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Jen Pollock Michel

( author + writer + speaker )

Weather Report: Montreal, Canada

Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. There is no hurry in heaven. No one races around, complaining how few hours of daylight they have for making it through their to-do list. When God owns time, you can’t complain about scarcity, because with Him, there is only plenitude.

Which must be why summer is the God-season. There isn’t the hurry of school mornings and the inevitable irritation of children hustling to find their backpacks, get their shoes on, AND brush their hair before 8:15 a.m. Summer runs on a different kind of time. Summer days stretch elastic. There’s more time, less hurry. I call it heaven.

Weather Report: Montreal, Quebec

We’re home in Toronto this morning, having spent the last two and a half weeks in Montreal. Abruptly, we had to cut our trip short and come home several days early – as soon as we realized that Ryan, who was scheduled to leave today for a very important meeting in Chicago, did not have his passport with him in Montreal. The passport was safely tucked in the second drawer of my desk here in Toronto, not in the minivan parked behind our apartment building in Montreal as Ryan had (very reasonably) presumed.

We all came home.

When the kids burst through the front door, they smiled and said, “It smells like home.”

It’s good to be home – whatever that is. We learned before leaving for Montreal that our landlords who own our home in Toronto would be returning from Singapore at the end of this year’s lease. We would have to move. The news sent us into a brief tailspin, wondering whether or not we’d even be staying in Toronto. (Would the company move us again in Toronto or would they simply have us come back to Chicago?)

Uncertainty under the skin.

We prayed. Psalm 32 is perfect when you suffer from uncertainty under the skin.

6 Therefore let everyone who is godly offer prayer to you at a time when you may be found; surely in the rush of great waters, they shall not reach him.

7 You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance.

8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.

9 Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding, which must be curbed with bit and bridle, or it will not stay with you.

And what happens when we pray? Does it change God? Change us? These are tangles for the theologians. Let them work out the puzzles. Your and my work is to simply do it – and when faith fails us, to ask God to give us more.

We’re staying in Toronto. Yes, it will mean another move, another address, but there have been good things granted to us here, things for which we are grateful and quite honestly, things we’re not yet ready to leave. And God has extended our stay. Thank you.

Our time in Montreal was more evidence of this unexpected and overwhelming goodness of God. There are things He gives that we do not ask. There is goodness we receive from His hand that is sheer joyful initiative on His part. No twisting the divine arm needed, just a shower of sweet rain from heaven. When you drink it in, you know you’ve done nothing to make it fall.

Counting some of our gifts in Montreal. . .

Apartment that was clean and in a fantastic part of the city

Day camp for the children that they enjoyed and was well-organized

Blanc de blanc: the laundromat/café where I FINISHED (well, almost) a book proposal I’ve been working on

Fantastic weather

Family memories: biking along the Lachine Canal, day trip to Mont Tremblant, museums, gardens, playing cards, magic tricks, duck-duck-goose, St. Viateur bagels, Dairy Queen

Practicing our French

Getting to know a pastor’s family there

Getting to know Sophie and Emmanuel and their two children who were renting the apartment to us

Lots of reading: Finished Till We Have Faces, Bossypants, started Silas Marner and Bringing up Bébé (Thank you, Elizabeth!)

Lots of writing: aforementioned book proposal, several blog posts I’m fishing out to other blogs

And always this: drawing closer to Jesus.

I have this thought today as I read about the transfiguration: As He is transfigured, we are transformed.

We’re home. Summer days stretch elastic. And I’m looking forward to time to spend with my family, with Jesus, and the guests we have booked for the month ahead. I’m trying to remember today that there’s no hurry in heaven.

We’ve got all the time in the world.