St. Patrick’s Day -2021

I’m not Irish, nor do I particularly like the colour green, but I enjoy seeing pictures of my grandbabies trying to “catch” leprechauns in their day home. My daughter-in-love puts a lot of effort into making the day fun for her three boys and her day home kidlings by painting green shamrocks on their chubby cheeks, and filling their bellies with shamrock-shaped sugar cookies. That sounds like a great way to celebrate the day. Count me in…

Next year.

I don’t usually “celebrate” this day, I’m not even wearing green this year. Covid restrictions are still in effect so it goes without saying, I won’t be attending any festive parades, nor will I indulge in drinking green beer. (As if I did that before…Haha!)

People all over the world celebrate the 17th of March to honour St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.  Born in Britain during the 4th century, St. Patrick, was kidnapped when he was a teenager and enslaved by Irish raiders.  He was able to escape after six years and became a priest in Britain but later chose to return to Ireland as a missionary.  According to Irish folklore, he used a shamrock to explain the Christian concept of the Trinity to the Irish.  In spite of continuous opposition from pagan leaders, he continued to evangelize for thirty years while baptizing the newly converted and establishing monasteries, churches and schools.  He died on March 17th, and it is his “death day” we celebrate each year.

There is much debate amongst Evangelical Christians whether or not this day should even be acknowledged because it is predominantly a Catholic religious observance that has evolved into a day of celebrating Irish folklore, culture and national identity.  For those who are not Irish or have any religious affiliation, the day becomes basically a good excuse for a drinking party.

Here’s my opinion, take it or leave it. Just like Christians observing Halloween, and St. Valentine’s Day and having no trouble with Santa Claus and including a few bunnies at Easter, St. Patrick’s Day falls under a “holiday” category where individuals and families must decide whether or not they want to participate in commemorating a predominantly secular event. Wearing hearts for Valentine’s Day, or wearing bunny ears for Easter will likely not affect your Christian witness, neither will dressing in green and wearing a shamrock on St. Patrick’s Day. If you want to evangelize, you might like to point out to those who do not know the symbolism of the shamrock to explain how the Trinity might be represented and you might have a conversation that shows how the shamrock is shaped like the Cross. Of course that may be stretching the Christian symbolism too far. My thought is to just enjoy the day like you might have enjoyed “Pi Day” on March 14th by having a piece of pie. Wear a shamrock on St. Patrick’s Day but stay away from the green beer. 🙂

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Moving Forward…sort of

Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of the Covid-19 pandemic here in Canada. We went into lockdown on March 14th, and our lives changed overnight. I think I am a pretty positive person overall, but I have really felt the impact of this year on my physical, mental, and spiritual health as never before.


I took this picture on March 12th, 2020.
Only difference today in 2021 is we have TP. 🤦‍♀️

Yesterday I had the opportunity to book myself to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine next week, but after researching the efficacy of this particular vaccine and the fact some countries have pulled the vaccine due to clotting concerns, I elected to wait for the next roll out until May.

It’s so hard to know what to do. The information seems to change daily. I feel guilty I had the opportunity to be vaccinated, but am now waiting. I want to trust public health officials, they’re the experts after all, but I waver in trusting them entirely. I’m not a rule-breaker. I try to follow all the health protocols in place, but I’m starting to question and doubt. It’s unnatural to be so separated from personal contact with others.

We went to an in-person church service last Sunday. First time since last August we were there in person rather than watching online. We must wear masks, we must sit physically distant from others, and refrain from congregational singing. Still, it’s important to be together in corporate worship. I’ve certainly missed it!

I am flustered by the fact that some churches in Alberta are flouting the public health rules citing religious freedoms are more important than following the current restrictive health protocols in the province. One Pastor is currently in jail, for allowing packed church services, with no distancing, or masking that violates public health rules. He’s applauded by many in the faith community, who agree with his stance. I understand his frustrations, but I cannot support his rebellion. There are too many people who have battled Covid, who have lost loved ones to the disease, and many like myself, who are so vulnerable to serious complications if we catch it, that we must still adhere to the health measures. To do otherwise, is irresponsible.

How do we navigate being in the world and yet be apart from it? I’ll admit I do not have the answers. I pray this pandemic will end soon. I’m weary of it. It’s been a long, uncomfortable, challenging year.

I read an interesting article my step niece posted on Facebook:

For a small amount of perspective at this moment, imagine you were born in 1900. When you are 14, World War I starts and ends on your 18th birthday with 22 million people killed. Later in the year, a Spanish Flu epidemic hits the planet and runs until you are 20. Fifty million people die from it in those two years. Yes, 50 million.

When you’re 29, the Great Depression begins. Unemployment hits 25%, global GDP drops 27%. That runs until you are 33. The country nearly collapses along with the world economy. When you turn 39, World War II starts. You aren’t even over the hill yet.

When you’re 41, the United States is fully pulled into WWII. Between your 39th and 45th birthday, 75 million people perish in the war and the Holocaust kills six million. At 52, the Korean War starts, and five million perish.

Approaching your 62nd birthday you have the Cuban Missile Crisis, a tipping point in the Cold War. Life on our planet, as we know it, could well have ended. Great leaders prevented that from happening.

At 64 the Vietnam War begins, and it doesn’t end for many years. Four million people die in that conflict.

As you turn 75, the Vietnam War finally ends. Think of everyone on the planet born in 1900. How do you survive all of that? A kid in 1985 didn’t think their 85-year-old grandparent understood how hard school was. Yet those grandparents (and now great grandparents) survived through everything listed above.

Perspective is an amazing art. Let’s try and keep things in perspective. Let’s be smart, help each other out, and we will get through all of this. In the history of the world, there has never been a storm that lasted. This too shall pass.”- Author Unknown

Keep moving forward!

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Time to Quit?

I have never felt more like quitting than today!

The weight of that thought droops my shoulders, and brings me close to tears.  I look at the blank screen on my computer and experience an overwhelming urge to delete every file, purge the hard drive of every piece of my writing, finished and unfinished, and declare my writing career done.  

For good.  

Forever.

I don’t get paid enough for this!  The more I think about that fact, the angrier I become.  Is it worth it financially for me to continue?  

Seriously!  

My heart’s just not in it anymore!  It isn’t.  I haven’t enjoyed the process in months.  It is tedium now, something I do out of obligation, a sense of duty.  I struggle whenever I try to put my thoughts onto paper.  I don’t feel any sense of accomplishment after I’ve rattled off a somewhat mediocre article, just a sense of relief that I have completed yet another writing deadline on time.  I can now relax until another bout of nagging guilt forces me to tackle yet another last minute assignment.

I debate closing down every social media account I have.  I want anonymity, obscurity, to vanish like a wisp and face the consequences of what I am convinced is welcome oblivion.  

Will people even notice my absence?  Do I honestly think that my presence online is that important to anyone else?

So, I ask myself, “Why am I doing this?”

I pause.  The question begs an answer, but I have no ready answers.

Why am I doing this?

The question hangs in the air like a maleficent odour.  It reeks in its putridity.  I have to figure out an answer or I will eventually succumb to this impending stench of death.  I am hearing in my head the gonging chimes marking the death knell of my writing.

Why am I doing this?

Is it for the money?

No.  I almost laugh out loud.  I suppose there are authors who are making good money with their writing.  Not me.  

But, it’s never been about the money for me…  Has it?

No.  There was a time I wrote for the sheer pleasure of it.  I wrote because I loved to write.  I was compelled to write.  The art, the act of writing beckoned to me from deep within.  When I was awake, I thought about writing, and when I drifted to sleep, I was still composing and editing the storylines in my head.  

When did it become about the money?  

I have to answer honestly with abject sadness, “When writing became more like a job, and less about the craft.

So if I’m not writing for the money, is it for fame?

I will admit that I enjoy the compliments, the comments, the writing accolades, the awards I have received because of my writing.  Prideful?  Definitely.  It does motivate me to keep writing to stroke my ego.  However, I have also faced criticism.

I don’t like that.

I have faced critical evaluation of my writing, and even though it is hard to read and accept, I still continue to write despite it.  

I’m not stroking my ego then.  

It is persevering in the midst of struggle.  It is wanting to overcome, to grow, to improve.  I conclude that writing must be more than attaining money or garnering personal fame.  The revelation of that causes me to perk up a bit, but again I face that nagging question:

So, why am I doing this?

Philippians 1: 4-6 immediately comes to mind. “In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

The Apostle Paul is praising the Philippians for their work in spreading the gospel, and that work, with God’s help, will not be completed until the second coming of Jesus.  For me, it is a rallying cry to persevere, to continue in the work God has called me to until such time He tells me to stop.

I am once again reminded that it’s not about me, it’s all about Him.

My writing is His.

It is not up to me to quit when I am frustrated, discouraged, overwhelmed or just plain tired of it all.  It is embracing my ongoing ministry, my partnership in the gospel, and I must continue it to completion.  I ask forgiveness for my self-centeredness, and ask God to renew my passion for writing once again.  

Thankfully, He always answers that prayer!

(Originally published on InScribe Writer’s Online)

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