Quote of the Day

as heard on B 93.3:

It's been quite the year in sports; Tiger got caught with too many women and the Riders got caught with too many men.


lessons to be learned from Saint Nicholas

Working with kids during the Christmas season has many challenges as well as joys. With kids coming for various backgrounds it's always interesting trying to include everyone in the festivities of the season, not to mention the fact that some families are able to enjoy a much more lush holiday then others...
PLUS, working at church the very mention of Santa carries its own issues with it...but perhaps the church (as a whole) could learn a few things from Santa.

Have you ever noticed how Santa is never seen as angry or grumpy? And yet, how many of us turn this way during the FESTIVE holiday season?
Santa gives without wanting anything in return. However, how often do we give with ulterior motives?
Santa is rarely seen when he gives! I have yet to give a Christmas gift that isn't clearly labeled "FROM CATHERINE".

And the list could go on and on.
Maybe its time that Christians stop condemning this very influential figure and rather learn from his ways.

Truth be told, Saint Nicholas' ways were learned from the one that the church attempts to put in the spotlight during the season.

I totally believe that the spotlight should stay on Jesus, the one that came in the form of a baby to save the world, but perhaps Santa is just one more way to illuminate the baby laying in the manger this holiday season.

Perhaps instead of viewing Santa as the "enemy" of our Christian holiday we need to start looking at him as an ally.


there's a plank in my eye

I tend to have moments (more often then I would really like to admit) when I complain/vent/whine/gossip (GASP!) about people that I interact with. The unfortunate thing is that nearly every time I complain/vent/whine/gossip about people, and the things they do, the real issue at hand is myself, not others.

The truth is, I'm a selfish individual. I prefer to think of myself first and foremost. Most of the time I'm more then willing to admit this fact about myself, although sometimes I hide behind false humility. Somehow in my mind I come up with a reason as to why I'm justified in what I'm saying about others and suddenly my complaining/venting/whining/gossiping doesn't seem so bad, but in all honesty, it is that bad!

I'm often convicted by the red letters in Bible (Jesus' words). Recently in reading Luke 6:42, I felt as if those words were written down years ago just for me:
"How can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,' when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye."

Ouch. That stings a bit. Perhaps because its true. I do in fact have a plank in my eye. It's huge, and ultimately it all comes down to selfishness.

It's easy for me to try and disguise the plank in my eye, only the disguises I come up with only make it that much more obvious. I'm convinced that it's easy for me to identify how others are selfish since its such a huge issue in my life. The truth is, I struggle DAILY with being a hypocrite.

If admitting I have a problem is the first step, then I'm there. Now onto the next steps...



Some people will pull out of their driveway, only minutes later to pull back in and check to make sure they remembered to lock the door. I am not one of those people. There is the very rare occasion in which I will double check something, but it is VERY RARE. This could potentially be because my husband double checks things, or maybe its because I just never think to do so.

One day last week happened to be one of those rare occasions though. As I was locking the door to my house and climbing into my car, I began to question whether I had unplugged my hair straightener or not. I brushed the questioning off as I'm not one to double check, "of course I unplugged my hair straightener," I attempted to convince myself. "I always unplug it before I leave."

As I drove down the street I couldn't help but continue to question and reason with myself.
"Did I unplug the straightener?"
"Of course I did."
"I don't actually remember pulling the plug out from the wall."
"You always unplug it, why would today be any different from all other days?"

I finally came to the point where I had to turn around. The battle in my mind was driving me crazy and just wouldn't subside.

I pulled into the driveway, unlocked the door and headed into house. As I entered my bathroom I realized that I HAD NOT unplugged my straightener. Not only was my straightener still plugged in, it was still on. Thank goodness for the battle in my mind!

Call that funny feeling intuition, call it too much coffee, call it Holy Spirit, call it paranoia, whatever you want to call that funny feeling, know that it left my house standing one more day!

I spend quite a bit of my time with kids. And often explain hearing the voice of God to them, the same as I described the above situation...a funny feeling that you get about something, or someone that you often try to talk yourself out of entertaining anymore, because of the risk of being wrong, embarrassed, or wasting time.

And so, in the case of my experience last week, know that I totally accredit my funny feeling to Holy Spirit, knowing that without that feeling, something awful could have happened in my home.



In Canada, Thanksgiving is now a distant memory. However, this short video seems to resonate something within.

As always the fall season seems to bring changes and busyness as the lazy days of summer are put to rest. This fall has proven to be busy, and then some. With the normal going ons of the season, plus a few surprises along the way, life has been slightly more full then normal. But through it all, God has proven Himself to be good and faithful. And so, I'm choosing to say "Thanks God," yet again. He truly does rock :)


a privilege and responsibility

The Fall of 2009 has been unlike any other I've ever experienced. It's been a very full mix of joys and sorrows. The interesting thing about this extreme mix of emotions is that nothing has happened to "me" directly. The ups and downs that I've been through have been those of others that I've had the privilege, and in some cases the responsibility to walk with them through.

I've been reminded time and time again of Paul's words, "Laugh with your happy friends when they're happy; share tears when they're down." (Romans 12:15 The Message) I'm a bit of a softy. It generally doesn't take much for me to get teary. On the other hand, it doesn't take much to get me laughing either. I'm generally not one to hide my emotions. It's not hard for me to identify with Paul's words.

This is one of my greatest strengths, and one of my greatest weaknesses.
A week ago, I was having a roast beef dinner with a few other people. Someone at the table started choking. Thankfully, this individual was able to get the piece of food out of their throat before the Heimlich maneuver was needed. Following this event, I was on the verge of tears for nearly the whole meal. To say that I was emotional and shook up would be an understatement (and I wasn't even the person who choked!). The poor person who was choking seriously started to question my first aid abilities as I could barely hold it together. This was definitely a point of weakness.

On the other hand, a close friend of mine is dealing with a family situation that involves cancer. Yesterday I had absolutely not problem weeping when I found out, and then again as I spoke with them on the phone. I've also spent many times rejoicing with this individual.

Because I work at a church occasionally it is my responsibility to "Laugh with your happy friends when they're happy; share tears when they're down."

But more then that I feel it is a privilege to walk with those in my life through their joys and sorrows.


put right

A few months ago a couple people I know were telling me about a situation they found themselves in with people who were seeing and sensing things in the supernatural, and as a result some were losing sleep, and many (I would say) were confused.

They asked me how I would have approached this situation. At the time I was speechless, and had no idea what I would have said...until just recently...

One of my favorite parts of the Bible is something called the "Beatitudes", which states:
Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
(Matthew 5:3-10 NIV)

A little while ago I was challenged by the sentence in there that states: Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

What an honour, to see God! The Message by Eugene Peterson puts it: You're blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.

What a challenge on our perspective! What are you seeing in the outside world? Whether you're seeing supernatural things, or just the natural, what is it? Are you seeing God's fingerprints on people, nature, circumstances...or are you seeing something else? And if you're seeing something other then God, could I challenge you to get your mind and heart put right.

Over the past few years I've found myself surrounded by different situations and circumstances where I've been challenged to keep my heart right. To choose forgiveness and love, over resentment and hate. The truth is, that when I've chosen forgiveness and love my perspective has changed.

And so, if I were given the chance to speak to those people who were seeing things, I would challenge them to get their hearts and minds right. When working with people it's especially easy to harbor feelings of resentment, bitterness and hate. It takes a conscious effort to keep your heart and mind right...perhaps choosing forgiveness and love would do the trick,
and sleepless nights would be replaced by sweet dreams.


lessons on listening from Disney

I'm all about object lesson's. I'm not a visual learner, but I have a sister who's a visual learner.http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif As a result when teaching, and specifically when teaching kids I tend to think beyond my learning to style to other learning styles.

I'm working on a lesson about Hearing God at the moment and have been drawn to a couple examples from Disney (go figure).

In Disney's Bambi, throughout the movie, Bambi's father has been there for him when he needed him, such as when he loses his mother. But most of the time he allows Bambi to just learn on his own - always keeping a caring, watchful eye on him but not speaking unless he needs to. Bambi respects his father and knows he speaks only when it's important, and when he does speak, Bambi listens. He knows his father's voice, and though he doesn't hear it very often, when he does he hears and obeys.
This saves his life near the end of the movie. The hunters have once again entered the forest. A bullet grazes Bambi and he's hurt. He lies on the ground, giving up. A forest fire has started, he's injured, and he just doesn't have the strength to try to find the way out. Suddenly, his father is there. His father's words are simple, yet direct and they save Bambi's life.
Bambi would have missed out on so much if he hadn't listened to his father's voice and obeyed witout question, even when it was hard!
(This is like God, as He's always with us and cares about us so much. We have to recognize his voice so that when he does speak, we will hear Him and then we need to obey.)

In Disney's Pinocchio, Pinocchio is a living puppet who must prove himself worthy to become real boy. Being quite naive he requires some guidance, and the Blue Fairy appoint Jiminy Cricket to be Pinocchio's conscience. At which point Jiminy Cricket breaks out in song telling Pinocchio that if he ever needs help or guidance to "give a little whistle...and always let your conscience be your guide."
(This is like Holy Spirit, who guides and directs us.)

Special thank you to Walt Disney for helping the great illustrations!


figuring it out

I received an e-mail a couple weeks ago which stated that if you wear sunglasses while driving in the rain it cuts down the effect of water drops on your windshield. Interesting thought. I put that little piece of information in my back pocket for a rainy day (literally).

Today as I backed out of my driveway, I put this theory to the test. I put on my sunglasses while the rain fell. I must admit I felt slightly silly for wearing sunnies as the sky was overcast, and even more silly for trying it out and not having it work! I took my sunnies off, thinking perhaps they did make a difference. I put them back on again. No difference at all!

However, I would have never known if sunglasses made any difference in the rain or not, if I hadn't tried it for myself.

I find personally, that I'm quite naive. It's easy for me to take someone else's word, which has caused me issues on a few occasions.

My incident today reminds me of something that I need to continually be challenging myself with:
So continue to work out your own salvation. Do it with fear and trembling. (Philippians 2:12b NIRV)

It's not enough in our lives to let others decide things for us, experience things for us, create opinions for us, live for us...

We need to work things out for ourselves.

As a Christian, its easy to get caught in the trap of a "feed me" mentality. With so many resources out there it's easy to rely on sermons, books, podcasts, blogs and such to shape my relationship with God, which incidentally isn't much of a relationship if I'm relying on those around me to shape it for me.

And so, I'm glad I took the time to look like a fool in my car this morning, putting my sunglasses on, taking them off, putting them on, taking them off. It reminded me yet again how important it is to figure things out for myself.


The problem with AWD

Today I woke up to snow on the ground, and even more falling from the clouds. This morning, along with many other commuters I hit the highway, with wipers going, and the heat blasting as I headed in to work.

While driving I heard warnings from the radio about bad road conditions. All around me people were touching their breaks and going at speeds below what was marked on the signs on the road. I however didn't find the roads bad at all. Driving to work for me this morning seemed to be the same as any other morning. This is probably attributed to my car having AWD (all wheel drive). My car handles really well in slippery conditions, which is part of the reason why we own it.

The problem with AWD is that it causes me to be slightly ignorant to what the road conditions actually are.

In thinking about my ignorance this morning, I couldn't help but think about other things my life that cause me to be ignorant; the home I grew up in, the country I live in, my education, the church I attend...the list could go on.

The truth is, we all have things in our lives that cause to be ignorant. The question is, are we willing to gain knowledge and information to help us be otherwise?


I need therapy

The older I get, the more I experience, the busier my life seems, the more I realize how good it is to take time for myself. I've come to realize what activities seem to be "therapeutic" in my life, and I take advantage of spending time doing those activities. Sometimes I joke about needing retail therapy (which is really no joke at all!). And in all seriousness, some red, a bath, a book, a cuppa...my personal list of things that are therapeutic in my life could go on and on.

I think often times we refuse to admit that we need therapy as it is occasionally seen as a sign of weakness. But in our pride, we often loose it on our family and friends unjustly.

The definition of therapeutic is:
administered or applied for reasons of health; having a good effect on the body or mind; contributing to a sense of wellbeing.

If therapy by definition, is such a good thing, why don't we make a priority? Why don't we admit our need for it in our lives?

The past month or so has been outrageously busy for my husband and I, full of crazy work schedules and situations, trying to be family orientated and attempting to have some sort of social life. It has left us feeling exhausted, drained and both in need of some therapy.

The thing is, we're both able to identify what it is that's therapeutic in our lives, and we're willing to admit our need for therapy.

I love the comfort I find in the words of Jesus as I think about therapy and my need for it: "Come to me, all of you who are tired and are carrying heavy loads. I will give you rest. Become my servants and learn from me. I am gentle and free of pride. You will find rest for your souls." (Matthew 11:28-29 NIRV)

Truly, what could be more therapeutic then finding "rest for your soul"?
Truly, I need therapy...daily.


blessed to be a blessing

This week (among many other things) I'm busy preparing for Defining Moments (Thursday, September 24th at 7:00pm at 236 Fairway Drive, Coaldale). For me part of that preparation includes gathering a few giveaways for the incredible women who will be in attendance.

While brainstorming what fabulous gifts I could collect, I had an extremely convicting thought (a Defining Moment of my own, if you will). I live in a country where I enjoy many freedoms and luxuries that women (and men) in other places around the world only dream about. These days, those of us living in developed countries have more then enough opportunities to help those in developing countries, whether it be through organizations where we can sponsor children or give funds to others in need, or through stores like Ten Thousand Villages where profits go back to those who worked to provide that product.

And so, as I begin to gather gifts for the women coming to Defining Moments, know that I'm having my own Defining Moment. I resolve to only purchase gifts that will not only be a blessing to someone in attendance, but also to a beautiful individual somewhere else on the planet.

The truth is that I'm incredibly blessed on so many levels. The least I can do is be a blessing...on so many levels.


appreciation for the desert

Physically, I sometimes feel like I live in a desert. The climate is dry, and as a result, the roots of trees go deep to get the nutrients they need. As a result when the wind comes (and trust me it comes!) the trees may bend, but because their roots are deep its very rare that a tree gets uprooted.

In other places around the world where there's more moisture, roots grow horizontally rather then vertically to get nutrients. However, when fierce winds come, it's much easier for these trees to be uprooted as there is no depth.

Isn't it interesting how when we find ourselves in desert places we often complain about the lack of nutrients and feelings of being dry. But, it's during those times that our roots grow deep as we can't receive the nutrients we need from the surface (getting the nutrients we need produces shallowness...). It's the desert places that we gain the strength needed to withstand the storms we face.

I find it interesting that within Christian circles people often make comments about wanting "mountain top experiences". Please understand that I'm not discrediting those experiences, but have you ever noticed that there is no growth on the mountain top?

Although being in the desert is uncomfortable (I despise dry skin!), it's where I find myself growing deeper.

Perhaps being the desert isn't such a bad thing after all...


perhaps its not really about you

I deemed last week "The Week From Hell." On top of the normal busyness I face each week, plus other random things that were happening in the building I work in, I attended two funerals.

A couple days after the first funeral of the week I was talking with someone who was also in attendance. This individual mentioned how they had left part way through, and as a result missed a "way too long a not necessary" message from the pastor. Although these aren't the words of the particular individual I was talking to (rather other's they had talked to), I couldn't help but feel a bit angry.

This particular funeral was for a teenage boy, who had passed away suddenly. Although this shocked everyone who knew him, I don't think it managed to effect anyone more then it effected his family. This funeral was planned and thought out by the family. Although many received closure during the funeral, it was for the family's sake more then anyone that the funeral was held.

It astonishes me that someone in attendance would consider a part of the funeral "not necessary"...

I couldn't help but be challenged in my own attitudes. There are many times when I'll put my own preferences and opinions before others, and how out of line I am! Not that there is anything wrong with sharing one's opinion, but let's be honest, the world does not revolve around me (or any other individual for that matter). For the most part, it truly does not matter what I think or feel. And in the case of this funeral, the only thing that mattered were the people sitting on the front row who had lost a son and a brother.

Philippians 2:5-11 says it so well:
"Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father."

Hello! If Jesus, the Son of God made Himself nothing and took on the nature of a servant, how much more should each of us do the same.

The challenge then is for my attitude to be the same as Jesus'.


open door policy

My husband and I moved into our first home earlier this year. This house has quite a bit of special meaning to us as we built it and we were able to put our own special touches in it. From picking out the floor plan and all the hardware, to the appliances and paint colors, this house is very dear to my heart.

This past weekend we had the privilege to host some of my husband's family in our home between my sister-in-law's wedding ceremony and reception. My husband comes from a culture where it is important to "pay it forward". Whether that means reciprocating a wedding gift, or hosting someone in your house after they have hosted you. For my husband having everyone over to our house was important culturally, but more then that it was important to us because we have been taught hospitality from childhood.

Where other people would look at us and think that having 15+ people over would be loads of work and huge strain, we look at it as an opportunity to use our house for what it was actually built for...a place of comfort, a haven, a shelter...a home.

People often comment on how my parents (and my in-laws) have the gift of hospitality. Personally I'm not sure its a gift, rather a lifestyle...a choice that both our parents decided to make. As a result we have an "open door policy" in our own home, since being hospitable is essentially part of our DNA.

In the entry way to our house we have a saying on our wall beneath our welcome sign..."Happy is the home that shelters a friend." We both know this to be true as we grew up in homes where friends were always sheltered and happiness was always in abundance.

Our prayer as we were in the building process was that our home would not only be "ours" but a "home to many." We are now seeing the reprocusions of our prayers...and we're loving every moment of it!


in all ways...always

Every week I have the privilege of interacting with children and their families. It's amazing how much I can gather about a child's homelife just by observing their behavior and interaction with others.

Now, I'm not a parent, and definitely don't claim to be an expert or professional when it comes to raising children, but there's something very key that I've noticed when it comes to maintaining open, honest, and close relationships in families. It's something that seems so simple, yet is often misinterpreted or understood - it's unconditional love.

Perhaps I'm biased to unconditional love because I feel as though I grew up in a home where it was in abundance. To me it seemed like there was nothing I could do that would make my parents love me any less. And so, when I hit the age of becoming an adult, where many teens would keep secrets, conversation was open and honest with my parents. Now, there were times when my parents may have been disappointed, but it didn't change the fact that I was loved and accepted.

Unconditional love needs to be shown in the simplest of ways for trust to be built. For example, children need to know that they are loved regardless of their grades in school, their behavior, their looks - until they know that they are loved, the chances of them trusting an adult are very slim. If a child feels like they can't trust an adult with something as simple as a bad grade on a test, how will they ever trust an adult with a secret such as being abused, drinking or smoking, sex, pornography, relationships?

As adults we need to be certain that we are showing unconditional love to the children in our world. Unfortunately there are children who come from homes where unconditional love isn't found. It breaks my heart to think that there are children who have deep, dark secrets and no one to share them with. That's where I step in. Although I generally only spend a few hours a week with the children in my world, they know that I'm a safe place, that they are accepted and loved regardless of the week they've had. They are loved simply because of who they are, not what they do.

I see showing unconditional love in all ways, always, as being a crucial part in raising confident, secure, successful children.

Imagine how different our schools, churches, communities and cities could be if all children knew that they were loved unconditionally? Imagine how things would change if children knew that despite their current situation or circumstance that they're accepted?

My job is to let children know that there is at least one adult in their life who loves them and believes in their potential.


not alone

I'm people-orientated. To me, people are far more important then a task, and I love being surrounded by bodies. Put me in a busy shopping center, at a conference, sporting event, festival, anywhere you find loads of people and I'm more then happy!

The office I work in is has been quite quiet since last Wednesday, and will continue to be quiet until September 1st. Summer tends to be a bit slower in the office as it is, but for the remainder of August while staff members are on holidays its exceptionally slow and BORING. Basically its totally brutal for a people lover.

Today while sitting in my lonely, quite office, while thinking about how much I dislike being alone, someone stopped by. It was glorious, even though brief. But before my visitor left she said something that completely changed my outlook on the next week and a half.

"You are not alone. You may think you're alone, but you're not. You have the Father, Son and Holy Spirit with you."

How true, and how quick am I to forget.


little identity crisis

I was named after the fabulous, completely inspiring Katherine. But when I was born my dad wanted my name to be spelled with "C" so he could call me CJ. "CJ" caught on and some family members and a select few close friends have used those two letters to identify me over the years.
In January of 2005 I was introduced a "CJ" for the first time, and the name stuck. For two years of my life I was know exclusively as "CJ" and it was very rare that "Catherine" was ever used.
December of 2006 was the last time that I would introduce myself as "CJ," until The Edge...
One Friday morning a month I get to be "CJ," unless you tune into The Miracle Channel on Saturday mornings.

I used to joke about my "little identity crisis" as I went from being "Catherine" to "CJ" and then back again.
The truth is, my identity isn't found in my name.

I know who I am, because I know whose I am.


calm before the storm?

My husband and I lead busy lives.

At the moment my life is not busy. Up until this point my summer has been pretty outrageous, and not your typical restful season full of holidays. The next two weeks before the beginning of September seem abnormally bare on my calendar, which leads me to one thought...

is this the calm before the storm?

Looking back over the past few years, it's a very rare thing to have "downtime" (whatever that is). Perhaps these next two weeks are clear on my calendar to give me time to get rested and rejuvenated for what the autumn will bring.

I've been challenged on numerous accounts to "be prepared in season and out of season" (2 Tim. 2:4). What better time to be prepared then when life isn't busy?

So, for the next two weeks I will be prepared, and I will be preparing for what is to come...
I've come to realize that any calm in my life is most certainly followed by a storm.

Thankfully I like storms.


Belsher Reunion Moment #2

God, we thank you for this incredible time to gather once again as a family.
We thank you for giving us a strong family, not only in numbers, but in relationships.
We thank you for value that has been placed on family starting with great grandma and grandpa that has been passed on from generation to generation.
In an age where is seems the value of family has been lost, we ask that our family would be an example to those in our communities of what you desire family to be.
God, I thank you that you do not make mistakes, that no one is apart of this family by accident, rather by your design.
Continue to bless this family.
Give the parents, grandparents and great grandparents wisdom as they guide and raise remarkable men and women.
May the rich heritage and love that defines this family continue on through the future generations.
Thank you for Your love that is seen in and through those here as well as those who couldn’t be with us.
In Your mighty name, Amen.


Matty Got Ran Over By The Belsher's

(sung to the tune of 'Grandma Got Ran Over By A Reindeer')

Matty got ran over by the Belsher's
He didn't see them coming for afar
All he wanted was to marry CJ
At four hundred and counting, here we are

First he had to meet all of the aunties
All the kisses all the hugs and all the yuck
Then he had to go and meet the uncles
If it weren't for Uncle Ken he'd be a shmuck

If he said he'd seen it all he would have been wrong
For the cousins took him down the hill that night
And after all the beer and all the drinking
He was happy just to say he was alive

He was up on time and went to have some breakfast
Just to have his name pronounced wrong from the start
But when he looked at who was trying to say it
It was for him that he felt sorry from the heart

The next day at lunch he was told to come up
And asked why he wanted to be a Belsher
He didn't know but it could always be worse
He could have had to be a Lingerfelt

Well thank you for letting me be here today
To sing this song for my new family
Some may say the Belsher's are all crazy
But as for little Matty he believes.

By Matt Furukawa


Life of Worship

Just putting a little challenge out there (more to myself then anyone else)...


I'm a little tea pot

short and stout. Here is my handle, here is my spout. When I get all steamed up, hear me shout! Tip me over and pour me out.

The thing about tea pots is that they merely hold the tea.

Tea pots aren't responsible for making, or deciding the type of tea that steeps within them.

The tea pot cannot take credit for it's contents.

The only job of a tea pot is pour the tea.

I'm a little tea pot, my only job is to pour out what's been put within me.


wherever, whenever, however

One of my (many) passions is family. I grew up in a home where family was a priority. When my husband and I went through pre-marital counseling together, one of the exercises we were asked to do as a questionnaire on our family, from which our families were then plotted on a grid. My family came up as abnormally close...no surprises there. As a whole, I get along quite well with my siblings, and I'm very close with my parents.

I'm a huge advocate of family meals. Growing up, often the deepest and most meaningful conversations happened around the table over a meal. There were many laughs shared around my parents dining room table, and also many tears. Supper was never to be missed by anyone! My husband has a demanding job, in which he often is needed to put in overtime hours. When we join my family for dinner (unless ABSOLUTELY necessary), we all wait for my husband to join us before we begin eating. It's just the way things work in my parents home.

However, I do remember a time in my life when meals were on the go...Tuesday's during my jr. high years were the manic days in our home. Tuesday was the day that we had music lessons, among other commitments. I can remember bolting from the school when the bell rang, signifying the end of another day, and hoping into my mum's van where my bag full of piano books was already waiting. We'd drive to the opposite side of the city for my piano lessons, and from there I often didn't see my siblings until 9:00pm that evening as we all had various activities we needed to be at.

But before anyone was dropped off after school we ALWAYS hit the McDonald's drive-thru for McFlurry's. And as we downed our McFlurry's on the way from point A to point B conversations flowed. We'd catch up on our days, on the challenges we faced, and everything we'd accomplished.

I look back on this time, and although I'm sure Tuesday's were the day my mum dreaded, for me the were often the highlight of my week. The point is, often times life gets in the way of the dinner table...and although I definitely believe that time spent together over a meal should never be replaced, sometimes you just need to make do with what you have. For my family, that meant staying a family even as we dined on drive-thru from McDonald's.

Life is busy. So go with the flow, create strong relationships with your family, wherever, whenever & however it may look for the season of life you find yourself in.


the fingers pointing back at me.

I recently engaged in a bit of a debate on facebook. I'm normally not one to get involved in heated discussions (EVER), but a comment made triggered something within me that I can't contain.

I think it's quite easy as humans to point the finger at the person next to us. It seems there's always someone who's done something "worse," and therefore leaves us feeling slightly justified in our own sins.

As a believer is I find this even more prevalent in the church as we look at those who aren't apart of our "elite country club" and can not only point one finger, but many. Not to mention other believers who sin as well...
tsk, tsk, tsk.

The problem ultimately, is that God does not rate sin. In His eyes, it's all equally bad.

I'm often reminded of the story in John 8 where the Pharisees bring the woman caught in adultery to Jesus.
"Teacher, this woman was caught having sex with a man who was not her husband. In the Law, Moses commanded us to kill such women by throwing stones at them. Now what do you say?" (John 8:4-5 NIRV)
And Jesus, being in the incredible man that He is bends down and writes in the sand with his finger. As the Pharisees continue to question Him, he stands up and replies,
"Has any one of you not sinned? Then you be the first to throw as stone at her." (John 8:7 NIRV)
Jesus bends back down and continues to write in the sand. And eventually of course everyone leaves.

The woman may not have been stoned, but every time I read this I feel as though I catch a stone right in my gut. So often I look at those around me and can't help but to judge, and compare their sin to mine. How wrong!

You know that saying about how every time you point your finger at someone there are three fingers pointing back at you? Who am I to judge others sins when I gossip? lie? covet? ...

I do however believe that as believers we should be keeping one another accountable for our actions, words and thoughts...but, I also believe that there should be relationship in place before you start keeping someone accountable. And please, let accountability be as far as it goes. Let God be the one to deal with issues - He's the ONLY one who can bring the conviction to change a life and a heart.


love letters from God

I'm in the process of recovering from "one of those" weekends.
After MANY hours of preparation and a weekend of full on ministry plus little sleep, I found myself completely exhausted on Monday. Monday evening was spent with my connect group, which was refreshing as always, but ended up being even more amazing then usual...

Our connect group is busy planning and scheming for taking over the Sunday morning service on July 12th (if you're going to be in Lethbridge you should come check it out!). Unfortunately one of the couples in our community will be away on holidays that week, yet was still at our meeting on Monday...for a God appointed reason I'm convinced! Following our meeting of planning this one individual felt she needed to pray for me...and she totally "read my mail."

Have you ever had a moment when you're feeling totally overwhelmed and completely underpowered, and then out of NO WHERE comes something resembling a love letter from your Creator?

That is exactly what I experienced Monday night. Words cannot express how incredible it was to receive exactly what I needed in that moment.

There were many things that happened over the weekend that have remained unheard by many, and yet this one woman seemed to speak into every situation I had faced over the three days prior.

I LOVE how God knows everything we need. Whether its a word of encouragement or confirmation, a hug, a smile, a rest...and somehow He always provides in unsuspecting ways.

Whatever situation you find yourself in...receive the love letters God is sending to you.


the end of a chapter, the beginning of another.

A couple weekends ago I was in Regina with some family to say our "final good-bye's" to my grandma, as her ashes were placed in the ground.

In the past, our family hasn't been the closest. Different positions and opinions has caused division, and unfortunately as a result family get togethers have been few and far between, laced with bitterness and resentment.

In our grief and mourning however, the family has been reunited. Stories have been shared and feelings put out on the table. Regrets of the past have been shared, and as a result a wanting to change has come about.

And so, as we've all had to end one chapter in our lives, we starting a new one, with a fresh outlook and a renewed value for family.

Although relationships don't grow overnight, they're starting to blossom. Healing is taking place, and forgiveness is being offered.

Grandma would love it, and wouldn't want it any other way.


a new tradition

Father's Day is just around the corner. This time last year my husband and I were stressing (as we do with most special events and holidays) as we had to plan and ultimately choose which family we'd celebrate with. I know it's completely possible to celebrate one the day before/after, but it seems someone's feeling always end up being hurt. For my husband and I holidays have tended to be a time of dread as we feel like we're on egg shells in attempt to keep both sides happy.

The worst part is both of our families are in the same city...it's not as though we have the option of actually leaving to visit the other in attempts to keep everything "fair."

And so, as I'm sure it is with many couples, weekends that should be filled with laughter and memories, have also included a bit of bitterness and resentment...until Mother's Day '09.

We had decided to join my family for Mother's Day this year since my grandma from Regina, SK was going to be around. Once again we were preparing to drop the news to the other side of the family, when something life changing (perhaps even a miracle) happened.

In one quick phonecall two families merged for an incredible afternoon. And in that a new tradition was born.

And so this Father's Day rather then facing Sunday with dread, it's a day we're ALL looking forward to, as once again the two families will join to celebrate together.

No more choosing side for my husband and I, because really, we're all on the same side...are we not?

I often comment on how lucky I am to have such incredible inlaws that I get along with so well. I now get to comment on how lucky I am to have such incredible parents (on both sides!) because holidays and special events are now all inclusive, rather then exclusive.

I so look forward to what Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Easter etc. will bring as we unite rather then divide.

To all my juggling, struggling-to-balance-the-families friends out there...if it's possible, just make it happen! Why not invite everyone over to your place? If the expense of hosting the family is burden make your celebration potluck style.

Start a new tradition and create new memories!



This past Sunday, my friends dedicated their little man at church. When these type of things happen I tend to get a bit teary. Truth be known I'm generally a fairly emotional person, but more then that, it moves me to see parents making a commitment to God as they raise their children to be the amazing men and women they've been created to be. What an incredible responsibility and honour for parents!!!

Following the dedication of my friends little guy things only got more emotional...for me.
The time came in the service for the children to be dismissed, and so I took the microphone and began to pray for them...and during my prayer became overwhelmed by emotion...

You see, just as my friends dedicated their son (and themselves!), every mum and dad in that place did that same thing on Sunday morning. Although there wasn't the certificate, and blessing to go along with it, they had made the same commitment just by being there.

And this thought overwhelmed me!

And it continues to overwhelm me!

I think it's easy to go through with the "ceremony" of dedication. It's easy to stand up on stage, to answer yes, and to have your precious little one prayed over and blessed. It's hard when you've been running around crazy all weekend, and yet still get up early on Sunday morning to be at church. It's hard when the world screams for your attention, and yet you choose to raise your children to love and know their creator.

That's what it really means to have your child dedicated - it's more then a church service with your baby, it's more then a certificate. It's doing the hard stuff and doing it the best you can.

That's where my passion comes in,
that's where the tears come from.

And so I once again dedicated myself on Sunday, to being a support to the parents who have dedicated themselves and their children.


for real.

I have a friend who owns at store in downtown Lethbridge called Edit: stylish and sustainable shopping.

"The goal of Edit is to help clients make ethically smart shopping choices, while not sacrificing style. We as consumers need to refine the way that we shop, to really think about what is behind what we are buying and to feel good that our decisions to play a part to better the world around us."

The thing that I love about this shoppe (besides the fact that they provide fair trade and eco-friendly product) is the person behind it. The shoppe owner not only provide great products that are great for the world, but she stands behind her commitment. There have been numerous times that I have seen her riding her bike downtown since she doesn't own a vehicle - just one more way to better the world.

I work in a field where hypocrisy if often seen. Although I believe it's absolutely true that no human is perfect and people will always sin and make mistakes, it's heart breaking to think that so many have trouble sticking to their commitments.

James 5:12b sticks out in my mind where it states:
"Let your "Yes" be yes, and your "No," be no, or you will condemned."
How easy it is to say, yet so hard to actually follow through. Perhaps rather then spouting out commitments with empty emotions it's time to stop and think about what the follow through will look like, and what it will cost!

So to my shoppe owner friend:
I applaud and stand in awe of you! Thank you for sticking to your commitment. Thank you for "practicing what you preach." I have much to learn from you.

To my other friends out there, I challenge you (just as I challenge myself) - "Let your "Yes" be yes, and your "No," be no..."



I'm absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God's love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.
(Romans 8:38-39)


The past few days I've been trying to wrap my head around these verses, and simply put - I can't.

There is no sin, thought, person, thing, feeling - nothing - that can get in between us and God's love.

There have been times in my life where I've felt distant, and disconnected from a God who's love I can't escape - who's fault could that be?
I think without realizing it I've blamed God for the feelings of distance between us, as if it's His fault that I'm not perfect. And yet, when I take time to read and meditate on two verse from Romans I realize that it's not God's fault at all - it's mine. His love is so huge that I can't be separated from it, so huge that I can't even fully comprehend it...and yet I try to blame Him.

It's my blindness to His love that keeps me from realizing that I can never escape from it.
It's me, it's not Him. And so I make the choice to remember that my sin, my thoughts, the people in my life, the things in my life, the things that I feel - they have absolutely no bounds on God's love for me.

I'm always surrounded.
Always loved.

And so are you


predictably unpredictable

I like to describe my life as 'predictably unpredictable.' It seems as though many things in my life are permanent, and I'm often faced with change [thankfully, I like change!].

With a husband who works at a car dealership it shouldn't be any surprise that over the past two years we've owned eight different vehicles (JUST got a new one in fact...a Jeep Liberty!!!).
I get bored with the same look and often when I got to the hairdresser I ask for something different (like last week).
Although I haven't been in my own home for long I feel the need to redecorate and rearrange often (good thing my husband isn't SUPER anal - nothing has a permanent home).
I truly do enjoy where I live, but frequently get cabin fever and have the urge to leave for a day or two just for a bit of change (we were in Calgary this past weekend).
I'm not one for meal planning and I like having options depending on what I'm craving (not to mention that taste buds are replaced every two weeks!).
I have a job in which my responsibilities seem to consistently change and expand (although some things remain the same, there are always seems to be a new project or event to work on).

"Everything is for sale for the right price," has become a motto for my husband and I, and although we both enjoy the things in our life we're not so attached to anything that we wouldn't be willing to get rid of it.

Although many things in my life seem to be constantly changing there is one thing that remains constant. My God (See Hebrews 13:8).

I love change, and I love having a life that is predictably unpredictable, but even more then that I LOVE knowing that my God is the same...yesterday, today, and forever.


When I grow up I want to be like Barbie

Check this little Barbie video out: click here

Actually, I just want to be like my mum.


human doing.

I have a very full life. From the responsibilities I face daily at work, the planning, the meetings, volunteering, keeping a (somewhat) clean house, family, keeping up with friends, being a friendly neighbor, sending and receiving e-mails, texts & phone calls, paying bills, being a wife...it seems there's always something to be doing.

It's interesting that in the full (or busy) life that I lead, I often feel very refreshed. I've come to understand that I'm not only a people person, but that crowds and activity seem to energize me. (This was an interesting discovery because at the time, as I was surrounded by introverted people who need time alone to have the same feeling I have nearly all the time.) It's been ages since I've been bored and have had nothing to do...and yet, I'm (generally) not exhausted.

I've heard the phrase before "we're human beings, not human doings." True. But how do I balance between "being" and "doing"?

The thing is that we've all been created differently. Just as there are no two fingerprints that are alike, there truly are no two people alike. And I've come to understand that my "doing" is also part my "being". It's just the way I've been wired. (Mind you, my heart and thoughts have to be in the right place in my "doing.")

It's ok, and perfectly normal for my life (at this point) to be very full. It's ok that often times I don't see my husband until we eat dinner (occasionally at 9:00pm). It's ok that I rarely get "me" time. It's ok that I don't remember sitting through a whole church service.

It's ok... because in all of this "doing" I truly believe that I'm just "being."


the way it should be.

Matt and I have the huge privilege of having a good relationship with our neighbors. I realize this is a privilege because I know that on many streets neighbors don't even know each others names, let alone what's happening in their lives.

We have neighbors who recently invited a baby girl into their lives and home. The day after she was born from across the street our neighbor yelled, "Matt, I'm a father of two! We had a baby girl! You and Catherine need to come over for a drink to celebrate with us!"

Unfortunately that drink has yet to happen since the past few weeks have been complete craziness and Matt and I have had hardly anytime together, let alone catching up with friends and family.
Today, as Matt was leaving for work so was our neighbor. Matt apologized that we still hadn't been over to see the new babe, which has turned out to be ok since there have been oodles of family and friends visiting since mum and bub got home. Matt also said that with since there's less visitors around we would love to help with a meal, or in any other way needed. In reply our neighbor said, "no! No food! We have so much food from people!"


And in my opinion that's the way things should be. When there's a need, family, friends, community should be filling it - over and above.


All Around Easter (in two days!)

So, out of my [Easter] box I have come (sort of) (read THIS for a bit of background).

Although my big dreams for Easter at church aren't going to come to fruition this year, there are plans in the works for next year. This year however we will be doing a smaller, modified version of my big dreams and I am so excited for what it will look like!

Through a bit of "google research" I came upon 'All Around Easter.' Over the course of two Sunday's (Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday) I'll be taking the children in our children's ministry on a journey through Easter. By experiencing different elements of Easter at various stations hopefully this Easter Sunday kids will leave with a greater understanding and excitement for this holiday.

Stay tuned as 'All Around Easter' unfolds!

PS:Looks like some traditions won't die THAT easily and there MAY still be an Easter egg hunt - but don't get your hopes up...I'm still working on it :)


March = Courage

My line for the past couple of weeks has been that "there are only two good things about March; my anniversary and the Ella's birthday."
My husband and I celebrated our 1st (!) anniversary on March 15th. We had a fabulous day together and I so look forward to the many anniversary celebrations to come.
Ella's birthday is on March 22nd. She's a ray of sunshine in my life, the offspring of one of my closest and most trusted friends. She's a darling child that I've had the privilege to know since the day after her birth four (!) years ago.

But along with these two happy occasions are a few sad ones.
One of which being the anniversary of my grandpa's death on March 24th. He was a wonderful man, who is greatly missed by his family and friends. Along with that day of remembrance is his birthday which falls on March 10th.
Not to mention the weather isn't exactly delightful. Although there are glimpses of spring, it seems as though nature is not yet ready to embrace the sunshine and warmth just yet.

As I think of the month of March, I can't help but be overwhelmed by emotions. Both the good memories and sad ones flood my mind as I look at the calendar on my BlackBerry.

In looking closer at the month of March I've come to learn that March's birthstone is the aquamarine and bloodstone. They mean courage.

How profound.

With half the month under my belt I resolve the face the last half with courage and strength.

How is your March looking? In what manner are you embracing the next 14 days of the month?


You Give and Take Away

The past few days have been flooded with many emotions.

A good friend of the family just came out of intensive care. After heart surgery a week and a half ago, many prayers went up for him and his family as he fought for his life. What a relief for many when he finally came out of intensive care. Prayers continue to go up for this wonderful man, yet it seems as though the worst is over.

And while there was much rejoicing it was shadowed by mourning.

In the same city that my family friend was recovering in, a family member passed away. Although the family was somewhat prepared for this loss, its never easy to cope with death.

One of my favorite songs includes the following line:
"You give and take away.
You give and take away.
My heart will choose to say
Lord blessed be Your name."

As I've been caught in between rejoicing and mourning it seems this is pretty much sums up what I'm feeling.


The Why or the What?

Since I rely heavily on volunteers through my job, whenever possible I try to volunteer myself as I know how hard it is to find volunteers.

This past weekend I was volunteering at a Speed Skating Meet in Lethbridge, AB. Both my dad and younger sister are members of the Lethbridge Speed Skating Association, and it was a massive honour to volunteer at something that they're both involved in.

My job at the meets is to ring the bell. The bell signifies to the lead racer that they are on their last lap. Although technically the position is titled "Lap Counter" I prefer to be called the bell ringer. Having a job like that is just more proof that I work with kids :)

This past weekend I worked with two individuals to lap count/ring the bell. One of which was a young woman from Calgary who is a speed skater herself. Upon meeting early Friday morning she proudly proclaimed that she was "lead lap counter."


That introduction got me thinking...how often are we more concerned about our title, rather then the tasks at hand?

I know that there have been moments in my life where I get so hyped on my position or title that I loose sight of the reason for the position or title. I forget the "why" behind the "what."
In my work titles tend to mean lots, and it quickly becomes evident who is all about the title, and who's all about the task. There are those I've met in my field who hide behind their title, and spend the majority of their time on their rusty dusty.

After this weekend I was personally challenged to keep the "why" more important then that "what." I do what I do because I love kids and I love seeing them come into a relationship with their creator. That's what its all about...not my seat on the front row, not my nice office, not the trips or meetings, the conferences, reserved parking spots...

My prayer is that my "what" would never become more important then my "why."


a fabulous parntership

As someone who's involved with children, I realize the amazing partnership between parents and childcare workers.

I remember an incident that happened while I was in grade six when I saw this partnership in action.
There was a student in another grade six class who would bring Tylenol with her to school and distribute it to other students during recess. The students who took the Tylenol didn't have any aches or pains, they took the Tylenol just for the sake of it.
A bit confused (I had trouble swallowing pills as a young girl), I talked to my mum about these strange occurrences in my life.
As a concerned parent my mum naturally (or maybe not so naturally) contacted the school so that the grade six teachers were aware of what was going on in the playground.
Within a few days all the grade sixes were crammed into a room with the school nurse who proceeded to tell us about the dangers of taking medication; when its needed, when its not needed, possible side affects etc.
Soon after this meeting the 'Tylenol dealing' came to an end.

A little while ago my husband and I had a run in with a young man who was telling us about watching inappropriate movies for someone his age (or any age in my personal opinion). At first we were both uncomfortable with how to deal with this; were his parents allowing him to watch these films? Should we ask at the risk of seeming judgmental, or would our concern be welcome?
Thankfully this mother came to us asking if her son had mentioned anything. We then proceeded to say that he had. It came as such a relief to her to know that we were concerned as well. We continued to come with a plan on how to discourage this young man for watching these shows in a diplomatic, yet very serious manner.

I think often parents feel their alone in educating their children how to be 'street wise,' which is quite unfortunate because of all the resources available through schools and other places where extra-curricular activities happen.

Let it be known that I personally believe in these partnerships as I have seen a very positive outcome. If you are a parent I would encourage you to spend time voicing your concerns to your children's teachers/childcare workers etc. Together the two are capable of shaping incredible young people.


having both is a blessing.

My amazing mother-in-law has remarkable quote on the wall in her dining room, it says
"Having somewhere to go is HOME
Having someone to love is FAMILY
Having both is a BLESSING"

I love that quote because it's so true! "Home" doesn't necissarily have to be your house, or someone else's. It's a place where you can go and be yourself. And "family" isn't always just the people that you're related to. It's the people in your world who love you unconditional and take you as you are.

Being a children's pastor its my desire to see all children blessed with both. If they aren't finding these things at their house, I would love to be able to help them find it some other place...possibly even at church.

That's why the other staff at my church and myself have determined that we need to create "family" in our congregation. Through things as simple as the ushers and greeters who volunteer every Sunday, to connect groups, to family events...we're doing what we can to try and create a place of belonging where relationships can form and flourish.

My prayer is that our church is BLESSING to many.


won't you be my neighbor?

I remember watching Mister Rogers' Neighborhood when I was young. He would always sing a song asking me (and all other children viewing his show) to be his neighbor. After watching his 30 minute show on television I'd plan up ways in my head to become a neighbor to someone so kind and friendly...

Although I've never been Mr. Rogers neighbor, I most certainly have lived in communities with people much like Mr. Rogers - people who genuinely care about those in their communities. That's the kind of neighbor I aspire to be.

I live in a small town just minutes from the city I grew up in. It's quite incredible the difference a smaller center can make brining neighbors together.

There's a bakery in my town that has the most delicious pastries ever! It's locally owned and it seems like there's always a vehicle parked out front picking up a loaf of fresh baked bread, or goodies to take home and share with the family.

There's also a gas station just as you enter our town. It's one of the few Full Service stations in our area. There always seems to be teenage boys standing about waiting for the next customer to roll up and proclaim "fill 'er up."

In this economic crisis that the world is finding itself in, its quite evident that people are tightening their belts, including my husband and I. I have become quite the sale shopper and spend time going through flyers looking for the best deals on the goods needed in our home. However, one place that we refuse to cut costs is when it comes to supporting our local businesses.

Sure I could buy bread at the grocery store for a more inexpensive price. And I could fill up my gar with gas at a station that's self serve and spend less.
But then, what kind of neighbor am I being?

If I fail to be a good neighbor and support those who invest so much of their time into making my town better, I'm not only tightening my belt, but I'm also becoming stingy. This economic crisis is no doubt affecting the small businesses in my community, I would hate to be a contributing factor to businesses closing and my neighbors moving away.

I want to be known as someone who lives generously. I want to contribute to a community that lives generously.

I want to be like Mr. Rogers.


thinking outside of my [Easter] box

This morning I sat down to work on my March calendar and realized that Easter is only 53 sleeps away! Now to the average person that would seem to be heaps of time to start planning for the holiday. For myself, I realize the clock is ticking and time's running out to plan something amazing.

Over the past few months my church has been trying to switch its focus towards family. With Easter quickly approaching I instinctively think of what we can do for just the kids. That's where I'm challenged to think outside of the box! For years we've done Easter egg hunts for the kids, which is generally great, but doesn't include the whole family in celebrating Easter.

And so, over the next 53 days I will be attempting to think outside of the box. To create an Easter experience for the whole family.


making a house a home

Matt & I are so close to being in our first house! It's been quite the process. We made the decision to start building last summer. In July they started digging our basement and pouring our foundation. Soon after the process began we moved out of our rental home and into my parents house. We picked our flooring, cabinets, light fixtures, counter tops, appliances, hardware and finally we're almost at the point of being able to enjoy it!

Over the past seven months I've been reminded of what makes a house a home while living in my parents home again. Between the months spent with them and the days of "relief" (☺) spent with my in-laws I've began to realize what truly makes a house a home.

Its not the decorations (although those are very lovely and definitely contribute to the "homey" feel). Its not the space, or the designated rooms. It's not what kind of food is served. It's not the mood music that's played, or mood lighting.

Rather its the things that you don't see that make a house a home. It's the way that everyone belongs. It's the way you're allowed to be who you are. It's the way there's always an extra chair that can be pulled up to the table. It's the way the conversation just flows and you know that your opinion matters. It's the way family and friends alike feel sheltered and safe.

And so, although I'm EXTREMELY excited to get into our house and set it up as ours, I'm more excited to create a haven. My mother-in-law gave us something for our wall when the building process just began, and I truly believe it will become the essence of our home and it simply says: "Welcome, happy is the home that shelters a friend." And that is the home that Matt & will strive to create.


remembering someone great. - part 2

She never once complained. It was clear that some of her life experiences were neither fair, or deserved, but through it all she had such dignity and strength. I never heard her speak negatively of those who did her wrong, or of a situation she found herself in.
She was the queen of glitz. I remember the sweaters she wore were always adorned with sparkles and golden threads.
Speaking of glitz, she was a princess. Her hair was always done and her finger and toenails always painted. She would squeeze her feet into pretty, strappy sandals and never once complain of the pain.
She was the only one who would let me get cookies a McDonald's as a little girl.
Although she was quiet it was never uncomfortable to be around her. There was something very relaxed and comforting about her presence even though she was a women of few words.
I remember delivering her poinsettia's every Christmas. She loved flowers, and we always made a point of getting her the biggest most beautiful bouquets when we had the opportunity.
She LOVED her family. Her home was full of photos of her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. When she moved from her apartment into the nursing home her photos moved with her.
I remember she got along so well with grandpa McEachern. When they were together it seemed as though there was a mutual understanding between them. They simply seemed to enjoy being in each others presence. As a grandchild is was a fabulous thing to witness. I know that now they're both enjoying their time in a place far greater then any place they ever met here on earth.

She is still treasured in my heart and so missed everyday.


You Reap What You Sow

We’ve all heard that line at some point or another in our lives. Perhaps you heard it from you mother warning you as she sent you off to school after hearing about incidents of a child being teased in your class. Or maybe you’ve heard it in reference to justifying why someone’s marriage has failed. Or it could be that you heard it as good deed was done to you after you willingly helped someone else. Sometimes this phrase has a negative connotation, and sometimes it has a positive one. This is one of the lines that no matter the situation, more often then not, tends to be true.

I’ve recently witnessed this to be so in my own life. A couple weeks ago my paternal grandma passed away. It was rather sudden, and came as a shock to many of us (that could be a blog all of its own!). As my family has been broken and grieving our loss it has been overwhelming the support and encouragement we’ve received from those around us.

From the meals, to the flowers, to the cards, to the e-mails and facebooks messages, to the phone calls…it’s all touched our hearts and lives to help us realize what a great community we have around us.

The other day as my dad was on the phone going over the details of the funeral, the person on the other line made a comment in respect to the overwhelming response we’ve received. He simply said, “Rick, this is your time to reap what you’ve sown.” How profound…

Many people in my parent’s world know that when in crisis Rick & Cindy are the people to call. Whatever your need is, they’re always prepared to drop everything a come to your aid. From meals, to helping with renovations, to babysitting and picking up and dropping off kids, to helping with moving…you name it, they’ll do it. But they aren’t the only ones, my in-laws would have the same reputation (and so since its part of our DNA my husband and I are the same). There are numerous other people in my world who are of the same breed.

But why do what we do? Is it because we want to stock up for when our time of need comes? Absolutely not! Rather its because we know the value of family and community.
We know the pain that comes with the loss of a loved one.
We know the trouble that comes with under going a surgery and spending weeks in recovery.
We know that hassle and chaos that comes with a big move.
We know that every once in awhile a mom needs some time to herself.
We also know that there’s nothing like overcoming. And that’s why we do what we do. To help overcome. To the be support and encouragement that true friends and family are meant to be.

As all farmers know, in due time you will reap a harvest.


breathe in, breathe out

I started taking a pilates class at Lethbridge College with a couple of friends this past Thursday. Our class came at the perfect time as last week was a bit overwhelming and the 45 minutes spent in the class served as the perfect mental break. I was taken back by the emphasis put on breathing in our first class. Our instructor reminded us throughout the class to take deep breaths in through our nose and let them out through our mouths.

Since that class my life has seemed to have gotten even more overwhelming. From the encouragement and support of my family and friends, to the situations those close to me find themselves in, it seems as if its been one overwhelming blow after the other.

Today while working on my computer I received a message from an individual who's quite close to me asking for prayer as he finds himself needing rest and peace. As the tears began to well up in my eyes I was taken back to my pilates class.

Breathe in, breathe out. Breathe in, breathe out.

I know that I cannot change situations, and although I can pray my little heart out, ultimately God is the one who controls everything. And so, as I continue to pray (for even though I know I have no control, I know the one who does), the only other thing I can do is breathe. By just breathing I allow God to be who He is, and I will be who He has created me to be.


remembering someone great.

Her apple pies and shortbread were to die for! I remember at Christmas having tin upon tin full of her amazing shortbread. My grandpa McEachern loved it as well, she always made sure to make him a tin of his own. When she made apple pie she would always make enough to stock the deep freeze for a few months.
Although I didn't appreciate them much when I was young her cabbage rolls were among the best I've ever had.
She was one of the Roughriders biggest fans. You could always tell when a football game was on because she would be yelling at the TV telling the team and the coach what they should be doing to win.
For many years she was quite quiet and reserved. She didn't really need to say anything though, her actions spoke far louder then her words ever did. Never once did you doubt that she loved you.
She was completely dedicated. For years she would be at church one hour before the service to ensure the coffee was on for the time of fellowship before the service began.
It was only in the past few years that she really came out of the shell she had hidden for so long. She was a joyous person, so encouraging and friendly. Everyone around her knew her and loved her. She always said "hello" to those passing by. And never passed up a moment to give a hug and wet kiss.
I realize that it's through God's incredible mercy that the suffering was short, not only for her, but for those who love her most. The end couldn't have come a better way. She has now graduated to a far greater place...

I love her so dearly and she will forever be missed by many.


thank you to the INAUGURATION!

For those of you who aren't aware, I come from a home that likes to party. Give us a reason and we'll put on a shindig!
We've had everything from the usual Stanley Cup/Grey Cup parties, to St. Patrick's Day/Halloween/Christmas/New Years Eve parties, and of course birthday parties, on occasion election parties and this evening an inauguration party!

Although we never know how many will be in attendance, the invites go out and more often then not more rather then less arrive to celebrate with us.

On this special occasion I would like to thank my friendly neighbors to the south the US of A for electing a new president and allowing a few of us Canadians to celebrate with you (or just to celebrate period!).

Happy inauguration day everyone...I hope its as enjoyable for you as it is for me! :)

On that note: regardless of your political stance, how incredible that we are alive in this day to witness such a historical event. Today along with many others we've experienced will be in the history books and we'll be able to tell our children/grandchildren/great grandchildren how we remember it.