Thursday, December 31, 2009

2010


          I love this note that Ella my six year old wrote to Santa on Christmas Eve!

Well, here it is, new years eve...on the cusp of a new decade. I remember so well, sitting with my parents, Andy & the kids...Sam my middle son was really sick, & together we rang in the new millenium, half expecting some weird y2k glitch to throw us into darkness, yet not really believing it would happen! We were in our newly built first home that we loved beyond compare & all in all, we felt pretty happy!

My children were so young then. Now my oldest Ben, will graduate highschool this year, enter university & somehow, we will find a way to adapt to having a young adult in our home, not the baby or little boy I remember & miss. However, I love having these amazing young men as my sons...they are such interesting people & I'm excited for their future.

This Christmas my kids gave us a video they made of the last nine years! We both sat in tears watching our life flick across the screen & the reality that the time was gone, to never come back, left us feeling sad. But on the flip side, we also felt really good, because we really have done the best we can and we have a lot of happy memories & fun times! We love our children more than anything...they have been front & center in every choice we have made, right or wrong.

So, as 2009 closes, I am grateful that tonight I went to church to welcome in the new year! I needed to acknowledge the significance of this decade...the changes, the joys & the sorrow we have experienced. I needed to pray & give thanks! I needed to pray for family members & most of all, I am just happy to be there. I also felt the loss of my old church, the people, the history. But, happy to pray for their continued blessings.

Sadly, as the evening closes out, I can't ignore the grief I feel for my cousin Shannon who lives in Northern Ireland. Here is a woman who against all odds is a fighter & survivor! She lost her 23 year old son suddenly & tragically here in Canada & had to fly home to Canada to have him buried yesterday. How does one move on from the loss of a child...I pray that she finds comfort in God, that somehow through her grief the love & comfort that I pray Jesus can give her, touches her somehow.



Hug your children, hug your loved ones...life is short, life is a gift & no matter how crazy your life is...there is a purpose & meaning to it.

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Simple Plan - Crazy Official Music Video

This song is excellent. The lyrics are powerful!

Simple Plan - Lyrics to Crazy

Tell me what's wrong with society
When everywhere I look I see
Young girls dying to be on TV
They wont stop 'til they've reached their dreams

Diet pills, surgery
Photoshop pictures in magazines
Telling them how they should be
It doesn't make sense to me

Is everybody going crazy?
Is anybody gonna save me?
Can anybody tell me what's going on?
Tell me what's going on
If you open your eyes
You'll see that something is wrong

I guess things are not how they used to be
There's no more normal families
Parents act like enemies
Making kids feel like it's world war III

No one cares, no one's there
I guess we're all just too damn busy
Money's our first priority
It doesn't make sense to me

Is everybody going crazy?
Is anybody gonna save me?
Can anybody tell me what's going on?
Tell me what's going on
If you open your eyes
You'll see that something is wrong

Is everybody going crazy?
Is everybody going crazy?

Tell me what's wrong with society
When everywhere I look I see
Rich guys driving big SUV's
While kids are starving in the streets
No one cares
No one likes to share
I guess life's unfair

Is everybody going crazy?
Is anybody gonna save me?
Can anybody tell me what's going on
Tell me what's going on
If you open your eyes
You'll see that something

something is wrong
Is everybody going Crazy?
Can anybody tell me what's going on
Tell me what's going on
If you open your eyes
You'll see that something is wrong

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Christmas is Near....

December is such a busy but fun month. I get melancholy every year because Christmas truly marks the changes from one year to the next. My older kids aren't as interested in the parade now, they attended to please me & their little sister Ella. Same with buying & decorating the tree. However, it is still fun & we spend more time than usual together so I always like that!

Santa Claus Parade with Ella & her cousin Sarah.

Ella & Ben made a snowman after finally getting some snow!

Sam positioning himself close to the snacks.

We had a lovely fire while we decorated our tree.

Ella under our newly decorated tree.


The finished tree!


Callum our cat peaking out from under all the tissue paper.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Another Fork in the Road


I am at that fork in the road...I look back & I see my accomplishments, my failures, the roads not travelled, the detours & where I came from.

As I look forward, I know I need more, I desire more, I want to claim my place in the world, come what may.

But there is always a fork in the road...do you take the road you know will please everyone but yourself or the road that pleases yourself & leaves everyone wondering. Both roads come with a price and you hope...leading you to the same destination. Isn't life a great adventure!

We shall see.


photo: hikenow.com

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Delicate Threads


For the last ten years I have attended a local church, the only church that I have ever attended up till recently.  I recently decided to leave this church though hopefully not the friendships which are precious to me.  Naturally,  leaving that church has created quite a few thoughts in my head. It is long winded, but I have so many thoughts I need to get out...so this is more for me than anyone else.

We immigrated to Canada from Northern Ireland when I was a kid. My memories of Northern Ireland are vivid as are my experiences upon arriving here. My parents never attended church as we avoided the whole Catholic Protestant issue by avoiding church completely. So, my background within church is limited. Over the years, I have come to appreciate this fact when I learn about odd dogmas within the church that I hope will always feel foreign to me, even in churches that think or believe they have no dogmas, no agendas!

Until I joined this local church, I had ignored the pull to find a church, I tried to ignore the call on my life until I could do so no more. Once I went, I was really happy there for the first few years. I experienced a lot of healing and the preaching/teaching from our Pastor was what I needed at that time. I met some amazing people that have touched my life & made some great friends. However, like all things, people change, stuff happens, blinders come off, you get hurt, you are rejected within the church, your kids grow & demand something more for themselves, & suddenly you find yourself facing change, as uncomfortable as that is.

So now I find myself in this weird place of leaving my old church for a new church. For the last two years, I have attended church sporadically. The struggle to get my kids there was huge & this caused me a lot of anguish! I want my children to grow in their faith, to have that comfort & accountability that comes with knowing Jesus & they weren't happy. I knew we all needed a change.

I knew I was being called somewhere, but similar to long ago when I finally submitted to attending church for the first time, I finally came around to the idea of joining a new church but could not get my ass in gear to get out & "shop" around. Part of it was the whole idea of where do you sit, dragging the kids from one place to another, could I find a church close to home, would my husband like it enough to maybe attend with us? Plus, there is the leaving of people & a church that I care for. I was frustrated, but felt I could pray my way through this tough season.

I recently attended a church event in the city & had a lady unexpectedly pray & speak prophetically over me. Her prayers unlocked something within me & confirmed to me that I was being called somewhere else. This had the greatest effect on me overall & while I was absorbing what she had said & how I would work that out in my daily life, a good friend of some friends of mine shocked me by leaving our church & joining the one I had been feeling called to go. I had planned to try this church with my kids for the past year, but never did get around to it because I used the slightest excuse not to leave my house on a Sunday morning.

Because I now knew someone going, it took the fear factor away from something as simple as what door you use to get inside & where to sit. Then my closest friends suddenly decided to leave our church as well. However, my friends played no part in my decision, in fact, it was a bit of a stumbling block to going as we all felt awkward & worried that it would appear like a group defection. They knew about my angst, in particular when it came to my family & I knew their own personal pain & struggles, but never did I imagine them leaving as they always expressed their desire to stay & see it through. They were the ones who always encouraged me to stay, to be sure of my decision.

So, that long winded explanation leads me to this one main observation about church. It seems that my friendships outside of church, which are based on connections other than sharing the same church space each Sunday may actually be stronger & deeper than those within the church. Which leaves me wondering why??? Why? Leaving a church matters.

I worry that the fine threads that bound me to my church will likely wither & fade. Will we be reduced to quick hellos at the grocery store, awkward encounters, & the realization that we are more connected to the local body we worship at than anything else. It leaves me feeling hollow & sad. It feels like changing schools as a kid, worse still, it gives me that icky feeling I have had my whole life when religion & belief separates people. It is weird & I feel weird.

I loved my church & the people within. However, I struggled to be there. As I reflect on my departure, I realize that I overstayed my season. My desire to fight change, my desire to not rock the boat both within my family & friendships left me hanging on to long. With finally leaving, I'm realizing that if friendships are real, they will stay strong. If they end or fizzle out then the season was meant to end. I regret not realizing that sooner. I regret allowing myself to fall into a place of doubt. The path we walk isn't meant to be easy. We will ultimately hurt the ones we love, hurt people we never intended to...even if it is just by the fact that we leave our place of worship for another. The test in any relastionships when it goes through change is will it survive?

Do I know for certain that I made the right decision...no of course not! But when God is leading you somewhere and you receive such clear direction, you have to obey!  As a bonus, I love the thumbs up my youngest son gave me after his first visit to our new church. I love the fact that getting my four kids out on a Sunday morning is easier...not perfect, but definitely easier... I feel hopeful for my husband and children that where we are now is better suited to them. I was blessed so much by my old church when I first joined, now it is their turn...though, I have to admit, I am being blessed right along with them.

I could never have been prepared for this next step in my walk if it wasn't for the experience & maturity I gained from attending my first church. I will always be grateful for that. This church will always in my heart be considered my first home. I feel like I've left the nest to live out my faith with my husband & children in a place that suits us all. We are blessed!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Lest We Forget.....A Pittance of Time

This is a beautiful tribute written by quite a famous maritimer! You need to read what led him to write this song.

On November 11, 1999 Terry Kelly was in a Shoppers Drug Mart store in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. At 10:55 AM an announcement came over the store's PA asking customers who would still be on the premises at 11:00 AM to give two minutes of silence in respect to the veterans who have sacrificed so much for us.

Terry was impressed with the store's leadership role in adopting the Legion's "two minutes of silence" initiative. He felt that the store's contribution of educating the public to the importance of remembering was commendable.

When eleven o'clock arrived on that day, an announcement was again made asking for the "two minutes of silence" to commence. All customers, with the exception of a man who was accompanied by his young child, showed their respect.

Terry's anger towards the father for trying to engage the store's clerk in conversation and for setting a bad example for his child was later channeled into a beautiful piece of work called, "A Pittance of Time". Terry later recorded "A Pittance of Time" and included it on his full-length music CD, "The Power of the Dream".


Saturday, October 24, 2009

This jumped out at me today...

Thus says the LORD: "Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the LORD. He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land. "Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit." The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? "I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds" (Jeremiah 17:5-10).

Friday, October 09, 2009

Say What???

Wow...I can't believe that Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize! If it was a year & 8 months into his term and his speeches had actually turned into action & things were improving, then yes, I could see the reason. But as of right now, he is just a great speaker. I will however, remain hopeful that his actions will line up with his words and we can work towards peaceful resolutions that actually work.

Monday, August 24, 2009

We must be the change
we wish to see.
- Mohandas K. Gandhi

Saturday, August 22, 2009

After A While




Just had to share this again....


After a while you learn
the subtle difference between
holding a hand and chaining a soul
and you learn
that love doesn't mean leaning
and company doesn't always mean security.
And you begin to learn
that kisses aren't contracts
and presents aren't promises
and you begin to accept your defeats
with your head up and your eyes ahead
with the grace of woman, not the grief of a child
and you learn
to build all your roads on today
because tomorrow's ground is
too uncertain for plans
and futures have a way of falling down
in mid-flight.
After a while you learn
that even sunshine burns
if you get too much
so you plant your own garden
and decorate your own soul
instead of waiting for someone
to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure
you really are strong
you really do have worth
and you learn
and you learn with every goodbye, you learn...


by Veronica A. Shoffstall

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Ella on her first and last day of Kindergarten

There is no way to express my relief that our first year of school is over for all four of my kids! I welcome this summer vacation more than any other....ever! I could not have made one more lunch, one more breakfast, or school project! Can't wait for camping, beaches, bbq's, a family wedding, Canada Day, & camping with family!



                                                        First day of kindergarten!

                                                         Last day of Kindergarten!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

CBC Sunday Morning



What a sad Sunday morning this is...in our governments infinite wisdom, they have cancelled one of the best news shows on television. This show had become my Sunday morning church, my opportunity to connect with amazing people all over Canada and the world, to share in their joy and sadness.

Sadly, because of the huge debts and cutbacks, this show became a sacrificial lamb. What a loss for Canada. In this day and age of one sided reporting, this show focused on the people and never tried to slant their view point.
“Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow.”

Mary Anne Radmacher

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Salma Hayek Breastfeeding An African Baby Boy

Salma Hayek let “Nightline” and Cynthia McFadden follow her on a goodwill trip to Sierra Leone a few months ago, and while there she breastfeed a newborn baby boy whose mother had no milk.

Salma’s own daughter, Valentina, turned one just before she took the trip.

She spoke of the incident recently, and it turns out “Nightline” aired video of the feeding.

“The baby was perfectly healthy, but the mother didn’t have milk. He was very hungry. I was weaning Valentina, but I still had a lot of milk that I was pumping, so I breast-fed the baby. You should have seen his eyes. When he felt the nourishment, he immediately stopped crying.”

That is so beautiful!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

“While women weep, as they do now, I'll fight; while children go hungry, as they do now I'll fight; while men go to prison, in and out, in and out, as they do now, I'll fight; while there is a drunkard left, while there is a poor lost girl upon the streets, while there remains one dark soul without the light of God, I'll fight, I'll fight to the very end!!!” - William Booth, 1912

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Journey

You know, life is a journey..often riddled with detours, ditches and dead ends. However, I have learned that "I" am ultimately responsible for everything that happens...which can be good and bad.

Even when my actions have led to consequences where i rail at the world, rail at God, I know deep down that He is there...allowing the chips to fall, confident that it will end up where it needs to end up, that I, as a child of God, will rise to the occassion no matter how far away he may feel.

Going through hard times are what life is all about. You can't help but appreciate the blessings in your life...