Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sewn in Love

(Photo: Trenton and Jocelyn in their new "Dick and Jane pyjamas)

Christmas Day offered quiet moments, delicious food, and a couple of good King's Cribbage games. Dad, my brother - John, Gilles and I celebrated quietly together December 25th. It was the lull before the storm.

Boxing Day saw 26 relatives descending upon our humble abode! A niece and her boyfriend and another young lad, surprised everyone by coming. She lived in Calgary but they recently decided to dig up the tent pegs and return to Ontario. It was a good surprise for my big sis' who was speechless for about five minutes after seeing her daughter in the doorway.

We feasted and laughed. Little munchkins ran hither and yon and the tangle of tinsel and wrapping paper littered the livingroom floor as gifts were exchanged and laughter ensued. It was certainly a good time.

The next day we had our immediate family get together. More presents. More food. More aching legs! But it was worth it. I loved the day. Trenton and Jocelyn were a joy as they giggled and played. Jocelyn seemed much more interested in tissue and wrapping paper than what was actually in the box.

Buying gifts for my grandchildren was far too easy a task for me this year. Self control was the exercise of the day when I went shopping! I think I had the most fun, though, making the Dick and Jane pyjamas for my grinning pair. It was a time for me to contemplate and really think about my pair of beautiful grandbabies as I stitched seams and sewed on piping. Even when I accidentally cut Jocelyn's pants pattern out upside down, I didn't sweat it. Thank goodness I had lots of fabric. I did have quite a time hiding my sewing paraphernalia on those days Amanda popped her head in the door. "Stay out of the back room!" were the orders. I knew she knew I was up to something! But in the end, the results were positive. The pjs fit. And they look so sweet - my own little Dick and Jane! It was fun 'sewing' in the love!

Thank you God for the lingering Peace and Joy and for family. Thank you God for getting me through the chemo and the challenges of this past year. I sure wouldn't want to have missed these past few days.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Pondering

Christmas Eve. I sit in the padded pew with my Dad next to me. Gilles is in the balcony and shoots a little smile and wave as he buckles down and attends to the sound system for this, the candlelight service. Before the lights dim I look around and see Kathy and Larry. They lost their beloved son in a car accident in September. I see Theresa and Dirk. Their sweet son went to be with Jesus at the tender age of 17. Behind me Jane sits. She sees my short chemo hairdo and touches my shoulder. Her dear hubby died on my mother's birthday. December 15th. Liver cancer; inoperable; terminal. We hug and share cancer stories.

Dad needs to peel off his jacket. He is warm. He gets clammy. Last week when that happened I rushed him to hospital. His clamminess had progressed to dizziness and nausea with a bad headache last week. I thought a stroke was imminent. I didn't want that to happen tonight. Not at church. Not on Christmas Eve. It doesn't. Dad settles down and he feels 'okay.' He is in a hurry to get to the car, though.

Why does God allow bad things to happen? It's an age old question and some have even tossed the notion of God aside because of this quandry.

But the answer lies in the manger as we consider the events of Christmas. Like Pastor Kramer said this evening, Jesus came as a Saviour. His eventuality on this earth included death upon a cross for our sake. For our sin. His swaddling cloths became blood drenched rags as He bore it all for us. Our sin-ravaged world bears the consequences of Adam.

As I celebrate this Christmas Eve, I am happy and joy-filled. Jesus is real. Jesus is the reason. Jesus loves me this I know. He also loves my Dad. Teresa and Dirk. Larry and Kathy. Jane. And He loves you too. Merry, Blessed Christmas.

This Christmas represents only the opening act to something more marvellous than we can imagine. Trust the Saviour who lay in the manger and stay tuned to life for the rest of the story.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Igniting the Spark

I write a monthly column in a drama newsletter when all is right with the world but I had been quite lax over the last year. But they did ask me to write something for Christmas if I could so I did a little while ago. Here is the article that was recently published in DramaScene. For some reason I just wanted to share it here today:

Cancer? What do you mean I have cancer? Other people get cancer. Not
me. I barely contract a cold. I don’t even get a headache unless I’m hungry. So this is a joke, right? My physician assured me the tests left no doubt. I had ovarian cancer and the clock was ticking.

I suddenly felt like I had been thrust into a lead role for which I was ill prepared.
I had no opportunity for rehearsal. The spotlight was beaming down on
me as I stood center stage, agape and alone. The audience was staring back at
me in anticipation and I had forgotten my lines.

In a nutshell, it has been quite a summer in the Belec household. Six months of intense chemotherapy treatments following major surgery have encompassed my life. My hair has fallen out; my eyebrows have disappeared and I no longer have eyelashes to flutter. The fatigue has been the worst with the pain running a close second.

“Be still and know that I am God…” He whispered in my ear as my journey through the valley of cancer commenced. “Not thy will but Mine be done.” God had not left me comfortless. Just as He promised. Never before had I felt so close to God. Never before had I truly focused on the power of Jesus. Never before had I thought so earnestly on trusting God.

Throughout my journey I have realized the kindness of friends; the dedication of family; experienced marriage vows in action (in sickness and in health…) and stood in awe watching the power of Jesus in my life. I have become aware of the tyranny of the urgent. I have learned patience and persistence. I have recognized the futility of vanity and the unconditional love of those who really do walk the talk.

And now Christmas is here. The tinsel and the lights don’t fool me one iota. I love the atmosphere, the fine food, the gifts and family activities that make Christmas fun, but the most important part and the motivation for festivity is to celebrate the “Way” in the manger. I pray that I won’t take my eyes and heart off Jesus this Christmas for even a moment. I was blind, but now I see. I pray that you, too, will keep Christ in Christmas and as you celebrate in your own special way you, too, will realize the “Way” who came that we all shall live.

Forgive me for not being faithful in writing my column for a very long time. I know God has some wonderful things in store for me this new year. I am trusting that one of them is climbing back on board the DramaScene wagon. Blessings, joy and peace for a love-filled Christmas celebrated in His honor.

Love Glynis

Glynis M. Belec

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Achy Breaky Body

These past two weeks have been a whirlwind. I have been a bit of a sick puppy. My throat has been like gravel and my coughing was enough to shift a reading on the richter scale some nights. Buckley's and Halls have been a staple in my diet of late but I am gradually weaning myself off and am learning to tolerate the aches and pains and the residual effects of the chemo, still. My achy feet have to be the worst. I am thinking I might make a date with my doctor to discuss some of these nasty twinges and stabbing pains that pop up out of nowhere and seemingly unprovoked. Sigh. I sure hope this nonsense ceases soon. I long to be able to jump up and boot, scoot boogy through my day, like I did before all this cancer nonsense.
Right now it is three thirty in the morning and that wretched insomnia has returned. Hopefully I can nod off for a couple of hours for I have a million things to do today! Meanwhile, I thought this a good time to post an update on my blog. Carp diem!

Amanda and Jason have moved to Drayton. That is good news although the move did not transpire as planned. Their new digs were initially something to be desired but we have all been pitching in to help spruce up the place and clean up. They ended up staying with us for 10 days until the work was done on the house and it was declared fit and ready. Needless to say I have been busy with unpacking boxes and helping with Molly Maid duties. Poor Amanda has been sick, too along with Trenton and Jocelyn. And on top of that, Jocelyn has been teething. So some days as we tackled boxes and suitcases, it was somewhat akin to the blind leading the blind.

Now that we are all on the road to recovery, things are starting to take shape. Amanda is such a good Mommy; she knows her priorities. So I am glad that I am able to help even a little with the daunting task of finding a spot for everything.

I hope to get back to my regular posts, so forgive me if I have been a little lax lately. Christmas is peeking around the corner so I need to shift my thought process soon. I love Christmas and so look forward to opportunities for getting together with everyone. I have so much to be thankful for and especially having friends like you who care. :)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Way in the Manger

Christ did not come to earth so that we can hang tinsel and cook turkey. His birth in a lowly stable was not about maxing out credit cards or elbowing others in busy malls and stores. Commercialism was not rampant on that silent night so long ago.

There is nothing wrong, in my eyes, about families getting together and enjoying relationships at Christmas; and if that means exchanging gifts and diving into a glorious feast, then that is fine, too. But when I see the craziness that is part of the season, then I wonder.

I wonder, first, why people celebrate Christmas when they don't believe in Jesus. Afterall, Christmas is just that - Christ's Mass - a time of praise and worship. A time to celebrate the arrival of a tiny Babe into a lost world.

I wonder why schools can have Christmas programs but aren't allowed to mention the name of Jesus.

I wonder why mall music can consist of Santa Claus is Coming to Town and Frosty the Snowman but if they dare play Away in a Manger or Joy to the World it is a sign of intolerance and people become offended.

I wonder why retail clerks are instructed to say Happy Holidays or Season's Greetings but wishing someone a Merry Christmas is not politically correct.

This past year, since I have been ill, God has opened my eyes to much. I have had plenty of opportunities to wonder. I have concluded through a lot of my wondering, that God is God no matter what. Even if people choose not to believe that Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Light of this world, He still reigns.

Christmas is what happens in our hearts. I am praying that your heart is warm with Jesus as you make plans for your own celebrations and that we can all together, remember the Way in that lowly manger who had no crib for a bed. The little Lord Jesus lay down His sweet head. Are you humming yet?