Monday, February 28, 2011

Retreat highlights...

Our women's Retreat on the weekend was very, very good.  The theme was "Construction" or being constructed or how we continue to change from one faith moment to another throughout life.  A few of us had an opportunity to talk about that and it was good to hear others faith journeys.

It was a rare time for me, in that I was not able to physically do anything at all, to help out.  I did manage to get my bed stuff together and keep my belongings in order but to help out with cleaning the place up at the end (which is required of us), and to help out in the kitchen cleaning and preparing food, I was unable to do that.  Crutches somehow are just not conducive to those kinds of close quarters.  These are times when you witness friends being friends.  They carried my bags, brought them downstairs...and back up again when it was time to go home.  They drove me to the retreat, held doors, carried food plates, brought items to me at the table when I had forgotten something or other.  They offered to help me at every turn, but sometimes I simply HAD to make a messed-up but concerted effort and do it myself.

It was a difficult Retreat in many ways.  Our speaker attempted to bring to our attention the fact that nothing stays the same and we must be about moving forward in the ways we minister to people.  It means giving up past thinking and moving on to be more inclusive and relational with each other.

But working together to accomplish these things will bring us even closer together as a group of women.  If God has new things for us to consider and to make happen, then we must be prepared for necessary changes to occur.

Here are some highlights of our weekend together.  Many thoughtful conversations, loads of laughs, great food and beautiful scenery.

Sharon and Tracy having a fireside chat.

L-R...Guest speaker Jenelle, Linea and Marian

Marian, Sandy and listening mode.

Birdie and Jenelle participating in worship.

"The foolish man built his house upon the sand....and the wise man
built his house upon the rock" was portrayed in song and skit.
 since the theme was "Construction"!
MaryJane (wise woman), Pastor Stacia (narration) and Virginia (foolish woman).

Constructing puzzles!

Our very own, Pastor Stacia!

Who says women don't get serious playing poker....hahahahaheeehee

Jelly bean tasting contest with resident dentist, Linea, pondering
how all this sugar will affect our poor teeth!

One meal was lasagna...yum....

The finished puzzle project!

One game was having us attempt to reconstruct various children's puzzles,
and fitting the right shapes into a children's shape block....all timed!!!

Pamphlets to get us thinking.

Scenes fit for a queen...or king.

Then, today was supposed to begin my physio exercises on the machines.  Not so.  Knee not yet ready.  So I'm doing strengthening exercises at home to at least  prepare my leg to walk properly at the end of all of this.

Time to throw these crutches out and see what happens.....well, perhaps not totally throw them out, but at least go to one crutch and see what happens.

I'm game....hope the knee is.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

It WAS pretty....

The scenery....and the gals who attended the Retreat.

I got to use the timer on my camera and was able to dash back to my place with my crutches, drop them and get into a kind of a way.....hanging onto the chair in front of me for dear life:)

More pics tomorrow...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I'm hittin' the high road....

I'll be takin' m' trusty thoroughbred crutches, Blackie and Silver and headin' off to a gatherin'....

Don't reckon I'll be sayin' anythin' much here fer a few days then....

A bunch o' fillies like m'self will be meetin' at the ole gatherin' hole at Christopher Lake.

Thar's them thar stairs to be climbin' too....when I gets thar......hope Blackie n' Silver will be up ta' th' task.

I'd better be a treatin' them special like so's they don't get ornery...

I'll be a seein' y'all back here on Sunday.....I reckon....

Hi Ho...Blackie and Silver.......away.......

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Well, that was a first...

We attended our very first Citizenship Ceremony this afternoon at Carlton Lecture Theatre.

Two friends, along with a myriad of other folks took the Oath of Allegiance and with some words and promises, became welcomed citizens of this great country, Canada!

It was awesome...although the judge that did the ceremony did take us on a somewhat long, but very informative trip down memory lane with historical facts and names of important people who received their start in our very own city of Prince Albert.  It is good to be reminded of these things, but sitting in a tiny little theatre seat (for those tiny little high school behinds) with a brace on my leg which hung to the floor, for well over an hour, didn't do much for my patience.

But I couldn't get over the passion with which a couple of the recipients spoke about Canada.  It was like this was the most wonderful experience and gift they had ever received, or hoped to ever receive!  And they spoke about freedoms and opportunities of every kind and the right to pursue any type of education they wished!  It seemed almost like they were living out a dream.....and they were.

I came away with a sense of nationalistic fervor and a sense of total thankfulness and pride in this country.  We who were born into this type of freedom and easy access, have no idea what it may be like to live without it.  We have it all, if we so wish....or not.  One of the fellows really should have been a politician....perhaps he will set his sights on that.....the sky is the limit!

Here are pictures of the two fellows who are now Canadians.  Congratulations Yaounde and Christian, both from the Congo!

Kamu Madiaza (Yaounde)

Christian Kongawi  - right:-)
 Congratulations fellows!  You most likely know much more about Canada at this point than I can recall to memory!  We were very proud of them both!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Missing folks....

It's funny how when you're not with some of the people you care a lot about, you miss them terribly!

It's true!

I miss my co-workers....a whole bunch....

Many of them are taking this week off too, and I hope and pray they will all be safe should they be traveling.

Seems like we're either laughing, dressing funny or drinking!!!

It IS a great place to work and I am blessed because of so many wonderful folks who enrich my life with theirs.

Here's hoping I get back to work soon....although it will be at least another 2 weeks!  Ultra sound is next on the agenda for this knee.

Enjoy your night....and I hope you don't have much shoveling to do. 

I, on the other hand, have NO shoveling.....oh, ya.......:)

Monday, February 21, 2011

"Things" we consider important...


........during a huge disaster...become not so important in the scheme of things when life is lost
Here is what is left of Christchurch Cathedral in Christchurch, New Zealand after a 6.3 shallow earthquake rocked the city Tuesday.

It was a major landmark in the downtown area.

The architecture was stunningly and magnificently beautiful.

There are many office buildings and such with people dead and trapped following the quake.

Buildings may be rebuilt after a catastrophe. 

The sad part is that many lives have been lost.

May God come to that city their despair and their great sense of loss.

Jesus said to weep with those who weep......

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A slap in the face....

In another portion in the Bible entitled "The Sermon on the Mount", where Jesus speaks to the disciples and the masses of people gathered around, we had a bit of a refresher today as Pastor Stacia took us to that portion of Scripture.

One of the things that Jesus talked about was loving your enemy and praying for those who persecute you.

Another part of Matthew 5 , Pastor Stacia talked about Jesus saying things like..... if someone slaps you on the cheek, you are to turn the other cheek to him as well.  She gave me a new perspective on this Scripture.  She said that usually when someone was hit on the face, it was between a master and his slave.  It was acceptable for a master to hit his slave on the cheek with the back of his hand....however, after the slave was slapped and in love, he turned the other side of his face to enable his master to hit him on the other cheek, it would have to be done with the palm of the master's hand.....and this was not done.  It was not proper.  Just not the thing to do!  So, offering the other cheek to his master, the slave was offering a form of passive resistance.  He was letting his master know that he took his punishment but was also offering his master to go further in his retribution.  The ball was in the master's  The master dare not use the palm of his hand, and so, the slave showed his master that indeed he could face his punishment....and even offer his other cheek to go a step further, knowing that the master could not.

Not sure if that makes sense to you, but it certainly gave me a new perspective on this passage of Scripture, one that I had not ever heard before.

Jesus also talked about if someone forces you to walk with him a mile, you should go an extra mile with him.  This was common practice in the days of Roman soldiers.  They could come up to someone, tap them on the shoulder, and make them carry their gear for a mile.  The roads in those days had mile markers on them so that the slave would know how far he would have to go...but Jesus said to offer to go an extra mile for the soldier!  What the heck!!???  Another mile yet??!!!   Even going one mile carrying all of the soldiers belongings meant that he would have to lose a days wages...or if he went an extra mile, that would mean losing even more money, money he needed to feed and clothe his family.  I learned that the soldiers used to take advantage of the slaves and regular citizens to do these kinds of things for them and they would sometimes get them to carry for great distances.  But before the mile markers were put in place, this kind of thing began to get out of hand and the people began to object to the way the soldiers were treating them....and it got back to the higher-ups.  They needed to look after this problem of abuse before the slaves and regular folk got out of hand and rebelled!  So, they decided to put up mile markers.  That way the soldiers couldn't take advantage of more than a mile's worth of carrying.....BUT, Jesus said to go an extra mile.  What would happen when they did offer to go that extra would let the soldier know that the one mile was OK but when he kept on going with the soldier's gear that extra mile, it most likely made the soldier pretty nervous about abusing the slaves.  The offering to go the extra mile in love, was also a form of passive resistance.  The slave was "used" for that first mile, but the next mile it would be against the regulations that were set up for this purpose....and the soldier wouldn't be able to justify an extra mile!  The abuse, in a way, would be put back on to the soldier....and perhaps the next time, he wouldn't use a helpless slave at all to carry his gear!!!

Jesus knew that we shouldn't be used as door mats!!  But he said that we need to love others.  We should turn the other cheek....and walk the extra mile....out of love for another person...because Jesus also said to love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you.  When real love is offered in extra-ordinary measures, in these "extra" ways, it leaves us with a sense of self-worth, of being valued, and that cannot be taken from a person. 

Pastor Stacia said a whole lot more too, but those were the things that stood out for me.

Now, I just need to put these things into practice!!!

See, you don't even have to go to church.  I just gave you a mini-sermon while you sit here at your computer:)

Keep warm....and snuggle up! 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Celebratory Day....

Today, 34 years ago, our daughter, Shannon Melody was born.  So it is good that we celebrate this marvelous day by wishing her a most happy birthday!

She has grown and matured into a beautiful and intelligent person...and we are proud of that fact! 

Life continues to be a bit of an uphill climb for her....but who doesn't have hills to climb during their brief time here on this earth.  Some days, we think that every day is just that.  But climbing up hill, makes us strong.  Every part of us works better when we do all that up hill leg work!  We can only look forward to the moment when we reach the summit....and look back....of how far we have come....and look to the other side to see a green valley with streams and flowers and everything that is good and peaceful.  We look forward to that moment for her, when she will find her place in life where it will be good and hopeful and she will feel satisfied with her accomplishments.  She deserves so much!

So, here's to you, dear daughter....May you find blessings at every corner and a sense of God's presence in each moment you live.  Happy Birthday, Shannon!

She is one daughter worth celebrating!!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Brace up and get movin'.....

That's what I did that leg all braced up, grabbed the crutches and hobbled in early to Carlton High School's cafetorium for the grade 11 Awards Day.

I managed to (almost) slide down to the very front row with husband, picked out a pretty center-stage, first row seat, pulled up a chair next to me and plopped my poor old leg down for a few hours.

Then came the readying of Mr. Olympus.  He hadn't been out in a while either but once the stage was set, he couldn't help himself.  It was just one picture after another.

Granddaughter was high on the scholastic standings this semester with a 97% average - and that's taking Physics, Math, English, the French program!  Pretty stupendous and we are very proud of her hard work and initiative that went into that 97% average!

Here's how it all went.....

Sir Learnsalot stood over the proceedings.

Brittney awaiting her award.

Principal, Mrs. Kilmer

A brother/sister team from Carlton entertained the crowd.

Brittney being congratulated by the Principal and Board
of Education Director.

A proud moment for Brittney...and for her (and our) friend, Jenn, too!

It will look pretty fine hanging on the wall!

It's funny, but kids don't seem that excited to be getting these awards for some reason.  I was wondering why that was...perhaps there are so many things that vie for their attention, things that tell them they can do anything they want to, things that say there is so much more out there....and so they get concentrating on all that other 'stuff', they may forget to appreciate their moment of achievement, small as it may seem.  If it were me, it would be a very huge deal....of course I was never an A+ student.  If I could muster up a 'C', I was one happy girl!  I'd probably enjoy going to high school that I'm over my lack of self-confidence, now that I know that I really am important in the scheme of things....not overly important, but important an a human being.  I never really learned those important lessons in life when I was it's never too late to learn life lessons.

Congratulations Brittney!  You have done extremely well and we are proud of who you a person!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

It's snowing....

Supposed to get 10-15cm.


I like snow.
When it blows
And swirls
And curls
Into monstrous drifts.

I like snow
When I'm inside
Drinking tea
Eating crumpets
And dreaming of spring.

Yep.  I do like snow.

Scenes like these make me feel soft and warm and comfortable.

How about you?