Nautically-Lovely Nova Scotia...

Motorhome Meandering #3:  It is sometimes pure bliss to be NOT staying in our incredible gift of a motorhome.  Pure. Bliss. 

(Er, yes, I do realize we have only completed one week of our five-month road trip in the aforementioned motorhome.  Please grant me some grace, folks.  Heaven knows we all need it.)

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We have just finished a week-long stint in beautiful Nova Scotia.  And what a week it has been!  Our cup runneth over...

To begin with, an incredible off-season deal meant we spent our week in a charming cabin and were able to take a break from motorhome living. Ah, the delightful indulgence of a bath tub! Of an oven. Of not one but two actual bedrooms with real doors.  Of a flatscreen TV with cable. Of a dishwasher. Of the space to conduct an art lesson and a large table on which to paint.  Of trees and nature all around, ready to be played in and explored, coupled with the ability to leave said nature and retreat to a place warm and dry without, er, going stir crazy or annoying one's siblings, one's children, one's parents, one's spouse or oneself to the point of distraction.  Of a ten-minute walk down to the Bay of Funday with its 50-foot tides. Of...well, I could go on, but...

Perhaps it's best summed up in this week's Quote-to-Note:  "Now, where should I put my delectables?"  A gleeful Isaiah, watching what ended up being the Stanley Cup Final while snuggling with his dad on the pull-out couch, trying to arrange his glass of sparkling-water-and-cranberry juice, bowl with salt-and-vinegar chips and mug of Mariner's Sea Salt Caramel Ice Cream (yes, you dear people who know me well, I did select this tub of ice cream based on its fabulous name) on the wee table beside him.

Truly, our cup runneth over.

It is more blessed to give than to receive, they say.

It is also more easy to give than to receive, I think.

This week has seen a continuation of the theme that began last week in Prince Edward Island: that of being overwhelmingly embraced and blessed by a community of believers.  I'll be honest.  I am completely grateful, but not always graceful, about accepting such outpourings.  It is hard, people!  I am much more comfortable being on the other side, the giving side, the being-used-by-God-broken-vessel-though-I-am-to-bless-others side of things.

But God is teaching me how rich life is when we learn to accept our vulnerability, to embrace it, even, to allow others to offer, to give, to bless us. I am learning that when I give up this version of control, swallow my pride, unfold my crossed arms and stretch them out wide to receive, blessings beyond belief follow, and God can move.

Sunday morning found us at Faith Community CRC in Milford, Nova Scotia.  As I approached the front door, my kids in tow, a pretty lady with a blessedly warm and welcoming smile (and her own kids in tow) called out to me.  Unbeknownst to me, she had been asked by the World Renew contact at this church to host us for lunch after church that morning.  She recognized me, a stranger in their midst, and took the initiative to introduce herself and explain that we would be joining her, her husband and four beautiful children at her parents-in-law's place after church.  I stammered a surprised thank you and dutifully took down the address.

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A couple of hours later found us enfolded into the Bokma clan, standing around a huge table laden with more food than I could describe.  We stayed for hours, eating, talking, laughing...and eating some more.  Four families lived in a small radius, working on the family dairy farm.  Our children were whisked off amongst the cousins and given a tour of the barn.  I (absolutely happily) stayed back to drink coffee and kletz with the other moms, swapping the stories that swiftly bind us in the best possible way; of how we met our men, the nature of our labour and deliveries, the absolute joys and incomparable frustrations of parenting and so on and so forth.  Our conversation was interrupted by the sound of an engine getting dubiously close, and we looked out the window to see all of the cousins stuffed into the back of some kind of farm machine thing (sorry, city girl here!) they called a 'Gator', racing around the backyard. And right in the middle of the stack of cousins I saw my boy, waving crazily, with a smile on his face that lit up his eyes and brought tears to mine...

Ach, what joy!!!  Our cup runneth over...

Dear Bokma clan, we will never forget how you welcomed us.  How you gifted us with not just your precious time and your delicious food (and your washing machine and dryer, dear Melanie!), but with the bonds of family and the love that just radiated in and amongst you all.  

And Pastor Paul and Susan and family, thank you for continuing this theme the next night, inviting us over to your fabulous place on the river for another incredible meal.  And for another time of being embraced by the warmth of family living and learning and doing life together.

Real and true and messy and beautiful to behold.

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So, Here Are a Few of Our Favourite Things...About Nova Scotia

Jeremy:  "Playing the chilly but beautiful outdoor concert."  

Isaiah:  "Driving in the Gator.  And fishing for striped bass with daddy."

Lara:   "The look of sheer delight and utter adrenaline-tinged joy on Isaiah's face while driving in the gator.  And the view of the water and trees and rolling hills as far as we could see every time we traveled to and from our cabin-in-the-proverbial-middle-of-nowhere. And being so welcomed and blessed by Melanie and the rest of the Bokma clan. (What?  It doesn't say anywhere I have to choose just one thing.  I'm making the rules here, people!)

Kiara:  "The cabin, the little red bell (that was found in the cabin and rung incessantly) and Chloe (one of the many charming Bokma offspring.)  (Like mother, like daughter.)

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And, again, to finish, words from Jesus Calling that capture the spirit of Faith Community CRC and how the Holy Spirit used them to bless us on our journey:

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"I am creating something new in you: a bubbling spring of Joy that spills over into others' lives.  Do not mistake this Joy for your own or try to take credit for it in any way.  Instead, watch in delight as My Spirit flows through you to bless others.  Let yourself become a reservoir of the Spirit's fruit."

Thank you, Faith Community CRC.  And God bless you all.

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PS.  A sign that it's probably a really good thing that we as a family are increasing our knowledge of our home and native land:

"O, Canada, God keep our land, glorious and pee."

Kiara, singing our national anthem absentmindedly while lost in play at the cabin a few days ago.

 

 

 

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