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Jen Pollock Michel

( author + writer + speaker )

One Year in Toronto: The random stuff

Every good and perfect gift comes from above. . . A rental home within walking distance of school, four bedrooms, a backyard, a garage, a basketball hoop for Nathan, a new washer, dryer and stove; the slim jim air conditioning that manages to cool the entire house, the neighbour's dog, Calypso and her fondness for Camille, room to entertain 21 people at Easter, the galley kitchen with its huge window facing the backyard, the tree swing Ryan hung last weekend.

A church with people willing to invite our family of 7 over, new friendships that feel easy and familiar, Wendy and our week together of writing, laughing and telling almost all of our stories to each other; worship that is quiet and the singing of the gathered chorus; preaching that is theologically rich, questions asked and answered publicly at the end of every sermon, a community of believers that is purposeful about loving their city and casting out the bread of Jesus Christ.

A husband settled into a job that he loves, working with and for people he admires, friends! opportunities to interact with people all over Canada, and the prayerfulness he has about the work he does. Work that is invigorating but not consuming, strategic not dull. Every opportunity he has to lead as a servant, every opportunity he has for flexibility to stay connected here at home. A salary that pays the bills, and the physical health to do the work he does.

The courage of the children to be new, to learn a new language, to begin finding out how different they just might be; their zeal for Christ at school, willingly telling others that you can, "pray everywhere," that a basic human need is "God," that "I'm going to live forever;" time to be a family in the afternoons and evenings; Toronto islands, hockey, the subway, the ravine; bikes, scooters, big wheels, piano, clarinet, the library.

For the the questions unanswered and for the faith to sustain the journey; for the growing sense we're not owed anything but grateful for what we have; for our 3 weeks in Montreal this summer, practicing our French; for the easy drive it is to the States and visit the friends and family we've left behind; for Skype and bad iPhone apps, for email and snail mail cards. For prayers that connect and remind.

For Toronto. For Chicago. For Abraham. For Jesus. For this space here and those who read. For the sense that You're everywhere and near.