Thursday, November 29, 2007


Yes, excitement is building. This weekend, Advent is upon us.

As a church family, we always begin this Christmas season with a Sunday evening program and this year will be no exception.

It is good to do this. It is good to see people come forward and use their talents. It's what God would expect us to do, since it was he who favored us with those gifts.

Our gifts and talents change too as we progress through life.

When we are young, our voices are stronger, our lungs more resilient to holding onto the breath within them.

But when we get older our voices aren't quite the same and we run out of breath half way through a line we're trying to sing, but......our enthusiasm is still the same.

And when we get even older than that well, I guess it's just time to sit and enjoy the show! There is a season for everything under heaven.

These Advent programs are not just talent shows. No. They are much, much more than that. They are times that allow children to make positive and good memories for themselves. They will remember these times..........when they stood in front of the whole congregation and sang a solo (but were so nervous their legs wouldn't stop shaking) or were in a skit (and the backdrop fell to the ground) or told a story (forgot their lines half way through) or even went to the front to sing in a group (and tripped over the mic cords). All memorable. But better than that, we offered our gifts to the living God, the best way we knew how. It was a gift offered to the entire church too!

So, I'm getting pumped for this Sunday. Still much organizing to be done but it all seems to fall into place just before the program starts at 6 p.m.

Hope to see you there. There will be much excitement.

Oh, and there's still time for you to offer YOUR gift to the cause. Don't be shy. Give me a call.

If you make a mistake when you're on stage, we won't laugh. We may point fingers.........but we definitely won't laugh.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A caring person.

Usually when I think of someone who is "caring" I think of a person always going out of their way to do nice things for people, who go the extra mile for folks, who walk with you when you're down, who listen to you when you need to be heard and to have a spirit within them that speaks of compassion and encouragement.

Well, our friend Mildred, even in a wheelchair, was such a person. She was all of these things and so much more. She battled cancer more than once. Diabetes took both her legs. Pneumonia was a common occurrence. Yet she continued on caring for people.....with all of those debilitating things that would have done most of us in a long time ago!!!

Her funeral was a time to hear about her life and to celebrate all that she was to her family and friends. It was beautiful to hear her son-in-law give her eulogy. How many mothers-in-law can brag about that accomplishment - having an "outlaw" have the last word on her life. But it happened. Then her granddaughter spoke about her Grandma......and being a grandma of a beautiful granddaughter myself, that was more touching than anything else. I think at funerals, we tend to think about our own lives as well and about how we're doing when it comes to caring for people and where we are when it comes to how our spiritual lives are faring. We wonder. We know that a service like this will one day be for us.

Yes, a funeral is a time for reflection. It's a time to give us another opportunity to make a choice in life - to believe in the resurrection or not. To have faith in a God we can't see....or not. Mildred made that choice a long time ago. A good choice it was, too.

At the end of the day when my life is over, I would be honored to have someone say that I cared about them. That would be a beautiful tribute.

So, I will think about Mildred this week and in the weeks ahead. I will miss her. Not many people ask how my children are doing and tell me they are praying for Mildred did, every time I saw her.

I have been blessed, as my children have, by Mildred Donald.

Peace to her memory.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A new recipe.

It's the time of year to do "festive" baking.

When I arrived home, husband had found a new recipe - cinnamon/almond shortbread in a pan. I don't think it's like "sex in a pan" but we'll have to wait and see..............;-)

He'd like me to give it a try - the new recipe, that is. It looks good.

I think I will.

It's different baking in this new house of ours. I haven't yet found my comfort zone in the kitchen..............probably because husband is always in there cooking!!! I'll take over in the evenings and do the Christmas baking at my leisure. On second thought, maybe I should make that "sex in a pan"...........husband would be pleased...........

Before that, I had better get going and first make my good old standby - the (in)famous English shortbread - dear Mother's recipe......before I try that new one with the nuts and stuff added.

The eggs should be room temperature by now. It makes a difference, you know.

If you stop by, I'll let you taste a shortbread or two.....but maybe you should call first, just in case I end up making, you know...........that 'other' recipe..............

Monday, November 26, 2007

Has it come to this already??

Look. It's not yet December.

I have had to make a "to do" list........already!!!

Usually this takes place, you know, probably a few weeks prior to Christmas when everything gets a little crazy.

This year it's a month before Christmas.

I don't think I like that.

If I don't make my list each day of things that have to be done and places I must be, as well as phone calls I must make.......not to mention working 8-5 at my job......some things just slip away into the sea of forgetfulness. And since I don't like to forget important events like a root canal or baking something for the funeral of a great lady.....I'll just make my list.

Of course, there's always next year when people ask me to do this or that, I can say, "I don't really think I can manage to do that this time".....and hopefully then, I'll be list-free. (I CAN say that but most likely I won't. I know me.)

Yes. We'll start perhaps next year to ease off from tasks that would take away my festive "spirit". ;-)

In the meantime, I'm still looking for special numbers for our Advent Program this coming Sunday at 6 p.m. If you know of anyone who would be willing to sing, dance, play an instrument, tell a story, read a poem (all with an Advent theme, of course.....) just let me know.

I'll add them to my "list".............

Sunday, November 25, 2007


In relation to Pastor Randall's sermon today regarding the topic of gifts, I think I have found out what my gift is.

I think my gift is shoveling snow.

I like to take the shovel and heap up piles of the powdery, white, cold stuff.

I fling it here and there. I even flung it over the neighbor's fence. There was just no other place to put it. I like to think that when spring arrives my neighbor and I will share in the marvelous richness of the spring melt. I think I aught to tell him soon as I see him. Yes. I shall.

I figured I had better count the shoveling as a gift as it kind of coincides with all the praying I've been doing to get that snow falling in my yard. I am thankful for answered prayers and the sore back that goes along with it!

Now. Go Riders. At least I think this is the day they play their game.......ho hum.......

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Why do I give at Christmas?

Good question. I was thinking about that today. Of course, I give to those I love and Christmas IS about love, after all. It's all about God loving us enough to give us his only son........ to be born as one of us, humbly and humanly, to be born to do an extra-ordinary offer grace to a bunch of unruly, unforgiving, unrighteous people.

So, getting back to my question - "why do I give at Christmas?"'s because I've been shown by the Son of God, the one and the same King of Kings that was born in that un-Godly stable in Bethlehem of Judea, that giving is a good thing. Giving can be a miracle. Giving shows others what God's grace looks like. Giving because Christ looked upon the world and loved it enough to give all he had.....his life.

I don't pretend to be able to give a gift like that. But He taught me that when I give with that kind of love, the kind that overlooks faults, that loves unconditionally, that loves another because they are worthy of being loved as a human being, then I am doing what I was called to do as a Christian.

This Christmas I want to give.........because He has given. It just seems like a good reason.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Keeping cool amidst the "heat".

If I had to, I think I may be able to put out a of........

After being trained in the fine art of "putting out a fire", via a $60,000. simulator for such things, you may now count on me for your various class A, B and C fires as one who knows how to pull the pin, and squeeze the handle and spray the contents. Should I start running the other way, you may publicly humiliate me for cowardice.

It was all quite cool actually. While the simulated fires burned on a huge screen in front of us (complete with the sizzling and crackling) it was a very cool thing to wave the fire extinguisher hose in front of us and actually "put out the fire".............without a hair on our heads being scorched nor a whiff of smoke within the confines of the room.

Yes, for a hot procedure, it was all pretty cool.

We weren't given a fireman's badge though. Guess we have to be a little more brave to get one of those.

I'll just have to be satisfied with my "paper" saying I can simulate putting out a fire.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Sung to tune of, "It's a long way to Tipperary"

Ready.........S I N G......(for husband)

It's a long way to see my doctor!
It's a long way to go (to Saskatoon!)
It's a long way to get my face mask
And the sweetest sleep I've known.
Good-bye all my snoring
Farewell listless nights
It's a long, long way to see my doctor
But my O2 levels'll be right.

Husband is in the severe category for sleep apnea. That's bad.

Welcome to our bedroom Mr. ResMed! That's good.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

"All I want for Christmas....

is this picture",.....says our daughter. She is a very passionate individual. She has always wanted to be a help to the underdog, the oppressed, and the down-trodden.

She has chosen this picture. A 1993 Pulitzer Prize award-winning photograph by Kevin Carter of a tiny, frail Sudanese girl, starving, barely making her own way to the feeding station a ways away. The vulture awaits the outcome of her efforts.

I understand her desire to have this picture framed and in her home. Some would think it insensitive, even repulsive. She however, is the type - sensitive and caring - that wants to be reminded of how much she has, how blessed she is and of how she can be of help to others....and to remind her too, of the injustices of this world.

Our daughter is a very special person.

This picture makes my heart cry and it reminds me that there are things, tangible things, that we CAN do for others.

Oh God, help us all to actively live out our faith.....and not just watch from the sidelines.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I'll give you 50 cents more.

That's what one of our customers said when he came to get chili today. He said he would pay the 5 bucks for a bowl of chili and 50 cents more if he could see "the Peelers"..... (do their thing). To which we fervently replied we were worth muuuuuuch more than that!!!!

Ya. We raised almost 160 bucks for "Relay for Life", the cancer fund-raiser event. Our infamous "Studs and Peelers Behind the Sheets" notoriety certainly went before us.

Three team members made a hearty chili....on a very chilly day, too. Some brought buns....other than their own and still others made desserts.

We had coffee and tea plus H2O.

It's fun to be a part of a great team..............speaking of..............Go Raiders....oh, guess that should be Go Riders...........well, go both teams.

And "Hats Off"(and that's ALL, just hats!) to the STUDS AND PEELERS!

We're off to a great start!

Monday, November 19, 2007

What's important?

That's a question I ask myself every single day.

People sit by my desk. Sometimes it's just to chat. To connect.

Not other times. There are times when it's totally a one-way conversation. It's alright though. I've said it before and I'll say it again. People need to be heard. People need to be loved. They need to be cared for and listened to. THAT is important.

It's good to know people trust me with their secrets too........even when they know mine.....

There are a few people who have walked with me through my "dark night of the soul". These people know me.......and love me - still, and continue to make me accountable. We all need that. It's how we grow and mature.

Loving someone in spite of their frailties - like God loved me, in spite of mine....................... THAT is important.

I shall continue to ask myself "What's important?"........and my work usually gets done by the end of the day, in spite of the daily "conversations".

It's people. THAT is what's important.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Answered prayer and aching back.

OK. This past Tuesday I was bold enough to admit on this blog that I was "thinking" about snow.

I "thought" about snow a lot actually.

Funny thing, just today, Pastor Randall said that we can get our spirits and minds in sync with one another to get something done. Our mouths don't necessarily need to verbalize those thoughts because, hey, God knows those thoughts anyway. (However, when we do reveal our thoughts out loud, we make ourselves known to others as to what is going on with our lives and in a way, we become accountable to one another by allowing our inner thoughts to be expressed verbally and in turn, be up for criticism and correction. Can be painful.....but always ends up being a time of growth for us................that was kind of an aside).

So, as I "thought" about snow last week, my mind really was tuned to my spirit. But you know, it is November and in November we can expect snow to happen. I hope people don't blame me for breaking a leg or wiping out and humiliating themselves in a public place or having to go the chiropractor in the morning.

Anyway, seeing that my mind was in tune with my spirit, and snow has been falling all day today and will into the night, I have been out shoveling the stuff. My arms are sore. My back needs something in hot water bottle, and I'm too pooped to pant.

Guess I have to be prepared for the answer to my prayers. I'll keep my handy-dandy live-in masseuse close by and I should be good to go.

After the Saskatchewan/B.C. semi-final football game, of course...........

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Color me glitter.

Husband and I went shopping. I was looking for know, the fake kind of pine boughs to go around the arches of our home.

We went from shop to shop. All I saw were either wrong color or too expensive.

We ended up getting two cheaper REALLY fake looking garland strands and one really fancy one that didn't look overly fake.

If this was our old house, I would get out hammer, nails, tacks, etc. whatever would keep those suckers from falling off the walls.

In our new little rented abode, there will be so such thing as hammer and nails or anything that punctures the plaster for fear a whole slab of wall may fall down. We don't want that now, do we.

So we found those new fangled hangers that stick on and are supposed to come off without the paint coming along for the ride. We'll have to wait and see on that issue.

We put up the hangers followed by the strings of garland. Looking good.

The fancy garland was sprayed with gold glitter. I swept. I vacuumed. I dusted and polished.

Dang glitter won't leave the place. It's in my hair, on my face, embedded into my socks and into the hardwood floor cracks. Looks festive though.........kind of "grows" on ya'..............

Friday, November 16, 2007

It's falling and I'm rolling.

Yup, the temperature is gradually falling a tiny bit each day.....colder and colder as we head for the deep freeze.

Are we up for it folks?

Get your woolies on, a scarf around your neck, fuzzy mittens, toque (if you're sparse in the hair department), warm jacket, thick socks, boots with grips and lining, a bulky sweater or two and you're ready to roll (literally) anywhere.

I do love the winter. It's the cold I hate.

So, if I follow my own advice (above), I should be in for a pretty good 5 months ahead!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

What's funny??

I think in my "later-middle" years of life, I tend to not take certain things too seriously as I have done in the past.

For instance, someone saying something negative about me either to my face or behind my back. I used to be very upset about that kind of thing for whatever reason. These days, I find that if someone takes the time to actually have a conversation about me in the first place - bad or good - well, I feel I have just taken up their time with unimportant things that need not be said. There are too many people and issues of great value that COULD be spoken of but instead they have wasted their time on me. Pity, I say.

Then there are issues of hearing a story (a fairly serious story to the person telling it) and me, finding great humor in the whole thing. What's with that anyway? I suppose I've come to the conclusion that it is better to laugh in the face of adversity than to take it all too seriously. It's how you look at it, I suppose. Anyway, it's so much easier to laugh than not.

Speaking of something funny.......Did you hear about the guy who went into the restaurant and asked, "Waiter, may I please have a cup of tea without cream?" The waiter went to the kitchen to retrieve the tea but came back to the customer asking, "I'm sorry sir, we have no cream. Would it be fine for you to have your tea without milk instead?"


I know. I know. It's my sense of "English humor" coming through.........

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Would you like a scratch with your ticket??

A friend and I went for supper tonight (as husband has gone to take his last stand against the animals in the south). So, you know how those times go with a friend......too quickly. We had only two hours to catch up on everything plus eating our meals. (our booth was reserved for someone else at 7 pm)

It's so much fun being with a person you connect with.....with our hearts and souls and minds.

We laughed alot. Her story about coming home from the lake with her 2 cats in the vehicle, being stopped by the police for going through a certain color light, friend stopping her vehicle, rolling down her window to give police her I.D., cat jumping out of vehicle, friend wanting to get out and run after cat but thinking twice about doing it as she didn't really want to be charged with "leaving the scene of receiving a ticket", so had to run to cop car to tell them she was running away after her cat, cop following her, cop getting out flashlight to also look for cat, cop finding cat, cat scratching cop, cop yelling, cat fleeing, friend finding cat, friend trying to hold onto cat to get cat into vehicle, cop opening up vehicle door for friend to put cat in, friend loudly yelling at cop "DON'T OPEN THE DOOR, THERE'S ANOTHER CAT IN THERE!!!", cop quickly closing door, cop inconspicuously handing friend big huge ticket, friend climbing in vehicle with hissing cat.

Darn cat!!! Darn ticket!!!

Things could have been worse. The other cat could have fled the scene.

Stories like that really need to be on camera.

And since I didn't have any interesting stories to tell here today, I thought I'd mention hers.

I laughed long. I laughed hard. Oh, ya. I'm still laughing...........

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

No, it's not Monday. No, it's not Monday. Not Monday.

I keep thinking it's Monday. It's not.

So, tonight is Council meeting, as it's Tuesday.

I even had the Monday morning blahs today. That's totally unfair. It wasn't even Monday. It really fit in though with the news I have to have a root canal............

I should have had the Tuesday morning "yipppeeeess", because I only work three days this week as I get Friday off. So I'll have that tomorrow.

I'll think about snow and it will be a very good day, no matter what day of the week it is.

Yes. I'll think about snow.

Monday, November 12, 2007


Wow. I'm not used to being with young folks like I used to be. Four days with a teenager keeps me going........and going..........and going.

From movie marathons, to shopping, to a candle light supper of rye toast, fruit and cheese, to breakfast at Smitty's, to checking out make-up colors, to going to church, to listening to her play her flute "Beatles" numbers, to walking to Shananigan's for London fogs and cheese cake, to taking in "Fred Claus" at the local movie theatre...............I think we're both ready for a good sleep.

I am anyway.

Back to Regina she went. Now, of course, I am missing her and most likely won't see her again until Christmas. Think I'll start getting extra sleep NOW, before Christmas comes. Yes, that's a good idea.

It was so very good to have her here. What a blessing our dear Brittney is to us.

Lord willing, we shall get to see how her life unfolds. It's working up to a fine one.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

What's going on anyway, God?

Seems like everywhere I look there is something to read about helping others in need.

Perhaps it's God's way of helping me be more aware of that fact.....that there are people out there that need just the basics to live.

My world can be so very inward. Perhaps I need to expand it.

God, bring those things to mind, those things that I can do something about to change my little corner of the world.........or even the whole world........who knows.......but most likely it will be me who ends up changing. Seems to always happen like that. Guess that is what usually is necessary.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Taking a stand.

It's Remembrance Day weekend. There are stories on the telly about various battles and wars and fights for the independence of various countries. We remember these things, the cost that was involved and all those who took a stand against tyranny and injustice and continue to do so.

Canada, within her boundaries, has been free of war for a very long time. We are blessed people. We hear of struggles and fights for freedom in other parts of the world. Our school children these days are taught about the more subtle forms of oppression, those of the hidden agendas of large corporations to use the innocents and the desperate and starving ones for their own gain. Cheap labor makes big bucks. And, as innocent as we may appear and as oblivious as we may be to that fact, we are all, to varying degrees, a part of the scheme.

Today, I went shopping with my granddaughter. We went to one particular store, a new store that has opened up here in P.A. the last week or so. She gathered her items of clothing that to her, seemed appealing and headed for the dressing room. Out of the several items that were tried on, one stood out. I would buy it for her. It looked very lovely on her too. I held the item as we browsed through the shoes. We happened to notice that the little black dress was made in a deprived and down-trodden country, where, no doubt to both of us, the labor had been very cheap to have made this particular little affair. She said she had just done a project in school about sweat shops in "third world" countries and that was one of the countries that was mentioned in her project.

Here was a fashion-conscious 13 year old girl, making a decision. We talked about it. She wasn't sure what to do at first. This WAS a terrific looking dress, after all. She really liked it. Money was no object, as it wasn't too terribly expensive to begin with. But the nagging thought kept resurfacing about what was right and what was wrong. We talked about making a decision that would leave her conscience in good standing with.............................. herself.

The dress was put back on the rack.

Would it all really make a difference? What could possibly change by her decision? Would her not buying the dress change the lives for the good, of the millions who are taken advantage of in these difficult situations throughout the world? Probably not.

What would change..........would be her. She would change. She would take a stand against injustice in that one small way. I told her, that is how the world person taking a stand at a time........and it just goes on from there.

Her parents should be proud of the way they have raised her in the decision she made. I certainly was.

Good for you, my dear Brittney! The world needs people just like you.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Movie Marathon

On our mark, get set, gooooooooooo and get the popcorn.

Brittney and I are on our way towards the movie marathon of the year.....beginning, of course, with our most favorite "Grammy & Granddaughter" movie "White Christmas". Not sure if either of us will be awake past, oh, let's see, 9 pm?????? We'll see who outlast whom!

It's such a blessing to have someone so young, and vibrant and full of life around the house once again. I get to see many and various things that haven't been brought to my attention for getting a new cut for bangs like Hilary Duff or wearing cool, plastic, clunky jewelery, or fashionable glitter skinny tops or even the "off the shoulder" tank top. Perfect for a sleek and slim body such as hers but it may look like a rolled sausage trying to do the funky chicken if it were on me!

Anyway, on to the song and dance routine of Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen. How many 13 year olds actually WANT to sit with their grandmas and watch old movies anyway. Not many. We'll have fun...............

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

I need to sit back a bit.

I'm now in monitor heaven. Twenty-two sizzling inches of screen and one whopping built-in set of speakers.

I think I need to add some extension cords though 'cause I'm having to sit waaaaaaay back to see the whole deal. Soon I'll be in the other room.........

The old one bit the dust....may he rest in pieces.

Now I feel like I'm on the Enterprise. I think I'll be needing a new ergonomic keyboard and mouse to complete the look.

Wished you could see this baby from my side.

Beam me up Scotty............but let me take my monitor with me, please.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

I smell Christmas.

My nose had me going today and it was because Dave L. brought treats.

I was so busy that the scent didn't register until it was pointed out to me. Sitting on my desk was a basket filled with familiar things that looked and smelled like Christmas.

Nutmeg......cinnamon sticks....cloves............when I took the time to give the air a sniff, it all came to me, rushing into my brain like it was Christmas morning, 4 AM, my parents wishing so much for us to go back to bed. We simply couldn't do it. Much too much excitement. My brothers and I heading for the little dining room where, the night before, stockings hung empty and limp, now just a few hours later, were full to over-flowing, waiting for their owners to savor each precious gift......a very large red and white striped candy cane, a coloring book and new crayons, a Mandarin orange, an apple, various whole nuts, a mini-crossword game, some wrapped candies and a plastic mesh stocking hanging on the outside of the wool sock that was filled with candy and trinkets. It didn't really matter what we received, we were together, the five of us, laughing and talking and enjoying what had been given to us. We were given little but I remember the best part was being together and enjoying my family.

I miss those times. I miss the feeling of closeness with my parents. I miss seeing Mom in the kitchen, preparing the Christmas meal. I miss Dad sitting in his chair watching all of us with a huge smile on his face. He so enjoyed his kids.

That's what happened when I smelled that smell. Just in a flash it all went through my mind. Wonderful, beautiful, precious life-giving memories.........

And so, I thank Dave for his thoughtfulness. I'm sure he didn't realize it would do all that for me!!!

Noses are good for something (although a month ago when I was blowing it all day long, I wouldn't have said so!!)

Monday, November 5, 2007

The Magnificent Seven....or should that be One?

Ever watch the old movie "The Magnificent Seven", an Oscar-nominated 1960's western with Steve McQueen, Yul Brenner and 5 other guys? Quite the show. Four of them die as they help a Mexican town stand up and fight against bandits. They stood up for what was right and it was their desire to help those poor towns folk in need.

Last night, seven women met at the church. I figured since we were seven in all, that we could be known as "The Magnificent Seven", too. No, we're not gun fighters and we don't ride into town on horses, nor do we cuss and spit (not that I've noticed anyway). We do want to be of help to those who need it and we desire to do what is right and stand up against those who are oppressive to others.......and in God's eyes, we really are quite magnificent!

We meet every Sunday night to read a book together, to support one another and to pray for each other's needs. Right now, we're reading a book about Ruth....Ruth in the Bible, who was quite magnificent in her own right. She was smart, business wise, had confidence in what she could do as a woman and knew what she was about. It's been an encouraging book to all of us.

After reading a chapter entitled "Recognition", we prayed for one another and those we hold dear.

My Aunt Connie was included in those prayers.

Husband and I took same Aunt Connie to Saskatoon today so she could see her oncologist. She's had leukemia for several years now and her white cell count was back up a few weeks ago. The doctor wanted to check it out. Today, after the tests, everything appears to be quite normal!

The Magnificent Seven's prayers were The Magnificent One.

Thanks God.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

S N O W????

Remember that song in the 1960's by Dean Martin "I'm Prayin' for Rain in California"???


Pitty. It's one of two songs my husband "sings"....along with "Sink the Bismarck" by Johnny Horton.

Anyway, I'm prayin' for snow in Saskatchewan.

Just thought I'd let everyone know that in case, well, you know, in case it snowed in the night or something, you can blame and all those who also want snow.

I'm looking outside and it has that wild look......dark, cold and windy. It IS November. I love it.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

A comment I hadn't expected.

At our outreach lunch today I overheard a conversation between Harvey, Vonda and Donald. It was strange to hear it. It gave me a new and different perspective about feeding the hungry.

Here I figured we had come to help out, by offering some food to folks that needed a little extra......and we had. But, this fact all of a sudden took a bit of a curve.....the three of them were talking amongst themselves about Africa and the tremendous needs there. They spoke of a TV show they had watched with the children dying of starvation and the people not having anywhere to go to get food or shelter. They were talking about others in need....others who didn't have what they had, who didn't have doctors to take care of their needs when they were sick, didn't have a soup kitchen to go to when they got hungry, didn't have a roof over their heads when the rains came or when the sun was oppressive. Ya, here they were, whom I thought were pretty down and out folks...talking about the needs of others who were much less fortunate than they. Go figure...........I wasn't the only one that wanted to help folks!!!

They realized how much they actually had and were very grateful for all that had been given to them, as they sat around the table and filled their stomachs and enjoyed each other's company in the shelter of the building.

Not sure if Donald, Vonda and Harvey's physical hunger has always been satisfied, but today it was and they were able to think of others needs. Strange how that chain of provision works it's way down the ladder. When we take care of our neighbor's needs, we set them free to offer help to other folks...........or at least, in meeting their needs, we might then allow them the freedom to think about what they could do for others.

I learned new things today about life and living it....and how I should never have preconceived thoughts of people. It humbled me.

Friday, November 2, 2007

That Christmas look.

I had a day off today.

We went to a store that had their Christmas isles filled with all sorts of delights. I took it all in. I touched the little delicate ornaments, played the music from the various turning Santas and bears. I savored the richness of the popular seasonal shades of red and green, the dazzling golds and silvers. I looked over the prices. Who's going to pay a hundred bucks for a standing bear holding a "Welcome" sign. I can do that for free.........not quite as cute, I know, but a lot cheaper.

There were lights of every kind. New energy efficient LED lights in various lengths....... but now, the white lights are way more expensive than the green lights. Who decided that????? I guess it's just supply and demand like everything else. Perhaps husband and I will take the middle ground and go for the red!

While on my journey down the Christmas Stocking isle, I passed a lady who was taking her time too, like I was. She had a sort of peaceful smile on her face and we exchanged glances. I recognized that look immediately. We were Christmas soul sisters. I think she recognized the same look in me too, as we passed silently by..........

Christmas does that to me. It makes me feel peaceful. I can't describe it quite, but it's just there. I want to be generous. I want to express joy. No time to waste being rude or argumentative. I will stay away from those things.

Christmas makes me feel so many things.........not just from material "things" either.

Christmas makes me want to help folks in need and to go about doing things for people without them knowing it was me. That's fun!

Tomorrow morning a bunch of us from Gateway church will do that. Feeding folks who need to be fed.

It will be even better than a walk down an isle sporting Christmas "stuff".

Lord, give me that Christmas look, the look that portrays "loving my neighbor as myself".