landscapes unfamiliar

22 11 2014

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As we travel further and further into our first winter, we are continually surprised by the constantly varying world around us.  Each day offers new wonders of crystals, whites, sculptures and patterns. 

By far, my favourite is the occurrence which makes us feel like Zillionaires.  We live surrounded by diamonds.

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This is really difficult to capture with a lens, but often as we drive along, or walk, the amazing snow crystals capture the light and it seems like we are surrounded by glistening diamonds.  It is not a new message: God has surrounded me with diamonds on glimmering water, skies resplendent in stars and raindrops gleaming on grass.  I love that He continues to make us feel so rich in His beauty and presence, even here in the freezing north. 

The darkness overtakes daylight very easily these days, as we head into the darkest time of the year.  The sun rises around 8 15 this week (it changes that quickly) and by 3 30pm the sun no longer gives its light..  It has also been a particularly gloomy month, with the least sunshine recorded in about 30 years.  We were warned of November’s gloom and living through it is not fun. 

Some advice I saw online has helped a lot this week: to wear something colourful everyday. So my bright rainbow earrings and other colourful items have been used to make me smile and to cause the kids at school to wonder a little more about this strange being from the far reaches of Africa.   

How do we manage with unknown landscapes, and strange surroundings? Apply strange and unknown habits, it seems.

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Like walking on water.  Well, on ice, if you have to be pedantic…

The kids have been out on the lake for a while, and I managed to coax Deon onto the water. That is a grimace, not a grin, on his lips.

Like enjoying all the small details of change.

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Like really enjoying looking, taking in and reslishing sunshine when we get it.

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Like having a fellow African (from our much loved Uganda! Yay!) visit and experience new things for a weekend

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Like constantly traveling with camera in hand to capture new experiences

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Like enjoying wide open spaces in new ways

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Like learning to pray in new ways, for new things in unfamiliar contexts. 

Like feeling totally overwhelmed by the challenges of learning a new language.

Like facing the several new things we face every day with courage from God, when we do not feel any bravery within ourselves.

Like the sheer joy of having precious lives blossom before your eyes, responding to genuine encouragement and love. Like the hugs they give at lesson’s end, or the heart-treasured facebook messages that embed themselves between memories of daily frosted diamonds.

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May you be enriched with the millions of diamonds around you, everyday, that God throws about between all the ordeals and ordinary circumstances of your landscapes.

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2 responses

1 12 2014
Tsenyeti Titus

Oh my God, what a lovely landscape! where did you find this landscape?

1 12 2014
karenanddeon

Hi, Titus! So nice to hear from you. We are living in Northern Sweden now. Most of the area all around us is white, snowy and looks like this. Greetings to you and your family!

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