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.