Friday, December 26, 2008

Boxing Day

It's Boxing Day today.

I have always found the origins of this day to be very interesting. There are many theories as to how this day came to be... from church clergy smashing open the alms boxes to give the money inside to the poor to the Lord of the Manor filling boxes with necessities & gifts to give to all his household servants, serfs and tenants. During the two World Wars it was customary that, on this one day, the Army Officers of Commonwealth countries would trade places with the enlisted men. I'm sure that was an interesting experience for everyone!

Whatever story you believe you can see the common thread running through them all. It was a day to give to the less fortunate and to treat them like you would like to be treated yourself.

So......can someone tell me what happened?
How did it become the day of the year that we spend the most money on ourselves?

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Life is good. Life is fine. I am making my list, checking it twice. Everything is going according to plan, it's going to be a great Christmas.... and then Tony bent over to tie his shoes.

Seriously. That's all it took to turn my nice organized week into upheaval.

By Wednesday morning it was apparent that he was not going to get better without some significant help from the medical profession. The trouble was he couldn't even stand up, let alone get in the truck....hmmmm....

....the paramedics I called were very nice when they came to the house and actually got him to crack a smile as he crawled down the hall on all fours. They joked that obviously he had been working with animals for way too long. They managed to get him on the stretcher and I said I would soon follow. I watched the ambulance drive away as the first flakes of snow started to fall. Great... I hate snow....

..... I white-knuckled it to the Hospital, paid an exorbitant amount for the priviledge of parking at the Emergency room (do you hear the irony in my voice?) and found my pain-racked husband lying in a depressing, curtained-off cubicle. Maybe, I hoped against hope, a doctor has seen him already.....

.... two hours later a frazzled doctor whips the curtain open, apologizing profusely for taking so long. "That's OK", I say. Meanwhile I have been resisting the urge to grab some morphine and a needle and administer it to him myself. "Let's see what we can do to make you more comfortable." she says to Tony. I want to kiss her feet....

.... three hours later he is so comfortable he actually forgets who I am and asks me out on a date. At least he still thinks I'm cute....

.... 1 hour later I have developed a whole new appreciation for the Nursing profession as I watch them deal with an elderly man obviously suffering from dementia. He has already been "fixed up" and is beyond ready to go home. I know exactly how he feels. For the 27th time a nurse tracks him down as he makes his escape. "Mr. Crick," the Nurse says "you need to sit in your chair till your wife comes to pick you up." "When is my wife coming?" he says. "Soon," the Nurse says. "In June?!" exclaims Mr. Crick. Although unintentional, Mr. Crick, provided the only joy in our day.

.... two hours later we are still waiting to see "if the meds worked" and for a written prescription from Doctor Frazzle. I have to tell myself to be patient but, now, even I am getting bored and I never get bored. At least Mr. Crick is still there.

.... finally, finally our wait is over and we get to go home. As I get the truck I contemplate the now near blizzard conditions. It's going to be a long trip home.

.... 1 long hour later, reaching 'break-neck' speeds of 20kph, we are finally home. Tony is sleeping and I am now contemplating the day and marvelling that day after day, I think that, by ordering and check-marking, I am in control.

I am not and, after yesterday, I am really thankful that God is.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

"Please Protect Daddy Today"

When my husband is not working, or taking care of us, he is in the mountains. He loves the mountains. The trouble with this is that he has to get there somehow. Sometimes, when I know he will be travelling a particular treacherous route, I wish that I could just snap my fingers and he would be there safely. Then, a week later, snap them again and he'd be home.

Unfortunately that only happens in the movies.

So, since my girls were able to talk, we have taught them to pray..."God, please protect Daddy today."

I'm sorry to say that that prayer has become rote and too familiar. I've said the words so many times over the past 27 years I've barely remembered what I've been praying for. So God, in His infinite wisdom, decided to give me a small reminder (and then another....)

About a month ago Tony was coming home from a hunting trip near Hedley. He spent two days travelling the high mountain roads and then made the trip back home on the Coquihalla Highway. For those of you who aren't from British Columbia, the "Coq" is a mountain highway notorious for very long steep grades and eating up cars for breakfast. Tony made his way down the mountain without a mishap and through the Fraser Valley on the #1 Freeway. He turned onto our street, put on his left turn signal to turn into our driveway, stepped on the brake and... nothing. The pedal went to the floor. Using the emergency brake he managed to keep the truck on the road, avoid oncoming traffic and squeak into our driveway.

Ever time I think about his trip home and that last moment I cringe. The long hills that he went down, the speeding freeway traffic and the high cliffs in the middle of nowhere....the brakes could have failed anywhere on that trip and it happened at our driveway. I was so grateful that he came home safe and sound but I am embarrassed to admit that I don't remember praying for his safety that day.

I guess the Holy Spirit began to speak to me then. "I should write about this," I thought but nothing came of it. I stepped back into my daily existence far too easily.

Then yesterday morning I got an email from my friend Joan. This is what she wrote:

It's Saturday morning at 10:30. Werner just called me. He and Steve left late last night to go hunting up by Bowron Lakes (behind Barkerville). They expected the trip to take about 8 hours. They were almost at their destination when Werner fell asleep at the wheel, which he has never done before. Steve was sleeping and they were travelling about 70 to 80 km per hour. The truck went off the road, spun around, but didn't roll. Werner and Steve are both unhurt even though the truck is totalled. He has photos and says that's it's amazing that they weren't hurt or killed. He believes that it wasn't his time yet, and that it's only God's protection that kept him and Steve safe. I think it's a gift from God too, and I'm very thankful.

I was overwhelmed after I read Joan's email and I was reminded once again of how much God loves us and protects us and how easy it is to forget that when all is going well, when your loved ones come home, time after time, trip after trip. My daily little prayers... thanks for the food, thank You for my family, bring Tony home safe... have been said without much conviction because I had lost sight of how important even those small prayers really are. Fortunately, for us, our God loves and protects us when we don't deserve it and we haven't really talked to Him in days.

Tony, Werner and Steve... so thankful you're home safe.
Thank you, thank you God.

Monday, October 20, 2008


It's 1975. I'm 15 and head-over-heals in love with a very cute, long-haired boy. My best friend and I are on a double date with him and his best friend. It doesn't get much better than this. Young and free...a teenager in love in the summer time. Then the truck broke down.

To make a very long story short, I got home at 1am that night. Now you have to remember that this was the age before cell phones and, where we were, there wasn't even a phone booth. To the guys credit they did try to use the phone at one house, but they didn't exactly look like the Hardy Boys. I wouldn't have opened the door for them either.

When I finally did get home I saw that the house was completely dark. "Great," I thought, "Maybe I can sneak in and mom will never know that I was in way past curfew." I quietly entered the basement and made it up the first flight of stairs, carefully stepping to avoid the squeaky spots. I rounded the corner, past the dark livingroom, to continue up the next flight when, from the dark shadows of the livingroom, I heard the unmistakable sound of my mother quietly clearing her throat. It's a sound I will never forget.
So busted.
I was grounded for one month... I think I got a day for every horrible scenario my mother imagined that night as she sat there in the dark.

Fast forward to a week ago. My parents, now in their late sixties, have gone on a trip of lifetime. They have wanted to go to Nashville and the Grand Ole Opry for as long as I can remember. Finally they were getting their chance. They even rented a limousine to pick them up at home and drive them to the airport. They could hardly wait.

Before they left mom said, "Check your email often OK? We'll make sure to stay in touch." Perfect.

They left at 4am Thursday morning. On Saturday we were at my brother's place. "Have you heard from mom & dad?" he asked. "No," I said. "It's wierd that we haven't. Dad has his Blackberry with him all the time." Hmmm.... A few days later I emailed them. "Where are you?" I asked. "Hope you're having fun." No response. A week after they left I am checking my email every 10 minutes. Thursday night I can't fall asleep. Every time I closed my eyes I imagined every kind of horrible scenario and believe me I have a very vivid imagination. It was not pretty. By 1 am I am convinced that the limo driver was deranged and he tied them up and left them in the crawlspace of their house!!

I got up, knowing I would never sleep, and sat in my dark livingroom for a while. What should I do? What if something really did happen to them? Then I remembered that mom gave me their hotel phone numbers in case of an emergency. As far as I was concerned this was an emergency. I'm calling Tennessee!

The hotel lady was very nice and understanding as I babbled on (it's now 3am) about not knowing where my parents were. "I don't need to talk to them, you don't need to wake them up, I just need to know that they checked in, that's all." She clicked away on her computer for a few seconds and then said the words that set my world back in order. "Yes, they're here. Safe and sound."

It's funny how that night in 1975 was the first thing I thought of when I finally crawled back into bed. A little perspective? Or maybe a whole lot of payback? Whatever. When they get home they're grounded!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Object Lessons

When I was in Sunday School I loved it when the teacher would use the flannelgraph to illustrate her story. David & Goliath, Moses in the basket... I can still see those images in my mind.

I remember so vividly my 10th grade Social Studies teacher, climbing on his desk, brandishing a sword, as he told us about the battle at the Plains of Abraham. Go ahead, ask me about that day in history and see if I don't remember.

During any family vacation my father, a 6th grade teacher, would pull over at every 'point of interest' sign. We would look at whatever it was that we stopped for and dad would make sure to point out all the things he felt we should know and learn.

When Jesus saw the poor woman give her last two coins into the treasury he took the opportunity teach his disciples about giving sacrificially. They saw the woman and they saw her sacrifice first hand.

Object lessons.... life is full of them if we take the time to look.

The other day I was doing a little geocaching and it brought me to one of the coolest things I've seen in a long time. I thought... if ever there was an object lesson for my life, at this time, this is it. As I looked at this picture of resiliance and strength in the middle of adversity, I realized that I needed the reminder that who I am is because of what I've been through. My trials and struggles have shaped me into the person I am today. I cannot remove them, they are a part of me and my life, but I can decide to grow in spite of them.

Take a look at the object lesson God gave me today.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

An Unexpected Gift

My friends and I just spent a wonderful week in Fairmont Hotsprings in the Kootenays of British Columbia. We planned each day carefully, making sure that we each got our "princess day" and that there was lots of time for geocaching, shopping, eating and hiking. Did I mention that we did a LOT of eating?

Then one afternoon, during a very "unplanned" spur of the moment, we decided to go for a quick hike, just before dinner, to find a cache that was hidden not too far from our resort.

The hike was not too hard, the air was warm and still and as we got closer to the cache co-ordinates we couldn't help but notice the growing cliffs on both sides of us. Then we saw it... this waterfall that looked like something that you would see in a National Geographic magazine. The pool underneath the waterfall was aqua blue and we soon realized that the water was warm. The falls themselves were as warm as a shower and the temptation to jump right in was irresistable. We went in...all of us...clothes and all.

What a magical moment that was for us. The excitement of being impetuous and spontaneous. We revelled in it until we were water-logged and all prune-y. I didn't want to leave. It was a 'once-in-a-lifetime-I-will-probably-never-do-this-again' experience.

Have you ever had someone beckon to you, whispering, saying "Come over here... I have something special to show you?" Do you say just a minute? It made me wonder how many times God has a gift to give me and I've been too organized to notice. I have a very busy schedule you know, things to do and places to be...

By the way... we never did find the cache that brought us there in the first place. And you know what that cache was called?


Friday, September 5, 2008

Do I Trust Him?

Tony and I just celebrating our 27th wedding anniversary last weekend and we celebrated like we always do every year. We go on a DA trip around British Columbia.

What does DA stand for?
Drive Aimlessly.

I know it sounds weird but we love it. Going down gravel roads that we've never been down before. Taking in as much as we can. Camping wherever we end up when it's dark. We've put on thousands of kms on our rusty, I mean trusty, 4Runner. We are never quite sure where we'll end up and that is all part of the fun.

I have been thinking about this since we got home. About the situations that we put ourselves in during our treks. Driving backroads that haven't seen a vehicle in months, braving deactivated ditches that punish my kidneys and sleeping in our SUV tent when he says that there are "probably no grizzlies around." Notice I said "probably" and "tent."

It made me realize how much I trust my husband.
When we set up our tent in pitch darkness and there are glowing eyes in the forest... I trust him.
When there is mountain on one side and cliff on the other... I trust him.
When we're going up an old logging road that's barely even there... I trust him.
When we see a grizzly (and then another one)... I trust him.
When he tries to get at a rattlesnake so I can get a better picture... I trust him.

I trust him to keep me safe, to protect me, that he knows where he's going and that he is an expert on wildlife behaviour. I trust that he's checked the gas gauge, he knows how to fix a flat tire and he's there beside me while we're sleeping in our tent.

I have had a few disappointments this past week... things not going like I planned. I had these things planned perfectly, in my mind anyway, but obviously God has another plan in mind. And I wonder... why am I so worried?
Do I trust God?
Do I really think that His plan is perfect for my life?
That he knows me best?
Does He love me more than I can imagine?
Do I trust Him?

Friday, August 22, 2008

This is What I Know....

I will be 46 next Tuesday.
After 46 years this is what I know...
  • blueberries make me shudder
  • frogs make me freak
  • bottle feeding a baby giraffe is not easy
  • Disneyland really is the happiest place on earth
  • I can tell you what html is
  • I was born to create things
  • I adore my computer
  • without a doubt, geocaching is the best hobby in the world
  • scrapbooking is a close second
  • I love living in the country
  • I hate deactivated roads
  • hiking in the woods is incredible
  • driving in the woods, at night, makes me stop talking
  • I love my Mapbooks (yes they are mine, not Tony's)
  • the GPS is the best invention since the telephone
  • the difference between horns and antlers
  • I cannot sleep without a blanket over my ear
  • 1 am is my favourite time of the day
  • old dogs CAN learn new tricks
  • My parents raised me right
  • no one has better cousins, uncles or aunts than me (OK that's a little biased)
  • I have the most wonderful friends
  • God's peace is miraculous
  • My daughters are amazing
  • My husband loves me unconditionally (while knowing all these wierd things about me)
  • I love how my Creator designed me to be uniquely Me

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful

I know that full well.
Psalm 139:13 &14

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Perfect Holiday

I just came back from my vacation. 8 days on the shores of Shuswap Lake. The weather wasn't the greatest, between the wind and the rain we managed to get a sunny break here and there, the cost of our campsite went up, the store ran out of icecream, the trains were as loud as ever and we even got a flat tire on the way there.

You know what? It was the best holiday.

Not one of those things mattered because what mattered the most was the people who were there with us.

I came home thinking that

God has given me the best
family in the world.
We laughed together, ate together, fished together and laughed some more.
We geocached, watched movies, did a puzzle and went for long walks. I watched my girls as they bonded with their friends and I tried my best to capture it all through my camera.
I loved watching my husband tease "the boys" and I got caught up with my sisters-in-law (they really are special ladies).

My nieces and nephews are just too fun for words...there was hardly a moment that we weren't entertained.
I marvelled as my parents opened their hearts (and their trailer) to all their granddaughters' friends. Their hospitality knows no bounds.

And my mother-in-law mothered them all,
as only she can do, with food, bandaids,
dry towels
and wisdom.

I've always known that's it's not what you do that is important but who you are with. And who I was with made my holiday perfect.

(Justine, Jenna, Graham, Eleah, Maggie, Me, James & Karlee)

Monday, July 21, 2008

What Are You Sinking About?

I know I haven't blogged in a long time... but it's summer so I have a bit of an excuse, right? The weather has been lovely, my raspberries are ripe, I spent a great long weekend geocaching in Tofino with my cousin and now we're getting ready to go to Shuswap with our family. It doesn't get much better than this and it is turning out to be a perfect summer. So, quite honestly, I can't think of a thing to write. Usually I wait for God to place something on my heart and then the writing comes so easily. This past month, whenever I've been driving to work in my van (my Blog composing time) I have asked myself "What are you thinking about?" And this is what always came into my head. Happy summer everyone.

Friday, June 27, 2008


My girls and I went to see "Wall*E" tonight. It's nearly two in the morning and I am still mulling it over.

What was it about this simple, little film that touched me this way? This was no adrenaline filled movie with endless car chases and scene after scene of things being blown-up. There was no long-haired, sweaty hero that sweeps the heroine off her feet. The hero in this movie is, in fact, a garbage collector and is quite broken down and rusty. He doesn't talk, there isn't anyone to talk to anyway (except his pet cockroach), and in between collecting garbage, he finds treasures that he adds to his growing collection. A plastic fork, an old copy of "Hello Dolly" on VHS and a Rubiks cube are all special to Wall*E.

We were about 10 minutes into the story when I noticed that my mouth was hanging open and my handful of popcorn was still only halfway to my mouth. I couldn't believe that the scenes I was seeing were not artist's mind was mesmerized. It was about 30 minutes into the movie when I realized that there hadn't yet been one word of dialouge. It didn't matter in the least.

Wall*E is a delightful, artistic masterpiece full of love, humour & hope. But it is also a story of mankind's excessiveness, society's bent to overindulge and the consequences of those decisions. Wally*E and his friend are the unlikely heros that show them all what is important and that it's time to return to what they have lost.

The more I mulled it over the more I found to learn from this wonderful little movie.
Oh, and just in case you're wondering... I'm pretty sure kids will love it too.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

An Eye on the Prize

"Whose dumb idea was this anyway?" I asked.
"Pretty sure it was yours," says my friend Carol, "Don't you remember?"
"Yah, well it seemed like a good idea at the time."

That was the conversation we had on Sunday afternoon while perched on the mountainside 3 kilometres above the little town of Yale in the Fraser Canyon. My legs were screaming, my lungs were gasping for oxygen but I was determined to get to the end of this trail. Why? Because there was a stupid piece of tupperware hidden in a cave, just waiting for me to find it!

I know, I know... I'm obsessed with geo-caching. Yes, I can say it out loud and yes, Terry, I know that makes me a geek. But we all need something we're passionate about right? This is my thing. I love the challenge of finding something that's been hidden in the middle of acres & acres of forest... testing my observation skills and getting me to places I would have never considered before. And when I am soaked from the rain, splattered in mud and covered in a stinging nettle rash I keep my eye on the prize. It is what keeps me going when it seems too hard and I want to give up.

"But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."

Sometimes the life lessons are just so obvious. I love it when God does that.

Monday, June 2, 2008

A Lesson from Grandma & Her Lilacs

I have always loved lilacs. I don't know too many women who don't. They smell heavenly and they are so delicate. Even the word "lilac" sounds pretty.

These past few weeks I have been enjoying my lilac bush beside my front patio. If the breeze is blowing just right the fragrance from it wafts in the front door. mmmmm.....

Of course, being the sentimental person that I am, it got me to thinking about my grandma and her wedding day. I had heard the story of Grandma and Grandpa's courtship & wedding day quite a few times during my childhood. I loved how they "met" through their letters and shared photographs. How he travelled to another province to meet her for the first time and how, the day of their wedding, she went out into the garden and made herself a huge bouquet of lilacs.

But it wasn't until I was writing our family's history a few years ago that she told me about something that happened years after their wedding.

Grandpa Klassen decided to surprise Grandma by having their black & white wedding portrait colour tinted and then give it to her as a gift for her birthday. Now apparently Grandpa wasn't much into surprises and definitely not the most sentimental man so Grandma was extremely touched by his gesture. As she opened her present and saw the portrait her heart sank... the colours were wrong! I guess since it was years later and, being a man, (sorry, but it's true) he didn't remember the details of the day all that well. On that day Grandma's dress was blue and the lilacs were white. Grandpa told the artist her dress was white and the lilacs were blue.

You know that Grandma never told him that he got it wrong. I can imagine her, putting on a wonderful performance... thanking him for his thoughtful gift and then proudly hanging the photo back on the wall.

There's such a valuable lesson in that, don't you think? We allow little things to become so major when we could just let them slide. We let one little thing pile on top of the next until it becomes a mountain when not one of them is really important. What is more important? The person we love or the fact that he never puts his dishes in the dishwasher or he missed the fact that you just got your hair done?

Thanks, Grandma, for all the wonderful stories you told me and lessons you taught me. Miss you.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Father Knows (and loves) Best

Ahhh.... the long weekend. All the way home from work I was looking forward to an evening of relaxing, sitting and catching up on the week's happenings with Tony. Our two oldest daughters were on their way to Kamloops to visit their cousins and we had just one child at home.

Peace and quiet for three whole days.

We had just finished supper and sat down when the phone rang.

"Mom? We're at the snow shed. Can you believe it? We got a flat tire! I just laughed when it happened! Is dad there?"

Now I have to interrupt my story to say that Tony had for weeks before this expressed his concern over this 3 hour trip in her little Honda Civic loaded with 4 girls and significant luggage (as only girls can do) and a stupid little donut (his words) for a spare tire. He reminded her on more than one occasion to buy a proper spare tire. Did she choose to listen to his fatherly wisdom and buy that spare tire? Obviously not... hence the phone call from somewhere on the Coquihalla Highway. Trust me, she might have been laughing, her father was not.

After many phone calls back and forth, Karlee making a "Please Help" sign, Jenna standing on a sand pile to get reception to talk to her dad and him saying, "No, don't try to take the lugnuts off the ornamental hubcap," they got the tire changed and we came up with a plan where they could still get to Kamloops and enjoy their weekend away that they had been anticipating for so long. The plan, of course, consisted of me driving to Hope to give them my van and me driving back home with her car and the aforementioned stupid donut. And since Tony had to work that evening what did I do? I called my dad. I know... the irony is not lost on me. Because what do we do so naturally when we're in trouble...even when we've got a major "I told you so" coming? We turn to the one who has guided and cared for us all our lives....our father.

So my nice relaxing evening did not end up remotely close to what I planned (we even got pulled over by a policeman on the way home), but I did have a nice visit and a cup of coffee with my dad (in Hope), my girls know that, even when they don't heed the advice they should have, their parents (and grandparents) will do almost anything to make them happy and I learned a valuable lesson in the wisdom and love of a father.

Now if you'd like this story from the girls' point of view go here.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Me and my Village

I am a mom.

I have thought about that sentence a lot since last Sunday. Sometimes it kind of takes me by surprise. I guess part of me feels like I'm still just the daughter.

It made me wonder too, how did I do? How have I been in my Mom job?
My girls have turned out to be strong and motivated. Beautiful and gracious. They face daily struggles and face them without complaint or blaming. I really don't think I can take much credit for this. My mom skills are sadly lacking in many areas. I strongly dislike (my mom taught me not to use the word 'hate') cooking, grocery shopping is definitely at the bottom of my "things I love to do" list and I was the worst school mom ever. I didn't join the PAC and Sports Day made me shiver. I did do some things right. I taught them manners and how to make friends. They have the best memories of our trips to Disneyland and their scrapbooks are magazine worthy. And I have prayed for them every day.

Yes, as a parent, you are the biggest influence in your child's life. But what about all those other people that God brings to them? The Sunday School teachers and Youth Pastors? The Camp Counsellors and the best friends? The generous uncles and aunts and the loving grandparents? I know they have all had a hand in moulding my girls into what they are today.

I really think that the old African proverb, "It takes a whole village to raise a child" has quite a bit of truth to it. So I want to say thank you to my "village". I truly couldn't have done this job without you.

But that won't stop me from having just a little proud mom moment.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Angels Unaware

By now most of the people living in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia know about the floor collapsing during a Christian concert at Central Heights church. About 40 people fell through the floor to the and scaffolding and pews crashing on top of them. They are saying it is a miracle that no one was killed... it could have been so much worse. Except for three people, most walked away with just minor injuries.

I was out of town that Friday night... and my two oldest daughters were at that concert.

When Eleah told me what happened to her and her best friend, Maggie, that night, it opened my eyes to a unseen world that I know exists but, I have to admit, I don't really think about.

The Starfield Concert was Maggie's birthday present. The two of them had been looking forward to it for so long and no one was more excited to see her favourite band than Maggie. The first song had barely started when the two of them made their way down to the front. (I personally don't get why the concert is better if you jump around during it, but then apparently I'm old! lol) It didn't take long and Eleah started to become anxious. She told Maggie that she wanted them to go back to their seats. Maggie said no.... she wanted to stay up front. That was when Eleah started getting upset with her. "I want to go back," she said, very forcefully. "I'm going back!" Now, you have to understand that my daughter is one of the most complacent people on the planet. She never rocks the boat and is a people pleaser. This was completely out of character for her. It was then that Maggie realized... Eleah never does this, maybe I should pay attention. They turned to go and had just started walking back when the floor gave way.

I really don't know what to say about this other than my being is filled with gratitude. Was it an angel tugging at her? Was it the Holy Spirit? I would love to know. I think that we would be awed and amazed at the battles that are being fought and won on our behalf.

We live each day in happy oblivion while miracles happen at our feet.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

In the Beginning God Created....

Eleah and I went geocaching last Saturday in Derby Reach Park. We were making our way down to the bottom of a ravine just as the sun was starting to set. That's when I noticed these 'strange creatures' coming up all over the place and I couldn't help but take a picture or two! They were just so cute! They looked like a bunch of little green people coming up from the ground.

It was right then that I wished that I could have been there when God was creating the earth so I could ask him all the questions that I have. Why did he decide to make just these ferns come up like this?
(Someone, somewhere started calling them fiddleheads.) Was it just for me, just so I could enjoy this tiny moment in my life? He could have chose to make every plant the same. Every bird look like a robin. Every animal look like a cow.
He could have made the whole earth look like the prairies (I'm not saying that's a bad thing! lol) and we would have never known the difference.

Instead he made the world with mind-blowing variety, eco-systems so diverse that most of the time it just leaves me speechless and full of thankfulness. And questions.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Flowers on the Freeway

Everyone has their herald of Spring. For some it's seeing that first robin, for others it is that first day you can go outside without a jacket. For me it's my flowers on the freeway.

Have you ever noticed them? Bright yellow daffodils growing haphazardly in the median, through the thick dead grass and in between the enormous fir trees. For as long as I can remember they have been growing there but I always wondered why. There is no rhyme or reason, they seem to come up wherever they please. Then one night while we were at a family dinner the subject came up. (I'm sure I was the one who brought it up by the way...) My mom said, "Oh I know why they are there. They were planted for BC's Centennial Celebration."

Are you kidding? Wasn't that like in 1967?

For just over 40 years those daffodils have been coming back year after year. Surviving winter after winter, droughts, weeds and massive mowers. No one has baby-ed them and pampered them. There has been no weeding or watering. As far as I'm concerned they are as beautiful as any flower in Minter Gardens.

There has to be a lesson in there somewhere don't you think? Yes, that's it...

“Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you."

I knew I loved them for a reason, I just didn't know why until now.

(Just in case you were wondering... Yes, I found a way into the middle of the freeway to take these shots. Shhhh...don't tell Tony, OK?)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Psalm 23 and other verses I should know...

Have you watched this video on youtube? I have lost count on how many times I have watched her, this adorable little girl named Abby who quotes the 23rd Psalm complete with giggles, drool and saying "surely?" about 5 times (my husband's favourite part is "now my head?" It is heart-warming to watch.

Then, after I had watched it for about the 10th time, something started to happen to me. I felt this tremendous amount of guilt. I realized that my total sum of memorized Bible verses added up to John 3:16 and Jeremiah 29:11. Not too great. I knew I needed to change that and quick. It wasn't long after that that Wes (our pastor) suggested that we memorize scripture as a Lent challenge. To the best of my knowledge he's never done that before.

OK Lord, I can take a hint.

So 30 days later I am happy to say that Psalm 23, Matthew 5:1-16 and Isaiah 40:28-31 are permanently (I hope) etched in my memory and I even though Lent will be over in 10 days I am determined to memorize more. "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path."

Thank you God and thanks Abby.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

We're All Ears (Among Other Things)

I have been thinking about this for a while now. The question arose when my Magic Kingdom compatriots and I posed for this picture.

So you tell me... why is it that wherever else we go, most of us fight to conform, to fit in? My husband's favourite line is, "You should always blend into your environment." (honestly, the man should own shares in every camouflage clothing line on the market... but I digress.)

So even before we stepped through the gates into Walt's World we noticed this.

Grown men & women wearing all types of hats and headgear. Grandmothers and grandkids wearing t-shirts & sweatshirts with goofy dogs and grumpy dwarves on them. I saw one man with so many pins on a lanyard around his neck that I had a flashback to Mr. T. and the A Team. I am quite certain that not one of these people would show up to work the next week wearing Mickey Mouse Ears that glow in the dark.

And this phenomenom is not restricted to theme parks. Have you seen what people wear to sporting events? Crazed fans carry banners with questionable phrases on them and they paint their faces in irridescent team colours. My friend told me about a trip that her and her husband made to the Nascar races in Las Vegas. When they arrived they scoffed at the "attire" of most of the attendees. By the time they left they each were quite in the spirit, sporting plastic Jimmy Johnson visers and two very "loud" t-shirts.

So this time I am looking for answers and opinions. What happens when I swipe my ticket and walk through those gates? What happens to logic and reason, not to mention any trace of dignity? You tell me.

Monday, February 11, 2008

144,564 Steps!

I have been to the Magic Kingdom eight times now, each time cramming as much into 5 days as humanly possible, so just for fun I thought that this time I would wear my pedometer... to see how far I would actually walk in 5 days.

Can you believe it?... I walked 88 kilometres! 144,564 steps! That's like walking from Langley to Hope! No wonder my feet felt like they belonged to someone else!

You have to understand that we've been there, done that a few times now.... so our trips to Disneyland aren't exactly like they show you in the brochure, we don't "see" Disneyland like we used to. This time I tried something new and did some geo-caching in and around the Park (I found 7)... that took me to places in Disneyland that even I hadn't been to before. We went on every major attraction at least 3 times each. We watched Aladdin, Billy Hill and the Hillbillies and Steve Martin. We chatted with Cast Members, got soaked on Splash Mountain till we got just the right picture and wearing our Ears was mandatory when entering the Park. We gave Disneyland tips to other tourists (apparently our Ears gave us away) and we rode in the cockpit of the monorail (you just have to ask).

It was all I imagined it would be and then some. Was it worth the the tired feet, exhausted bones and blisters? Was it worth 144,564 steps! You bet!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Parable of Glass Beach

Our first stop after we got to Texada was to find a geocache called "Glass Beach." After reading the cache page we learned that this site, on the northern tip of the island, was previously an old dump site used by the residents of Texada for many generations. The area has now been reclaimed by nature but since then the most wonderful little thing has happened.

I guess, many, many years ago, there were a lot of glass items dumped here. Old pop & beer bottles, noxema jars and even china was deposited here when it was no longer useful. Now add to this the continuous action of the waves and you can imagine what has happened. The entire beach is strewn with brilliantly coloured "pebbles." Beer bottle amber, noxema jar brilliant blue, 7up green... they are all there. Over the years the waves have worn them smooth, no jagged edges or sharp points anymore. It is really something beautiful to see.

What I love most about this story, though, is how some of the islanders have discovered these "pebbles" and seen the potential of it. They scour Glass Beach for the right shapes, sizes and colours (apparently blue is the most sought after) and turn them into works of art. What was once discarded and worthless is now searched out and of value.

I loved going to Glass Beach. Probably because it was an unexpected surprise that gave me a lot to think about. I love my life but it has not turned out exactly as I imagined it would and there are times when I've felt like I've been hit like that glass, tumbling in the waves, again and again and again. What was ugly can become beautiful, what was useless can be made useful, what was sharp and hurtful can become smooth and soothing, what was once considered worthless becomes worthy. We were standing in the middle of a wonderful, moving object lesson.

No wonder Jesus taught in parables.

If you'd like to see some beautiful examples of beach glass art click here.

Monday, January 7, 2008

The Beach

Tony and I just spent four wonderful days on Texada Island. We rented a little cabin by the beach... far, far away from life, work and reality. One morning I went for a walk along the beach. The wind storm from the night before had died down and the morning by the bay was blissfully quiet. I sat on a piece of driftwood, the only person along this stretch and closed my eyes.

I had been told what to expect but still I was so amazed at what I heard. In the quiet of that morning I heard the beach's song.

Did God, when He created this earth, say to himself, "Let's make this beach special. It will be a gift to those who take the time to listen?" The beach, you see, is made up entirely of tiny pea size pebbles. Worn smooth by time, they move with the waves and every time a wave rolls away the pebbles make the most musical sound, like wooden wind chimes in the breeze.

Then God and I had a wonderful little talk and I said thanks for the song on the beach.

I couldn't keep from smiling.