Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Restoration, Grace and Stars

It has been quiet on the Linwood House blog but not the least bit quiet within these walls. We are still cleaning up after two floods in the front part of the house and as I write painting, tiling and restoring baseboards is underway. Then we can begin to decorate the other half of the house in its celebratory garb for Christmas.

Yet something wonderful has come out of all of this mess. We have been deep cleaning the attic, the office, the laundry room…taking out what we don’t need, what is outdated and keeping what is essential and valuable. It has also brought wonderful people to do the work and they are feeling something special as they participate.

In our Monday night Happy Hour women’s group we talked about grace, how have we experienced grace, extended grace and wished we had been more conscious of giving grace. This comes with taking off our mask and being honest and “true faced”. Sorting what we don’t need also brings us to the place of revealing who we really are.

A great quote from the book TrueFaced : “Grace is the face that love wears, when it meets imperfection. Joseph R. Cooke” Pg 83

I am thinking about this wonderful blend of grace, love and imperfections. Restoring the beauty after the floods is like revealing the grace with eyes of love that see not only the imperfections but the delightful wonder and beauty.

The theme at Linwood House this Christmas is “Stars” – the stars revealed by Jesus in our life and the scars in our own lives that have brought out those star like qualities.

Restorations, grace, scars and revealed stars – they are all connected I think.

Oh yes...Christmas is coming!


Saturday, November 12, 2005

Christmas is Coming

If you were standing outside Linwood House looking in this weekend you would be soaking wet and cold in this pouring rain. It seems to have been raining for weeks. But it is far too horrible outside so come on in and join us - we are Christmas decorating!

The Great Room windows are holding wreaths of berries, the mantle is cradling a nativity scene and somehow a reflection of an angel seems to be etched on the long wall above the chimney. The grand and stately boughs of the main tree reach out with their lights and decorations and seem to be spreading the feeling of Christmas to each one who enters. The rest of the house is following this lead and each room has its own special tree theme. Grandma is especially pleased that her room is getting particular attention.

People have been coming and going for the last few days and help is plentiful. Last night we sat down where ever we found a comfortable space and ate one of those comfort food meals - roast chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy. Maureen stopped by and made pans full of apple crisp for dessert.

The front section of Linwood is still in utter chaos as we wait for the new flooring to arrive after our flood.

The theme this year at Linwood is "Stars" - what is the star quality of Jesus to you. What scars of yours have been turned to stars in this last year?

Well it is time to get back to work and join the team that is hustling and bustling and creating!

Shalom to you all,
and don't stand on the outside...come on in and enjoy the scent of grace.


Thursday, November 03, 2005

Rain - Inside and Out

The steady beat of rain and the trees being bent by the strong wind provide the colouring outside the office window.

Our latest newsletter has arrived giving us the succinct picture of what is happening in the various spokes of Linwood House Ministries.

At the Monday night Happy Hour God was very present in the sharing and discussions. This group of women, in our own community, are exploring this sacred space and sharing how God has shown up in their week. Gwen shared at the end of the time how when the enemy comes in like a flood God will raise up a standard.

We had no idea how literal this would be! When Ron and Gwen woke up Tuesday morning they discovered a flood in the dining room, parlor and library! It was discovered that a water pipe had broken and leaked and the hardwood had to be ripped up and the floor is now drying out. There was also a little flood over at Hope Renfrew. Right now the floors in the front part of the house are torn up, the area is sealed off with plastic and huge fans and steadily humming to try and dry out the damage area. We had hoped to begin the Christmas decorating with a group on November 11th weekend. Right now we are not sure what the time frame is for the drying process and then the relaying of hardwood floors.

On Wednesday night the team leaders of various projects at Linwood House Ministries met to touch base. Jen and Sue are very active in building relationships with women we have connected with through The Journey. Idelette is getting her dream of Global Girls Network going and soon you will hear more about it. Mike is balancing studies at Regent College and his duties as Executive Director of Linwood House Ministries. Gwen and Ron are very busy with Hope Renfrew and are putting much of their time and energy into this project. All the volunteers that have come alongside us have been amazing. We would love to see this project ready to go by the end of this year. Dorothea is very busy with her Breakfast Groups and they are currently working through Jesus Life Coach. Grandma keeps the cookie tins full and keeps us all in order!

The chaos in the hallways just now reminds me that just because things have turned upside down in the house doesn’t mean that God is not very present, nor do we stop doing what we need to do right now - continuing to provide sacred space that facilitates healing, blessing and transformation.

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