Friday, October 20, 2006

purple shag carpet

Alas, it was too good to be true indeed. Our Canadian visitor has had a change of plans and she is leaving us and heading home on Tuesday...that leaves me four days to take advantage of free internet. So here I sit in my pyjamas, (for those of you complaining that i haven't posted anything even with the internet at my fingertips) sacrificing sleep to give an update of sorts. :) Really, it's no great hardship.

I did want to highlight something cool that happened this week. Well, maybe only the few family members that frequent my blog will be able to appreciate it, but I'll share it anyway. I forget what day it was, but I got a little letter in the mail. The address, Oakville Ont... I don't know anybody from Oakville, I don't think.

On a little sheet of stationary, the following note was roughly scribbled, (evidence of a hand that has proven the test of time) ...

"Dear Janna -
Recently I noticed your note on Hopedale Bible Chapel bulletin board. You mentioned your grandpa Ray Fox. I worked for him at FOX Cartage and Storage, (Trenton, Ont.). I was sales and claims manager for 3 yrs in North Bay and 2 yrs in Pembrooke. He sure had a heart to preach the Gospel. I remember your Grandma Helen Fox and Father Don, I believe! God bless you Janna. Doug and Vera Bramer. Date of Service 1957-1962. "

Sometimes I send thankyou notes for gifts that come my way via MSC for the ministry here...some to churches, some to individuals. I guess that little note was worth it. Or at least the fruit of it has touched my heart. I didn't cry when I read it, but now as I write my eyes are filling up. I can't help but feel so thankful when I think of my grandparents and their example of their lives dedicated to the message of Jesus'. They are in paradise with Him now, but on earth they lived with an urgency to help others know Him personally and offer Him their lives.

I wish I could have known them, I mean, I did, but I was young. I wish I could know them now. Especially Grandpa, cause I was only 12 when He went home. I'd love to learn how he counseled people, heck, I'd love to be able to make an appointment myself. :) When I was little, Grandpa's study was one of my favorite hiding places in the house at the lake. It was cool, dimly-lit, and the purple shag carpet and musty smelling books that lined the walls were always so inviting. I remember us girls accidently interupting more than a few of Grandpa's personal visitors to his study. And I'm sure in my childhood ignorance I complained as I sat through his sermons occasionally, and rolled my eyes at his lengthy prayers before Sunday roast beef dinners. Now I would give my right arm to hear him pray, or preach from the pulpit. I even struggle to remember what his voice sounded like.

Well, for some reason (God's.), I wasn't blessed to know Grandpa like I wish I could have. But I am blessed now to meet people that did. God did give me more time to know Grammie though, and I'm growing more thankful for that as the years go by, too. I remember on more than one occasion, bounding energetically into her apartment in the first floor of our house and having to quietly tiptop back out as she would be seated on the couch with the phone in hand, eyes closed, praying carefully with the caller, bible open on her lap. God is so good, to give us sweet memories.

When I was home in Canada this summer, I had a number of conversations (that seemed random at the time) with people who spoke of both Grammie and Grandpa's love for people and service to the LORD. It was so motivating. They were wise, and passionate about the Salvation they based their lives on. I want that passion, that wisdom.

I was reading in Philipians this morning, Paul talking about his chains for the gospel.

"The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, for I know that...what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain...Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ..."

I feel so challenged. I feel young, like a baby...wondering if I will ever love Jesus like the Apostle Paul, or like many others who have given their lives to him and gone home for their reward, like my Grammie, and like my Grandpa.

Thanks God for such a great cloud of witnesses, and for all the ways you bless and teach us through the people we love. Goodnight.


Christiane said...

I'm crying now isn't often that I stop to think about memories from the lake, but I did today. I loved that office too--I think all of us girls would say that it was our favorite room in the house...I wonder why...maybe because Grandpa seemed so "untouchable"-not in a bad way but a good one...I feel as though I respected and revered him as a child-not that he didn't play with us or fool around, but I remember feeling that when I was in his office was when I knew him best (I don't know if that makes sense)

next favorite memory? :)...

Misty lake morning, saturday swim to the yellow pole, try to keep up with Grandpa, shake off dry, breakfast of Grapefruit and Grammies brown bread :) Table conversation? Grandpa questions me and Janna on what Scripture verses we know by heart :) Sigh, such a great cloud of witnesses.

Love you Jay.

mattandsteph said...

Great memories Janna and Chris! Love to you both!

julia said...

Janna Love, what's the mailing address that I can get you at??

I love you.

Anonymous said...

Hey Janna,

I loved reading this post. Jeremy and I just drove by the house last Sunday and I was remembering my few memories from that home (the office being one of them!). I also remember that scary blowfish in the room in the basement we would use to get changed into our bathing suits! God's blessings are certainly plentiful. It usually happens though that we don't "truly" realize or understand the extent of our blessings until they are gone.
Have a wonderful week!
love you,

shaunaj said...

Hey Jay,
I'm only now figuring out how to do this commenting thing...I guess I had to create my own blog in the meantime in order to do so, so when time becomes abundant and I want a challenge I will begin that too! I enjoy seeing photos and staying on top of things reading your postings! And shedding a few tears too - why must you do that to us??? I thought it was jsut me that had dominant memories or Grampie's study form the carpet to the smell -everything! I have often thought too how it would be neat to know Grampie as and adult and be able to sit and have conversations with him about different things and really know him...someday. What were you and Sarah doing using the scary blowfish to get changed into your bathing suits for??? Enough for now - will be in touch. Love you - your favorite cousin(HaHa) Shauna

Janna said...

Shauna. So good to hear from you! I think Sarah was just remembering that the scary blowfish used to hang on the wall IN THE ROOM where we used to change into our bathing suits. The boathouse?!? or the storage room on the way into the boathouse. Remember how it used to smell? Remember the chalkboard?! Oh gosh, lots of memories.

Karen said...

Hey Jana,
I'm linking from teamkohler blog (Dee! - the pregnant lady) Soo neat to hear about your Ecuador stories - It's been a few years since c&c at the Higgs. I'll be in Quito over the Christmas break with another maritime girl to visit a family and spend a few days in the jungle. Do you get to head back to Halifax for Christmas? Actually I have no idea how far apart the two cities are - but if anything worked out I would love to connect or you could vaca in the jungle with us and some other Christian cdn girls. I'll send you an email

Scott and Dee said...

Hey J, can you send me any pics you have of sarah and her baby? Thanks. It's encouraging to know she survived the ordeal-:)
love ya, Dee><>

yajur said...

Great thoughts you got there, believe I may possibly try just some of it throughout my daily life.

Shag Carpet