Today I realized a blessing. I still get the sunrise in the morning.

It's a simple thing, being blessed. But often it takes us hours, days, even years to realize just how blessed you are.

I am a Christian. But you don't have to be a Christian to be blessed. You just have to realize that in every situation is the opportunity to recognize the blessing in it.

It has taken me 9 repetitions to realize I still experience sunrise every day. I love it. And I am aware, again, just how very loved I am.

God bless you all, readers. May you discover a new blessing today.

End Note: I would really value if you would consider inviting one person to join this blog. If you follow it because it comes into your inbox, or you're on Google+ and you see it there, would you consider joining it? I'd really enjoy having you 'on board'.

May you enjoy your week ahead, and until next Thursday, Buenos Tardes.

The Universal Wonder of a Beautiful Sunrise
Love and God bless to you this week. See you next Thursday... AND:




END NOTE: For those who haven't known me for long, and perhaps for some who have: You might enjoy my other blog:
Life from the Lighthouse -- all about what God shows me when He talks to me and I listen. New posts monthly on the 1st.










My website for the Self Publishing House is www.LarusPress.com where I blog on wholeness, witness, the Word of God and worship & warfare. Larus Press offers Christian-based books, blogs and literature to inspire, encourage, equip and empower your living spirit.
Subscribe to our free newsletter, Soaring Post, with issues every Thursday to equip you for your spiritual walk.




See you next Thursday here at A Life Examined.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

New Beginnings - Part 2 Personal navigation in a foreign country

I have moved country and am in the process of seeking a new home for my family and settling in. So, I have important decisions to make. How can I be sure my decisions will be the best decisions? How can I be sure to keep myself on an even keel, emotionally, socially, and spiritually.

How do I navigate in a new society, where so little is familiar?

A few days ago I did the unthinkable for me: I chose random experience as my decision-making strategy. I threw two pieces of paper up in the air, each which had information for a different potential home, with the view that whichever one landed first would be the one I would pursue.

One did land before the other; I contacted the relevant realtor/estate agent to pursue that first one.

So far, I've not had a clear response from the agent connected to that property, and I continue to pursue a home through other contacts. But this was a fascinating experience -  a one-of-a-kind for me - because I am the sort of decision-maker that usually makes a decision using facts, gut instinct and prayer. I can't remember ever being so 'random'. It's one way, but not usually my way of choice, to make a decision.

Right now my family is living in a cozy, safe, quiet, pleasant apartment on the Costa del Sol. We have much to be grateful for: the climate is warm and sunny, the people are friendly, the environment is safe, we know some people from England who live here.

But have you experienced how difficult it can be to stay grounded, clear-headed, and focused, when you are not in your own home, in your familiar neighbourhood, surrounded by familiar places, people or things?

How do we navigate when we seem to have little that is familiar on which to lean?

For me, the keys are accountability and structure.

If I keep to a routine of self control in diet, exercise and prayer, it's helpful.
If I continue in my writing, my reading and my reflection, I am able to maintain my sense of identity and emotional balance.
If I continue to relate to friends from abroad (the internet makes that so easy!), stay close to my husband, and allow events to take their course rather than seeking to control my circumstances, I find I remain connected to myself in surroundings that are so new, and yet am able to enjoy discovering this new world in which I find myself.

My son has found his school. My husband has his job. They are settling in in their own ways.
And I find I have time to be myself, with you and within, which helps me to navigate through tremendous change.









Thursday, 16 October 2014

New Beginnings - Adventures through Transcontinental Moving

What does one do to settle into a new home? Magnify that by 1000 and you have a sense of what it's like to change country.

My son began in his new school this week. Thank goodness there was room in our first choice of school. This meant he could begin with only a week's break between our living in Canada and our living in Spain. It also meant God heard our prayers and the over-subscribed school's waiting list had dwindled enough to get to our son. Yippee!! He's in.

Now to find a home.

Home is where the heart is. Where is mine? With my son, my husband and - although not homesick - it is, I confess, a bit with my shoreline of Lake Ontario.

Today I was driving along the Costa del Sol. Driving along the shoreline of the Mediterranean, who wouldn't say, "Wow!" It is beautiful. But it made me think of my lake and reflect on the languid peace and quiet there.

What will I do away from my shoreline? How will I write? Will I write, or will I find myself trundling back and forth between Jordan's school and my hubby's workplace so that I can have the car during the day? Will we settle near the school? Or near the job? Or neither? What will our neighbours be like? Will there be children? Will there be neighbours?

The questions go on and on, if I let them.

Instead, I search for a home by locality, narrowing down the circumference a little each day.

We have a bank account but no medical care. There are hairdressers galore and cheaper than in Canada. Everything will all work out.

What do you do when you leave everything and move to a new land? You trust! If you don't, you panic. And there's nothing - no productivity, no power - in panic. No. You trust. You trust that everything is going to work out. And one day, you'll have as many friends as you left behind, as many responsibilities as you were tired of, and just as many projects on the go. Life will be all the sweeter for the memories you have of the past, and the anticipation for the future.

For now, I'm relieved my son is happy and my husband is fulfilled. As for me? They'll be time enough for me, once we have a home. Such are the nesting instincts, it seems, for this wife and mother.

Maybe by next week I'll have something to report about a new permanent home. In the meantime, I'll enjoy the warm October sunshine. Whether you're experiencing North American autumn, chilly Northern Europe or a gentle Antipodean spring, may you make a memory this week that will last a lifetime.

Love and God bless to you this week. See you next Thursday... AND:




END NOTE: For those who haven't known me for long, and perhaps for some who have: You might enjoy my other blog:
Life from the Lighthouse -- all about what God shows me when He talks to me and I listen. New posts monthly on the 1st.










My website for the Self Publishing House is www.LarusPress.com where I blog on wholeness, witness, the Word of God and worship & warfare. Larus Press offers Christian-based books, blogs and literature to inspire, encourage, equip and empower your living spirit.
Subscribe to our free newsletter, Soaring Post, with issues every Thursday to equip you for your spiritual walk.




See you next Thursday here at A Life Examined.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Going Deeper into Self - Part 6 Ode to what is passed


A Poem of Farewell

I bade farewell to fond friendships:
Some exchanged, some too busy to explore -
I know I did my utmost
To receive and give once more.

I came from there and now I'm here; 
I know not when to return.
But in this world of brief encounters -
I've had my share and more.

I love my homeland, O Canada
With people, plans and places
I bade goodbye with many a sigh
And gratitude to the beautiful faces.

Now, as I see: new land is home.
Such interest and so bright;
The sun shines strong, the air is warm
And I'm ready to begin once more.

I was born and raised in Ontario, Canada. After teaching for a few years, I left to study. Eventually, I found long-lasting love in England. Twenty years on, returning with my family to Canada (after extensive travel to all but one continent), I re-engaged with my homeland and its people, loving every precious moment. Five years in Canada have passed pleasantly. I love my culture, its work ethic and easy way with people.

Now, called elsewhere, I've arrived in Spain. How thrilling, how daunting, how surprising to be here!

I stand in the balance between here and there, so grateful for all that has passed, so hopeful for what is to come.

As I begin anew - once more -  I hope I'll be staying for a good, long while. Ready to settle, I hope visitors will come - galore.

Have you ever moved country? It's funny really, but no matter where I live, I've found, I'm always with me. And the more I change location the more I grow, and appreciate my own roots and those of others.

One day, I believe, Heaven will come to the Earth, and with it will be a grand sense of 'arrival'. Until then, we create our own paradise if we appreciate what we have and enjoy ourselves and the people around us.

As for me, I seem to have a habit of landing in lovely locations... Here I am again, on the south coast of Spain, very blessed.

To synthesize, I've learned a bit from the trans Atlantic experiences in my life. I'll summarize my perspective this way:

Enjoy where you are. Never wish to be anywhere other than where you've been placed for this time.
Enjoy who you have in your life. Accept and explore life with those people and places you encounter.
Life is full of surprises... and each person is a blessing to your life. Take on board the opportunities you have for relationship
, and don't delay; you never know how quickly circumstances may change, and you don't want to regret the exchanges that 'might have been'.

Next week, I plan to share this new journey with you... twists, turns, surprises and all.

Love and God bless to you this week. See you next Thursday... AND:




END NOTE: For those who haven't known me for long, and perhaps for some who have: You might enjoy my other blog:
Life from the Lighthouse -- all about what God shows me when He talks to me and I listen. New posts monthly on the 1st.










My website for the Self Publishing House is www.LarusPress.com where I blog on wholeness, witness, the Word of God and worship & warfare. Larus Press offers Christian-based books, blogs and literature to inspire, encourage, equip and empower your living spirit.
Subscribe to our free newsletter, Soaring Post, with issues every Thursday to equip you for your spiritual walk.




See you next Thursday here at A Life Examined.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Going Deeper into Self - Part 5 A fond farewell

I will mourn departure from my homeland... Canada, the True north, Strong and Free.
Amherstview Lake Shore, Lake Ontario, Canada

A week or two ago, activity in the North comprised of the Russians encroaching on Canadian air space and the USA passing over until the R's departed.

Canada, Russia and China are the largest countries in the world (Brazil holds it's own in that department but for this conversation isn't relevant). Each of these reaches to the North, but only Canada is a truly free nation. I am truly free to vote, think and speak my mind without fear of Government reprisal. In fact, social oppression is slight in Canada and even political correctness, though present, is not pervasive. We are truly free. And as anyone from First Nations can attest, we are truly north, too. (Brrrr!)

I live in a country I love. For the past 5 years I've enjoyed the sights and sounds of my own culture after being absent for 20. Wholeheartedly, I felt welcomed back. Now, as I prepare to leave for sunny Spain, anticipating blessings and challenges, I mourn, a little, the departure.

I love Canada. The winters are white, the summers are smooth, the people are gracious and the heart of the nation is to befriend.

I will miss you, Canada. Thank you for raising me to be who I am. Thank you for showing my husband the grandeur of a humble nation, and my son the integrity which is a part of his Canadian heritage. Thank you for reminding me I come from good stock, worthy of respect but modest in demeanor, quietly proud.

The Sun rises in the East - from My Bedroom Window I Gaze

I will miss my lake shore view: daily I rose facing east and enjoyed the sunrise, the waves lapping.... or often the water was as still as glass. Morning by morning I scrambled for my child's breakfast, hastily putting together lunch and nagging him to catch his bus: Yes, the proverbial yellow school bus made famous by Hollywood and the Networks... and our own "Timothy Goes to School".

I will miss the unique vigour needed to shovel snow. I will miss the Bath Canada Day Parade, where candy is tossed lovingly into a crowd full of children, and the fireworks are second to none - thanks to Lafarge. And P's huge Canada Day party, where anyone and everyone converges for the day onto their corner lot for wine and cheese and friendly chatter. I will miss people, I will miss church, I will miss the scent of the land.

Canada, I will miss you.

I am stronger than when I returned 5 years ago. I am more loving, more gracious, more patient. This is largely due to my walk with God, but in part due to my beloved Canada and its people.

Thank you, Canada. Thank you, Ontario. Thank you, friends and church family and God, for bringing me back.

Long may you continue, strong and free in the north, true to self, true to history, true to what is right in the world.

Next Thursday I will be living in Spain. I am excited and enthusiastic about the move. 'Moss does not grow on me.' I look forward to writing to you, and hope you'll continue to look forward to all that life offers and share some of your moments with me.

Love and God bless to you this week. See you next Thursday... AND:




END NOTE: For those who haven't known me for long, and perhaps for some who have: You might enjoy my other blog:
Life from the Lighthouse -- all about what God shows me when He talks to me and I listen. New posts monthly on the 1st.










My website for the Self Publishing House is www.LarusPress.com where I blog on wholeness, witness, the Word of God and worship & warfare. Larus Press offers Christian-based books, blogs and literature to inspire, encourage, equip and empower your living spirit.
Subscribe to our free newsletter, Soaring Post, with issues every Thursday to equip you for your spiritual walk.




See you next Thursday here at A Life Examined.