Summer is now well underway in Canada. The hot weather began early this year and only now is the calendar catching up. If Canada has an unofficial beginning to summer it is the Victoria Day weekend (which falls around May 24) and if it has a more official beginning it is Canada Day (which is tomorrow, July 1). Schools have just let out, families are hitting the road, beaches are full, campgrounds and cottage country are swarming, and so on. The holiday season is here!
Since summer is underway, my family will soon be taking some much-needed time off. You probably won’t notice a whole lot of difference to the blog since I always queue up some content before I disappear, but later this month my family will be heading to northern Québec for a week at a little chalet we have rented there. Then in August we hope to head south to drop Abby back at Boyce College. The borders between Canada and the US remain largely closed and US citizens are still not permitted to enter Canada, but we were delighted to see Ryn (Nick’s fiancée) receive an exemption so she can cross and spend some time with us. Eight months after Nick’s death, this will be Ryn’s first opportunity to pay her respects at his grave. A few months ago we cleared out Nick’s room, replaced everything in it, and began to call it “Ryn’s room.” We are very much looking forward to having her take her place in it for a couple of weeks.
You have probably heard in the news that Ontario is taking as cautious an approach to re-opening as just about any jurisdiction in the world. In the city of Toronto, for example, barbers and similar personal services are only opening now, having been shut since November! But we now finally seem to be spinning up more and more segments of the economy at a pace that, while very slow, is at least steadily moving forward. Churches are currently restricted to 25% capacity indoors, but face no limits outdoors, so most have begun gathering outside. Ontario is far more secular than Christian and churches tend not to make a huge impact on their communities, so for that reason it has been a joy to consider that all around the province Christians are outdoors and very publicly singing, preaching, baptizing, and generally doing what Christians do. I am excited to see how the Lord, in his providence, will use this strange situation. Of course I’m also excited to return to services that feature air conditioning…
It has been a very long time since I have traveled beyond North America—something that before COVID I typically did several times a year. To this point I haven’t really missed it, but now that the world is opening up a fair bit, and now that Canada is beginning to reduce the measures that pertain to returning travelers, I’m finding myself gazing somewhat wistfully at planes when I see them passing overhead. The travel situation out there is still quite muddled with countries constantly loosening and tightening restrictions, but I am hopeful that by the fall I may be able to go a conference or visit a missionary. I’ve got a whole lot of accumulated travel miles that are just begging to be used!
But until then I continue to focus on the blog and on a future book project that is coming together quite nicely. I am exploring a whole new style of writing for that book and enjoying it a lot. I expect it will be finished around the end of this year and for sale in the summer or fall of 2022. Before then my next book, Knowing and Enjoying God will release as the first in a series I’m calling “Words from the Wise.” It should hit shelves this September. You can preorder it now, if you like.
I am often asked, “How are you.” And I think I am doing okay. I think we are doing okay. There isn’t a day we don’t think about Nick and there isn’t a day we don’t miss him deeply. I doubt there ever will be. But, even while we aren’t anywhere close to getting over it, we are doing our best to get on with it, so to speak—to get on with living our lives. We are doing our best to carry this burden well, to steward it faithfully, and to live lives that are committed to doing good to others while bringing glory to God. We continue to see evidences of his grace in our lives and to rejoice at every one of them. He has been so good and so kind to us. We love him more than ever.