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I don’t know why I’ve been fascinated with surfing videos, especially big wave surfing. I’ve never been much of a swimmer or beach goer, but this video from BBC is mesmerizing. It shows a surfer in super slow motion, surfing through a tunnel of a wave, and continuing on.


My son has recently started to do puzzles, ones that are just at the right level for him. There are 28 pieces, and the pieces are big enough for him to handle, and the pictures are vibrant and fun. He enjoys sitting on the floor and putting the pieces together, taking his own sweet time matching pieces together.

He has learned to ask himself, “Where does this one go?” I couldn’t help but think of how often I ask myself that question in a similar way, trying to figure out the puzzle pieces of my life. I wonder where this experience fits in, or how it all combines to make a grand picture that God’s made for us.

I suppose I should be more like my son, just sit happily and put the pieces together until that time (or day) when it all comes together and we can all step back and see what the picture loks like. Even though there are pieces that don’t seem to fit, or don’t seem to match, I’m sure they still belong in the greater picture.

I’ve done a lot of thinking about my life over the past few years, and perhaps I’ve done more in the past few months than ever before. With a new baby in my life and a move abroad, there is not much semblance of  predictable patterns in our lives. Rather, we are re-creating those patterns of daily lives, which is often stressful and emotionally demanding.

One incredibly positive thing I’ve realized through all of my recent life transitions is that much of my joy comes from simple, common, everyday activities. A cuddle in bed with the family, a big bear hug, a simple meal at home, a good book, or a walk outdoors.

Part of our motivation for moving abroad was the sense of adventure, the sense of re-locating and re-creating our lives. There is always a thrill in setting up, in moving, in change.

Yet, perhaps I owe it to this season of my life, but I can clearly see that what I need most, and what I cherish most, is not adventure or foreign travel, but home (wherever that might be). Yes, I’ve quoted Mark Twain in another posting, with his inspiring words to live at sea and allow the trade winds to take you far. These days, I long for land, a place to call home.

My love for the simple and common is best summarized by Max Lucado in his book, Six Hours One Friday (Multnomah Publishers 1989). He writes, “”Gratitude. More aware of what you have than what you don’t. Recognizing the treasure in the simple–a child’s hug, fertile soil, a golden sunset. Relishing in the comfort of the common–a warm bed, a hot meal, a clean shirt.”

Relishing in the comfort of the common. Treasure in the simple.

These two sentences encapsulate my desires. That out of the comfort of the common I find enough satisfaction for my life. It is only out of the ordinary that extraordinary can be explored.

I also loved the rebuking words, “Your complaints are not over the lack of necessities but the abundance of benefits. You bellyache over the frills, not the basics; over benefits, not essentials. The source of your problems is your blessings.”

How true. More often than not, I find myself complaining about things even though I live a life of abundance. I have never gone hungry, never been without a bed to sleep in, never been without family who care for me. Despite these blessings, I still have a tendency to complain, at least in my heart, about the way things ought to be, or the way I wish things would be.

If I am to be live a satisfied life, I must choose the common and the simple, and be thankful for a life of abundance.

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What I’m reading now

"Wanderlust: A Social History of Travel," by Laura Byrne Paquet (Fredericton:Goose Lane Editions, 2007) "The Global Soul: Jet Lag, Shopping malls, and the Search for Home," by Pico Iyer (Toronto: Random House of Canada, 2000). "Outliers: The Story of Success," by Malcolm Gladwell (New York: Little, Brown, and Company, 2008).

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