Sunday, January 31, 2010

More than one....

I took my usual Sunday noon spot at our kitchen window and waited.
Sure enough Blue Jay came with a very hungry look in his eye. He/she and yes, I may now even say "they", sat watchfully on the apple tree before making the plunge to the peanut tray.
They would take the peanuts to the neighbor's far elm tree and put them in one of the many holes dug out by woodpeckers.
So, enjoy the pictures.....just more of the same.......

Saturday, January 30, 2010

A good read....

I'm reading another book by Henri Nouwen (1932-1996) entitled "Can You Drink the Cup".
It's a book about using whatever we are handed in life to better the world around us...basically. I enjoy his books immensely. There are a few stats regarding his life and some of his quotes found here:
Nouwen was a spiritual man, a thinking man, a practical man, a man who lived his life by 'drinking the cup' that Christ has offered to all of us. You may get a glimpse of the type of man he was by the title of one of his books "The Wounded Healer".
Of all the authors I have read (not that I have read dozens), he is the one I most relate to. He is honest and open and speaks freely about his personal struggles and insecurities.
In this book "Can You Drink the Cup" he is speaking about what Jesus said to his disciples James and John as it is recorded in Matthew 20:20-23:
20"It was about that time that the mother of the Zebedee brothers came with her two sons and knelt before Jesus with a request.
21"What do you want?" Jesus asked.
She said, "Give your word that these two sons of mine will be awarded the highest places of honor in your kingdom, one at your right hand, one at your left hand."
22Jesus responded, "You have no idea what you're asking." And he said to James and John, "Are you capable of drinking the cup that I'm about to drink?"
They said, "Sure, why not?"
23Jesus said, "Come to think of it, you are going to drink my cup. But as to awarding places of honor, that's not my business. My Father is taking care of that."
James and John really had no idea what Jesus meant by "drinking the cup". They figured that he would be setting up a new, physical earthly kingdom where Rome would be overthrown and the two of them would have important places with Jesus in the new government. THEY H A D NO I D E A!!!
Getting back to this little book I'm reading, in one place Nouwen explains what his upbringing was like when he was quite small in Holland and the first time he was able to drink wine in a family celebration. He speaks of the importance of finding a fine wine, the pouring of it, smelling it's unique bouquet and tasting it's marvelous flavor and following this ritual it was the "lifting of the cup" in toast to the festivities. He goes on to say:
"One thing I learned from it all: drinking wine is more than just drinking. You have to know what you are drinking, and you have to be able to talk about it. Similarly, just living life is not enough. We must know what are are living. A life that is not reflected upon isn't worth living. It belongs to the essence of being human that we contemplate our life, think about it, discuss it, evaluate it, and form opinions about it. Half of living is reflecting on what is being lived. Is it worth it? Is it good? Is it bad? Is it old? Is it new? What is it all about? The greatest joy as well as the greatest pain of living come not only from what we live but even more from how we think and feel about what we are living. Poverty and wealth, success and failure, beauty and ugliness aren't just the facts of life. They are realities that are lived very differently by different people, depending on the way they are placed in the larger scheme of things. A poor person who has compared his poverty with the wealth of his neighbor and thought about the discrepancy, lives his poverty very differently than the person who has no wealthy neighbor and has never been able to make a comparison. Reflection is essential for growth, development, and change. It is the unique power of the human person."
Yes, there is more to life than simply 'downing the wine'!!!! Life is to be lived thoughtfully, prayerfully, purposefully...........not just existing day to day. There is so much more!!!
I shall go now and think more about all of this....

Friday, January 29, 2010

Beauty amongst the thorns....

A friend at work received a cactus for Christmas in 2008. Now it's blooming for the first time.
Each little white wispy node will produce a bloom. In a short while it will be radiantly pink over its entire round sphere.
How can such beauty come from a frightful green ball of protruding, long, prickly thorns.
Well, it is just another example of the magnificence of nature, the gloriousness of a creation of God.
It reminds me of a crown of thorns which pressed tightly into the head of my wonderful Savior.
Yes, there is beauty offered amongst the thorns.......

Thursday, January 28, 2010

New kid on the block...

I'd like to introduce you to little Charlotte. Her birth day was January 14th. She's 2 weeks old today. Dave works in our office.
Mom and Dad look so well they should!
There is nothing like this experience in the entire universe....becoming a parent to a helpless, sweet child. Mom and Dad will have hopes and dreams for their new little girl...a life of good things, of happiness, of loving and living life well.
And she will grow very quickly....soon she'll be walking and running and talking and dating and going to university and saving the world.....and......and......and.....
She's a gift...a beautiful, special gift. We thank God for her and all that she will bring to her parents as a daughter. Bless her God with a life of good things....and a few difficult things too, to make her wise.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Rough and smooth....

Rough bark....smooth drift.
We live in a world of opposites don't we.
Love and hate.
Anxiety and peace.
Beauty and ugliness.
Grace and disfavor.
Black and white.
Good and evil.
Night and day.
Inside and outside.
But really, life is all about living from one extreme opposite to another. We experience both ends of the spectrum, if the truth be told.
What is the opposite of God?
I think it would be NO God.....

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Snow drifts...

It was a snowdrift day. Good stuff.

It is also good that we have 4WD, otherwise driving could be shaky, not to mention swervy and slippy....although husband did almost manage to slide all the way through the 4 way stop on 22nd and central. Could have been brutal.

The snow on the branches gives everything that Christmas look...a tad late for the festivities but beautiful nonetheless.

Husband was out shoveling a bit. Tomorrow, when the wind dies, the snow blower will make an appearance. His winter toy. But it's nice to do the neighbors places at the same time. They like that!

I need to get out my camera. So much white to capture.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


The other day the hoar frost was not terribly thick but what there was of it was delicate and beautiful...against that winter blue sky. If you look closely you can see one crystal clinging to another and another and another outlining each twig and branch.
And then the wind came and blew it into nothingness.
I think these are God moments when beauty stares us in the face. We can either take these moments to look at and appreciate and get that sense of awe from what our eyes are beholding before it disappears...or we can walk right past the gift.
I was on my way into work at the back door but I simply had to stop. That kind of beauty was just too much for me to ignore. So, I clicked and clicked and walked back into the building with a few praises on my lips and words of thanksgiving to a God who took the time to allow me some beauty in a difficult day.
God gives good, even delicate gifts. It's up to us to enjoy them.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Closer to February...

Eleven days 'til February. I look back on last year's picture of Waskesiu in February and recall all the snow.....piles of it. I remember the stillness....the breeze from the lake blowing the clouds...the warmth of the sun....the beauty of a day in the park.
February also brings two more birthdays. One will turn 16!!
February also brings a son back home...mid February.
February will host a Women's Retreat at Christopher Lake.
February MAY also mean a new residence.
As an ogre once said "Change is good, donkey!!"

Monday, January 18, 2010

He likes peanuts...

The Jay loves peanuts!!!
We ran out of them, unfortunately for him. But he knew there was a source of food right here in our back yard, so when there wasn't any left, he screeched....and screeched...and screeched!!!
He let us know (loudly) that he needed more because he really liked these things.
Husband was obedient and went shopping....for peanuts.
We don't give the Jay salted peanuts as we wouldn't want him to suffer from water retention or a heart we get the plain roasted ones....the kind my friend, Gord, likes to eat!!
I think God wants us to be like the Blue Jay. He wants us to let Him know we have a need and for us to tell him about it....well, maybe not screeching at Him, but you know.....talking to Him about it. He is our provider. He cares. He lets us know just how much He cares by providing for the things we need.....daily.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


I think life is one big "Centre of Learning", where we begin with breathing and end with not breathing...everything in between is a whole whack of learning stuff.

We learn how to use our limbs and our vocal chords; we learn to climb and run; we learn speach and from then on it's all about letting everyone else around us know what our needs are and what goes on within ourselves. Our minds get working and exercising just like our arms and legs. We begin to learn and the more we learn the more we begin to understand...about ourselves, about others and about our world.

We use what we have learned in living life. Funny isn't dependent our society has become on learning and education. And it's a good thing.

Not sure why this came to mind today, other than I like seeing folks put their learning to good use.

Enjoy your night.....

Saturday, January 16, 2010

I wonder what's next...

Landlady: "Looks like your place will be on the market and up for sale this week."

So, today there was a whole gaggle of real estate folks here checking the place out and getting the goods on our little place here.

Then they even brought people in to have a look at the "new listed house on the block".

Maybe no one will like it and we'll be able to stay here.

Maybe someone will buy it to rent to some really good us for instance.

I don't have the energy for uncertainty right now. I need stability....

Note: I said "I"...need......not sure what God will think I need! We'll see...

In the meantime, join me and we'll think flowers.......

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I find it difficult....

- in my comfy little house that hasn't fallen down around me,

- in my warm and safe bed with covers to keep me warm and a pillow for my head,

- with a bottle of water beside me wherever I go and a sore mouth from having my teeth fixed today,

- having a body that only creeks and groans from arthritis

When those people in Haiti who have been trapped in their homes are mostly dead; when those who have survived have no shelter, no bed, no pillows, no blankets; when people are alive under rubble with no water to keep them alive and are suffering from shock with trauma from broken limbs and lacerations and dead bodies all around them.

But here is one miracle story:

God, please watch over those who suffer this night.

UPDATE: Due to lack of the right type of medical care, this little girl died of her injuries the next day. With her severe injuries, they said she would have to go to another facility 3 hours away, and she died on the way there. She was her mother's only child.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


We were just speaking about Canada Covenant's missionary to Haiti (Janelle Peterson) last evening at our church Council Meeting. She's from the Winnipeg church where our son has been attending.

I will be following her messages at her blogsite at

It is good to be an integral part of the helping...with our missions monies going to Covenant World Relief.

It's where the rubber hits the road....where our hands help with our hearts....where love is in action.

My prayers are with the Haitian people...for help to come quickly and efficiently.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Primrose Lane....

Jerry Wallace - 1959

"Primrose Lane

Life's a holiday on Primrose Lane

Just a holiday on Primrose Lane with you

Can't explain

When we're walkin' down the Primrose Lane

Even roses bloomin' in the rain, with you.

Sweet perfume

Those little old roses bloom

And I want to walk with you my whole life through

Primrose Lane

Life's a holiday on Primrose Lane

Just a holiday on Primrose Lane, with you."

I remember that that year!!!

Nice primroses above, eh?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The light shines in the darkness...

And the darkness does not comprehend it.

There is something about light. It reveals things...nooks and crannys...dirt and grime....smoothe and rough surfaces....shades and and ugliness.

Light allows us to see if we're on the right path or if we're about to fall off a cliff.

It comes into the dark places and makes them livable.

The Spirit of God is light.

It comes to show us the way. It comes to reveal the dark corners of our souls. It goes in deeply showing us things we didn't know were there....hiding, sometimes festering and growing until our very lives depend on it being cleansed.

Sometimes we walk away from the process. We turn our backs and run from looking too deeply.....when all God wants to do is make our lives better. He only wants to heal and make our beings whole.

We become, as Pastor Seth talked about this Jonah, a prophet in the Old Testament....the one who was swallowed by a huge fish. Well, you can take the story literally or figuratively but the fact remained that Jonah tried to run away from God and all that God wanted him to do. God wanted Jonah to go to the land of his enemies, to tell them destruction of their land was on the horizon. I must admit, that would be a task, going to talk to people who wanted nothing more than to skin you alive!! But he ran in the opposite direction. Prophets normally did what God asked of them. Not Jonah. Not at first anyway. He ran...far and fast.

I think I do that too, at times. I hear God. I know he's trying to get my attention. I give all kinds of excuses as to why I'm NOT doing what he asks and in the end, the darkness wins out and I'm not what I could be. I lose.

Today, that Light shone. Help us to not run away God....take away our fear, cleanse us and make us new people.

Friday, January 8, 2010

A friend's birthday...

This gal, Jennifer, was born to our friends, 16 years ago today...27 days before our granddaughter, Brittney, was born. Jennifer and Brittney have been friends for that long.
She has grown up to be a beautiful young woman. Kind. Intelligent. Funny. Quiet. A heart for people....and a love for God.
Today, I salute Jennifer, and wish her a life of good things...and some difficult things thrown in to make her grow and give her wisdom.
Happy 16th Birthday dear friend. I love you....

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Green or white?

Same place...different color.
The greens are lush and soft and fragrant.
The whites are pristine, crisp and quiet.
Imagine a loving Creator providing all of creation for his precious created....that's us!
We are blessed people, indeed...

Monday, January 4, 2010

Pretty ladies....

And they're my family!
Children and grandchildren....they all grow up so quickly and we are faced with the question:
"Did we do our best?"

Sunday, January 3, 2010


Nature is far less cruel than humanity.
Sometimes I'd rather be in the presence of birds than people.
Birds don't bite back.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

I simply remember my favorite things...

And then I don't feeeeeeeeeeeeeeeel soooooooooooooooooo baaaaaaaaaaad......

Friday, January 1, 2010

Just look at how we begin 2010...

Oh yaaaaaaa.................

Minus 35.....fog........a great January 1, 2010.

Just so you know....

I did stay up until after midnight to welcome in the year 2010....and it's so much easier to type 2010.