A Catholic Convert in Ottawa

Room to Grow

Posted on: September 4, 2015

Not being a big fan of the one-two punch of heat and humidity that summer in Ottawa packs, I’m looking forward to the shift to cooler weather.

I recognize many people might glare at me for writing that. Maybe even growl.

The bitter truth: summer may not officially be over for a couple of weeks, but the more relaxed pace of the summer months will be behind us in a matter of days.

In my corner of Ottawa, I’ve already noticed higher traffic volumes at rush hour and people snapping up back-to-school bargains. Not to mention signing up children for music and dance lessons and league sports and trying to find good prices on the equipment they’ll need.

It’s enough to raise stress levels for commuters and parents alike.

One thing to savour about the onset of fall, though, is the range of new opportunities open to us, since activities for adults launch as the school year begins:

  • music and dance lessons
  • interest courses offered by colleges, school boards and the city in everything from blogging to language lessons to fencing
  • recreational sports leagues and drop-in programs
  • ministry opportunities at church
  • volunteer work: literacy tutoring, fundraising, friendly visiting, election campaign work, and more

Looking at work schedules, children’s activities and other commitments, we may be tempted to say we have no room for anything new in our lives. Yet without opportunities for growth, the days may seem a little too predictable. We may find it hard to truly appreciate each day God gives us.

What better time to look at just where we’ve committed our time, energy and talents?

my GG grandmother

My great-great-grandmother Sarah. Family tree research is one hobby I love to make time for. What are some new interests you could explore?

I have an old-school planner that features spaces for each family member’s activities and shows me the week at a glance, but a big whiteboard calendar is another great way to see where we’ve promised to be and when.

We may notice a lot of volunteer commitments that mean we don’t have time to take a long walk, play Scrabble or enrol in ballroom dancing as a couple. Or our children are so busy with rep level sports that they can’t take part in school clubs or spend much time with their friends. Or there’s no time to play hockey or grab a coffee with friends or even stay for coffee hour after Mass.

Before the faster pace of September overwhelms us, I pray that we’d look at our plans and see whether we’ve left room to grow in the gifts God has given us and to spend time with him.

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Food for Thought

(Y)ou do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” ~ James 4:14-15

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