Sunday, December 14, 2003

Christmas is almost here....I just started to get my act partially in gear. I have the Christmas tree up and decorated, looking quite fine as usual, I might add. Tonight we had our first house full of guests to celebrate Christmas and the joy of our friendships.

We enjoyed a beautiful evening together eating food and scrumptious desserts. The heart of the evening was just sitting curled up on couches totally enjoying our time together. With the tree tinkering and sparkling with it's pretty white lights and the candles flickering warmth around us. We are close and dear friends of 35 years - bringing along spouses and children into the circle of family.

We are so blessed..... take time to enjoy the special time Christmas brings with family and friends.

Saturday, December 13, 2003

Sneak peak into the journal of a woman....
Scary thoughts...right? I read a journal of a woman on a journey to change and thought I might share... Daddy's Little Girl... Oh so stable a life I grew up in, mom, dad, brothers. I was given unconditional love and support and encouraged to give it back. What happened to that little girl...she's now much older and has not been so stable through the years. She spent the growing up years facing too much hurt and disappointment. Spend too many days feeling anxious and heavy hearted, lacking real direction. She doesn't even know what was really wrong.

One day something happens and she wakes up to a new world as she learns to love God. Simple love of God, nothing preachy and crazy, just simple. She still faces many more challenges, falls to her knees often, but this time she knows it will be different. She puts her faith and trust in God to carry her through the heavy burdens. She hears him say to her
" focus on me, love me, trust me, hand it over to me" She listens and gains much stability. He says to her "I appreciate you. When you look to me and only me, then I will allow others to appreciate you".... and she prays "Can I please Lord stay in this new place I am now in...." and he says "yes".....

Proverbs 3: 5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your path straight".....

Friday, December 12, 2003

Thursday, December 11, 2003

And the world below...
Tonight I attended a yearly gala cocktail event at the CN Tower . I first attended this event as a step out of my comfort zone to actually go up in the CN Tower and defy my fear of heights. I'm still pretty shaky and sweaty when it comes to heights, but I am no longer at a standstill with myself from the challenge ...even if it's just going up in the CN Tower once a year. As my children are older now and I actually have time to reflect about my life, I have begun to do little things like challenge myself - rewards of those challenges probably perceived as menial to others, but exciting to me.

While I was up there, I actually sat on the ledge that outlines the window and I looked over the entire city. I began to feel curious about the people below me. Who are they, what do they do, are they happy, do they carry much grief, sadness and trouble. Are they hurting?

I was right up there in the skies, protected in a way, from being reached or effected by the world around me. I felt almost alienated from the city. I wondered what it would be like to be sitting alone in the CN Tower day after day in my own world, being able to look down from the glass that separates me from the world, to ponder about life. Imagine the silence and peace you could experience, if just for a short time.

How wonderful to be an onlooker of the city. To be in awe of the beauty of the city and those in it. So many things we don't see when we are in the midst of our busy world. Yet way up there I could see so much, it was like time stood still. I put my face close the window and I can't hear a sound, I see only roads, buildings, lights,people and a city that moves through the night.

The evening ends and I am on my way down the elevator and realty hits...I am now longer impartial to the world, I am in it, with all the noise, distraction, flashing lights, the big towers, facing the howling wind as winter sets in.

It was nice, even for hours to be an on looker of the world, impartial to and in awe of all we live in.

Sunday, December 07, 2003

In the weee hours Sunday morning.....

I was thinking about love tonight. Just wonder with your eyes closed.... how beautiful it is to dance with your husband at night quietly for even moments. Dancing in such tranquility that you hear each other's heart beat. Time for reflection of the love you share.

I read a book that explained we must first be connected to God before we can truly connect with or love someone. We must reach up to God, hold out our hand and let him walk with us on the journey of being a wife. Don't just talk to God, converse with him. Explore the unconditional love and acceptance He holds for you. You are special to him and he wants you to get to know him. Love your husband as God loves you, unconditionally. He teaches us by example, follow His lead.

Don't miss out on the dance He wants to teach you in His ballroom. Life lessons are His dance. His words are precious, gleaming like jewels to be treasured by you. His hand reaches out and He smiles at you as he pulls you to the dance floor and the lesson begins. Let Him put his arms around you to keep you safely on the path as He leads you into the dance. He is our instructor teaching us all the steps, sometimes simple and often complicated.

When He stands back to watch you, His beautiful child, turn around and reach out to pull your husband up to dance with you just as God showed you the steps. The lights are dimmed and the candles are flickering in the background, all is silent and beautiful. Bask in the glorious moments to love and appreciate your husband. He is very precious !

Friday, December 05, 2003

Cranberries....Have you ever wondered
As I sat at lunch today with Gina and Joseph, looking down at my plate of chicken, stuffing, fries and yes...a blob of cranberries.... I was thinking how pretty cranberries are... they are perfectly round, beautiful red huddled in the warmth and comfort of cranberry jelly.

I reflected to Gina how pretty cranberries are and that I should write about them. She looked at me in absolute bewilderment....said she'd be surprised if I could write about challenge begins....

How often do you look down at your plate of food and see something truly pretty and exciting? Probably not often....yet cranberries will dress up your plate, giving you something fun to look at during your meal and entice your food to dance. Personally I am not particularly thrilled to have something sweet alongside of my portion of meat, however there are many who love cranberries. I think of the cranberries only in a dancing capacity actually. I imagine them dancing all over my plate... making their way in between the green beans slivered in almonds and the moist turkey placed just along side the scrumptious stuffing... Ahhh.... and yet cranberries can also be used as flower arrangements, pieces stuck with a pin in an old woman's hat.... you think of the possibilities cranberries can, festive decoration, taste bud boom, you name it.....

Shall you ever think of a cranberry again as something other than dancing.....?

Thursday, December 04, 2003

My last journal entry had me thinking alot about skidding. The vision of skid marks stuck with me and although I initially decided to not journal the thoughts, this morning I was still going back to it. I thought if I shared, then I could move on to the next thoughts, so....

I spent some time skidding, sliding and crashing through life. When the slide was over, I'd pick myself up and head to the next journey, which often was on ice. Think of walking along a path of ice, maybe in high heels, unprepared for those icy conditions. As I am not penguin...I slip and slide on ice. My arms flailing all over, my feet lifting up from underneath me. I have many times fallen down on the ice, butt or head first. Crashing and tumbling pretty hard sometimes. Does this sound like anything you have experienced, okay boys, without the heels of course!

Earlier this week I was driving to work and reflecting about a friend's car accident. She was in her car waiting for the light to change, minding her own business I might add, when a school bus smacked right into the back of her vehicle. The police attended the scene for investigation, and concluded that the accident was a no-fault situation, caused due to weather conditions, slippery icy roads.

Sometimes we are just going through life, minding our own business, and all of a sudden out of no where we are hit from behind, without warning and we are jolted by a situation. Often we feel we have little or no control over turmoil in our lives. Sometimes we react in fear of the journey we are about to face, clouded by unclear vision. If we are fortunate we are able to clearly analyze the situation, do our part and then leave the rest to faith that God will put a little coarse salt on the path so that we will be able to steady our feet somewhat to walk the path of slippery, icy conditions.

Picture the penguin.... oddly shaped with little flaps for arms, tiny stumps for does he manage to walk the icy conditions without falling flat on his face? If he did fall flat on his face, how on earth would he get up with his tiny flaps to support and push his body up? He must be walking in faith and confidence in the abilities God gave him. Let's try to be penguins this week?!

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Reflection. Do you reflect often? I do, but only too often my reflections have not always been positive. I drudged unhappily through 2003 and I must admit that it was a tough year, that produced some bumpy spots. So many times I thought I couldn't climb the mountain much longer and screamed and kicked my way along the journey.

I spent much time with blinders on - one hand on the mask over my eyes and the other hand stretched out for someone to pull me through the journey...being scared to look down the path.....knowing I didn't want to see what was alongside or ahead of me. The skid marks were pretty evident.

Today I sit back and am truly overwhelmed at the blessings that I didn't take time to sneak a peak at during the journey. I am so moved by the land marks that have left their prints along that journey. The blessings I have received are so incredible. I am thankful for the strength I have been afforded to hang in with burdens; the health in each of my children; the love and understanding from my children; my new found friendships with incredible people who have loved, guided and listened to me (sometimes over and over); for involvement in a new Ministry and the growth of life long friendships within that Ministry; the desire to search and learn ; to unconditional love and support of my friends; and the jewel blessing of all - finally finding my way.

Open your eyes on the journey - you just might find yourself on a cruise !


Friday, November 28, 2003

Vision and Faith. Been a thing this week with me. Cropped up in a few conversations and in my thoughts.

Sometimes we are on a journey and it is just so rough that we feel like we have been smashed against the ocean's shore over and over, waves hitting us and knocking us down, the sand scraping our faces. Stinging. We are so tired, we claw ourselves up from the shoreline to the distant grass. We stretch out and the sun begins to heal the scrapes and warm us up, each ray of the sun gently soothing our tender skin.

Did we take the time to understand what the storm was all about? Don't doubt that those storms can teach us. Storm brings rain, and as my friend Anita says, the rain purifies and cleanses. Did we look for the signs of hope and promise after the storm? Let that storm stir your soul and wait for the vision that is yet to come. The sky will open, the rainbow will appear and the vision will shine down around you. Be still and wait.

Have faith and be grateful for the treasures the rainbow will bring.


Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Well... I have had this vision in my mind for days now. My idea of paradise. Close your eyes and dream with me. I have been dreaming about sitting in my little row boat, hand in hand with a glass of wine, my fishing rod, someone to bait my hook (no conversation please) and a good book. The purpose is not to catch fish.

The sun is beating down on my face, arms and legs. It is incredibly warm. The fish are nibbling slightly. I lay across the hard aluminum seat, padded with life jackets. (poverty fishing). Yea! I am in the middle of the lake. All around me I see movement, people driving along the small road to their cottages, kids running and kicking balls, adults cleaning around their cottages. Teenagers laughing and carrying on. All action at a distance is only muffled sounds out here.

I sit, undisturbed in total tranquility. I hear little gurgles from the water, feel the slight rush of tiny waves hitting the side of the boat. The fish are not bitting, but I don't care. I can't be reached or bothered by anything or anyone out here. I am finally in my own world, even if for just hours.

I look into the lake, wondering if I can see bottom. It is endless. I imagine what it would feel like to slip off the side of the boat and just float around. But I am so warm and comfortable that I only entertain the thought of floating in the water.

Don't open your eyes, I am after all.... in my own world.... for now.


Tuesday, November 25, 2003

My friend Tim designed this new site and little did he know that the sunflower he kept in his archives would end up on my site and have me think daily of my dear Uncle Johnny. The story - for many summers my uncle threw sunflower seeds in the field behind our cottage. The most beautiful big orange sunflowers would lay like a blanket across the hill between our cottages. So many of us would stand in the midst of the flowers to have our pictures taken. The sheer beauty of the flowers was truly breath taking. So symbolic is the sunflower for our family, a sign of simplicity and beauty. As it became a little harder for him to move around, he stopped planting the sunflowers ...but the memories of him and his desire to do nice things for us live on in our hearts. The vision of the beautiful sunflower field reminds me of his kindness and brings a smile to my face. I laugh when I think about him calling me (even at 40 something)...skinny bones.

Take a moment today to linger on something or someone that has brought you great joy. Stop what you are doing and cherish those memories, lock them in your heart, close to you, as no one can take away your dreams and visions if you hold them close to you.


Sunday, November 23, 2003

Well, it is Sunday evening and I had an incredibly busy weekend. I was anxiously waiting for the clock to click into Sunday so I could write my next journal entry, hoping to write something quite inspiring.

I was reflecting on my weekend, wherein I was the host to four young ladies and their leader, Amanda from the youth group for the weekend and I decided to write about my experience which was inspiring to me.

It was awesome actually. Having a pajama party with chickies all weekend brought me back to my childhood - pajamas, late nights, giggling until the early hours of the morning, filling our faces with junk food and just plain girl talk. These new generation girlies rock!

My new friend (a 12 year old, with an incredible maturity level) informed me that.... "You know, God made Adam and it wasn't good enough so He made Eve".... (I had a good chuckle over this one -) and then she made me laugh further when she continued to say that...." actually it's a GIRL'S world, .... boys just live in know...!" Doesn't she rock !

I was so exhausted Saturday afternoon that I decided I would take an hour and catch a nap... well my new little friend peeked in my room and plopped herself on my bed wherein she initiated conversation. She sat there with me for 45 minutes just sharing and reflecting and, yes you guessed nap for me. I would gladly give up that nap again as the time spent was so enlightening ... oh.... to be really young again.......

See you chickies next year...!

Oh..I have a sore throat and am getting the flu.... guess that's what I get for thinking I can keep up with 12 year olds!


Saturday, November 22, 2003

My new BLOG site... I am so excited about this. This is where I can write and say the things out loud that go on in head...I can pretend that someone really wants to hear it...! haha... Now I am believe it or not, speechless... naah... not for long.

I am reading a book "Only a Woman" by Terri McFaddin. It is probably not a book that is on the best seller list - because I picked it up at the book store for $7.99. Original price was $17.50) so I assume it's either an old book that everyone has read, or the content just didn't have what it takes to reach out and entice someone to buy it. However, it was a bargain and I bought it.

Quite a neat little book actually... The book starts off describing a story about a woman who's husband died with many other men when their village was under attack by a rebel army. She was left with her child and the responsibility of saving their village. Trembling with fear and knowing she was the only one to save the village, she cries out "I am only a Woman" . She realized how foolish she was thinking she would always live in her perfect little world never having to live without the help of a man.

Now, my comments today are not about women facing living with out the help of a man, but specifically of any of us men and women..... living a life alone. Without the grace of a partner, friend, brother, sister...mother...father... Alone in this world. So totally alone without these key people in their lives..... so... where do they go, what do they do, how do they feel "connected"? We put our needs quite naturally in the humans we are connected with in life. When situations and life remove those people from our lives...what do we have left?

So... my answer... put faith and trust in our Father in heaven who will always be there... it's through him that we gain strength, encouragement and stability. When the road is just too hard to journey though, you always have him, and he will never fail you.... now...

My next comment.... have you ever felt like you (man or woman) was just not "good enough, strong enough or smart enough" to just do whatever task has faced you? Don't let situations put a wall between you and what has possibly challenged you. There is a reason that challenge is facing YOU...not me or someone else.. It is facing YOU because YOU can do it... you are after all ONLY GOD'S CHILD!..... this might scare some of you off... but I challenge you to visit my site again..... as I know it will only get better...after all... I AM THANKFULLY... A WOMAN ! !