Monday, May 31, 2004

What a busy weekend!

First off, it was my Dad's birthday, and it wasn't looking like any of the times that we had available to get together would work...but something ended up working out on Saturday evening after Church, so that was very happy:) We gave Dad a pedometer and a shirt...and I think he really liked it. The idea of the pedometer came to us because he walks so much and is always telling us how many laps he did that day at the field house. There'll be no stopping him now - he can now measure how many steps, miles and calories he's done each day! My Dad made me feel very special at the end of our visit when he hugged me as he always does. I do remember a time when I was always the first to reach for the hug and where they weren't so freely returned (just cause hugging wasn't a comfortable thing from my family's point of view). How wonderful it feels to have him reach for me! ...and even more, he had some words that encouraged me and made me feel lovely:)

We also did alot of house-work and yard-work this weekend. My tomatoes are now planted! And actually, everything I've planted is looking so good (so far)! Amanda had a sleepover at Grandma's this weekend, so I even found some time for some crafting. I haven't done that since before I was married. I made a wreath for our front door and prettied up our mailbox with an ivy finish. It felt so good to do that, and I think it all looks a little warmer:)
Had a date night with my handsome husband this weekend:) He took me out for dinner at Tony Romas (had some great santa fe chicken...mmmm), and then we went to a movie (Raising was very good!) I love date nights! I love spending time with my Les! I love him! :)

Thursday, May 27, 2004

My sister-like and oh-so-dear friend, Alana, sent me an email this morning with an attachment from The Fly-Lady. It was so encouraging! Somedays I become discouraged when I don't see the outer changes I desire happening very quickly, despite all my trying...trying to eat right, trying to exercise. I spend alot of effort trying, and the truth is with a husband and daughter it is hard to always try and find the time for more trying. I think reading this helped my perspective:) Here is an excerpt:

> "Moving in May isn't about parking a little further out at Wal-Mart
> and logging on a few extra steps on your pedometer. Nor is it just
> about stepping up your nutrition and eating better. These are
> components to Moving in May, but it's bigger than that.
> There is an enormous underlying principle at work here and that is
> the fact that each person reading this Food for Thought right now is
> worthy of being loved and merits exquisite care. Each and every
> woman is worthy of being comfortable in her own skin, worthy of
> giving herself tender loving care and worthy of treating her own
> body like the treasure it is.
> We love to complain about our stretch marks, zits, spider veins and
> other imperfections that seem to relentlessly grace our bodies. The
> older we get, the more plentiful the imperfections. I am guilty of
> reciting my long list of complaints, too. However, I am starting to
> realize with every step and every breath I take, that my life is a
> gift and that my body is my "transportation" for my life here on
> earth. This body is what houses my soul. In the bible, the body is
> referred to as a temple for the Holy Spirit.
> It is worth everything I have to give the best care to the only body
> I will ever have. I'm not talking plastic surgery and masseuses and
> that kind of thing. I'm talking about the basics: reducing stress,
> living a life of gratitude, eating well, moving. I am worth more
> than nutritionally negative food, a sluggish, sedentary life, and
> holding on to resentment, anger and grudges that result in a cold,
> bitter heart. I am worthy of loving self care and so are you."

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Well tonight is the American Idol Finale...Amanda is so excited! Her pick is Diana DeGarmo...go Diana go! I'm not really into the show, but each week, I try to watch it with Amanda (usually while I'm on the gazelle), and last night was I ever glad I was there...some of those commercials just shouldn't be on at 7 p.m. (there was even one for STD's?!!)...

Speaking of Amanda...she is doing wonderful on her bike! She can now ride, unassisted from mailbox station to mailbox station around our crescent...she just needs help pushing off when she starts out, so that is what we'll be working on tonight. I'm so proud of her! She's worked hard and she's making some new friends as she learns to ride her bike! Les has been such an awesome teacher!! Once Amanda masters this last skill, Les will be installing her new fancy bell/compass that Auntie Arilee gave her this weekend (twinsies with Aurora)...and then our girlies should never get lost!

The last few days have been busy with yardwork and home-stuff. Last Friday we put in our hedge (peking cotoneaster), and it's looking good. On the weekend we did some shopping for a bbq as we do not have one and are hoping to buy one this week...I think we have our choices narrowed down now. Les painted the deck yestereday, so it's all ready for us to pick up the bbq later this week!

We also weeded the flower beds and planted the front bed. I have a few more things to plant, but will hold off until after the tulips are done blooming. I lost my rose bush this year, so that is very sad...don't know what I did wrong:( ...and also, I don't see many of the perenniels I planted last year coming up:( All in all though, the front bed and pots are coming together. I've picked up some things to make a new summer wreath for our front door, so now I need to find time to do that... I'm meeting more of our neighbours as we putter around, so that is nice. It's a wonderful time of the year...nice weather (finally!) and no mosquitos...yet:)

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

On being child-like...

This is Henri of my favourite authors, now deceased, on a skateboard:)

Friday, May 21, 2004

Brennan Manning wrote:

"The true self is able to preserve childlike innocence through unflagging awareness of the core identity and by steadfast refusal to be intimidated and contaminated by peers 'whose lives are spent not in living but in courting applause and admiration; not in blissfully being themselves but in neurotically comparing and competing, striving for those empty things called success and fame..."
Frederick Buechner wrote:

"We are children, perhaps, at the very moment when we know that it is as children that God loves us -- not because we have deserved his love and not in spite of undeserving; not because we try and not because we recognize the futility of our trying; but simply because he has chosen to love us. We are children because he is our father; and all our efforts, fruitful and fruitless, to do good, to speak truth, to understand, are the efforts of children who, for all their precocity, are children still in that before we loved him, he loved us, as children, through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Buried in me is this little girl who never quite felt understood, who never quite felt her family really knew her heart..and couldn't understand why not. A couple of weeks ago, this little girl surfaced when I was chatting with some friends at Church about the MAD-hatter tea party coming up there. My mom overheard me being asked to bring any teacups/teapots that I had and commented that I was never really into that kind of stuff...pardon?...was she talking about me? I love everything about tea...teapots, teacups, saucers, fancy tables...I always have! ..I think I started drinking tea when I was Amanda's age.

This week, some more of those feelings resurfaced in the face of something she wanted me to have that was far from who I was. It's a long story, and I don't want to hurt any feelings. I know down deep my family loves me...but, somedays that's the they love ME or who they believe that I am or who they want me to be. It's a very sad feeling inside to think that the family who has known you all of your life doesn't KNOW you. My husband affirmed who he sees that I am this week and commented on how different I am from my family in many ways. It reminded me of when I was a teenager and actually wondered if I was adopted. I know I wasn't, and my eyebrows alone prove that I was born a Breit-child...but how is it that this huggy-feely child came out of that home? (And how is it that they don't know that is how I am?...huggy-feely!) Les believes that God raised me that way. He went on to explain what he meant by that in such a way that the tears rolled down my face. I was so overwhelmed with tears that I can't string together words here to explain it.

I love my parents and siblings, I do...and I tonight pray for greater understanding...

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Les isn't a 'west-coaster' anymore...

...or so he proclaimed last night when I came home! He had spent the day doing yard work. He started out fertilizing the back lawn in the morning and then headed to the Co-op Home Centre (hanging out with the farmers) to purchase a wheel barrel. He then proceeded to put together his wheel barrel and use it for as many things around the yard as he could yesterday. He says his was the only camaro in the Co-op parking lot...and that some of the farmers were watching him intently as he loaded his wheel barrel into the camaro (he-he).

Who'd a thunk it?! ...Les moved here from 'la-la-land' (as he affectionately calls it) a little over a year and a half ago and now is a card-carrying member of the CO-OP with a wheel barrel! (and it looks good on him! all things do! :)
These are the lyrics to a song that really affected me this weekend...Marilyn Jacobson did a beautiful job of performing it. It's from a Nichole Nordeman cd. Her lyrics are always so rich.

This Mystery

Say goodnight to the light of the setting sun
One more day, one more way
Of keeping track of all I've done

I run this race, keep this pace
I'm doing fine
And I won't stop until each box
Gets checked a second time

And life becomes the round and round
Revolving door that won't slow down
It won't slow down

Do You wish, do You want us to breathe again?
Say goodbye to the lines that we've coloured in
Brown and grey from day to day
Do You cry, do You hope for all things made new?
Try and try to invoke us to live in You
That we might be the hands and feet of this mystery

This routine is nice and clean from dawn to dusk
I rise and rest, I do my best
When will it ever be enough?

And life becomes the bigger noise
Drowning out Your little voice
Your little voice, Jesus

Do You wish, do You want us to breathe again?
Say goodbye to the lines that we've coloured in
Brown and grey from day to day
Do You cry, do You hope for all things made new?
Try and try to invoke us to live in You
That we might be the hands and feet of this mystery

We take stock, and we punch the clock
And we make sure all those zeros have balanced in the end

Do You wish, do You want us to breathe again?
Say goodbye to the lines that we've coloured in
Brown and grey from day to day
Do You cry, do You hope for all things made new?
Try and try to invoke us to live in You
That we might be the hands and feet of this mystery

Monday, May 17, 2004

This is Amanda and two of her closest girlie-friends! I am so thankful to God for the wonderful girlies that He has brought into Amanda's life! It is not by chance that they are in each other's lives, and I am in awe of the God who weaves together every detail. When I think about Amanda moving to Saskatoon a year and half ago, starting out in a new school, new home, new church, I am overwhelmed to see what God has done!

Brianna is one of Amanda's best buds at school. She's a year older than Amanda, but God orchestrated that they would be in the same class this year when He put her in a grade 3/4 split. The girlies have so much in common. Brianna is a bubbly girl who always has a great big smile on her face. I've had a soft spot for her ever since the first time I saw her. She has a warm heart and is full of enthusiasm! She comes from a wonderful Christian home too, and I am enjoying getting to know her parents, her two baby brothers, two dogs and a cat named KT (King Trouble)! (I'm not so sure though about the guinea pig named Evan?!) Today is Brianna's birthday and yesterday was the party. Amanda had so much fun...she came home missing her friend already:)

After Amanda's birthday back in February, I posted about Miss Aurora, Amanda's kindred spirit and bestest friend outside of school. She is such a sweet girlie and amazing hugger! The two have them have been attached to one another since they first met at Power Hour around when Amanda first moved to Saskatoon. Amanda has so much fun with Aurora that it is extremely hard to part the two of them afterward. With Miss Aurora under-the-weather lately though, we haven't had a play date recently (that needs to be rectified soon...) Play dates with Aurora doubly bless me sometimes because occasionally it means that I get to play with Aurora's mommy too!

I am so thankful for the friends that God has given my dolly, and am lifting them up to Him in prayer again today... that the fullness of His love and blessing may be on each of them! I thank the Lord too that they are each precious it is to see their love for Him:)

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Spring is in the air, and I'm enjoying the sunshine streaming through my windows as I tend to our home. I'm also starting to think about planting flowers and tomatoes. I love growing flowers, but I'm not too committed to a vegetable garden just yet, although last year, I tried my hand at growing tomatoes (Early Girl), and they grew I'll definitely try that again! I'd also like to grow some rasberries...only I'm not sure where to plant them because people keep warning me about how they spread. See that's half the problem, I'm not sure where to put a vegetable/fruit garden if I plant one...and I'm not sure if I want a conventional garden or a box garden...decisions, decisions....

The tulip bulbs that I planted last fall in my front flower bed have sprung up, but the blooms haven't quite opened's been a 'late' spring, I think, and I haven't seen much in the way of 'signs of life' in my rose bush that I planted last spring...I sure hope it comes back (it was so beautiful last year)! Also, I have only seen green popping up from one of the perenniels I planted last year...perhaps more will come. I'm starting to think about if there is a low flowering small bush that I could plant in my front bed that would return each year...I don't know much about these. What I do know about is colours and flowers that make me smile...and I've started to collect some of these (annuals) that I will plant in a week or two.

Recently, Les & I decided that we would like a hedge in our front yard, so on Friday, we visited a couple of nurseries again and finally settled on something...a Peking Cotoneaster. It has these rich shiny green leaves, berries for the birds in the fall and changes colour to an orange/red in the fall as well. What's more, it should provide some resistence to the north winds that blew such high drifts of snow into our yard and driveway this past winter.

If you have any suggestions, let me know:)

Saturday, May 15, 2004

Donna has a wonderful post on her site today about being 'fully received' by God...

I wish I could have the full wisdom, grace and bredth of love of God to pass on to others on days like today. I haven't been writing about it, and I won't ever share the details on here, but someone very dear to me is going through a separation. This person called this morning needing a friend, someone to listen and encourage them and to remind them of God's love. I did that the best I could, but never feel that it's enough. I mean, really, what do you say?! There seem to be no 'right' words in this situation. Many tell this person that 'God hates divorce.' ...and He does, but he also hates lies and deception and abuse... What do you say to someone who seems to have tried everything lots of times and who feels so hopeless and doesn't feel like they can go through that again? I say I love them no matter what. I listen and I pray, and I don't really know what to pray, so I ask God what to pray...I ask Him to pour His love on this person and their spouse...I ask for His wisdom for them...for a full understanding of grace...and even for a miracle if that is His will. What do you do? I think and pray about this, I see Jesus in so many situations...I see Him with the woman at the well...I see Him not judging or turning her away, but knowing her and receiving her and loving her where she is....I see Jesus with the woman caught in the act and I see Him not condemn her...I see Him with so many people who were cast away and branded as sinners, and in each case I see Him love them...especially in the broken places.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

I'm feeling YOUNG tonight:) Les, Amanda & I did a Costco run, and as is customary, that meant hotdogs at Costco for supper before we began our shopping (yeahhhh...a break from making supper & doing dishes!) As we were leaving our table when we finished, this friendly woman at the next table called out to me, "Sherri, isn't it?" "Yes," I smiled...trying to figure out who I was speaking to. She went on to explain that we had gone to University together...her name was Lisa...she was a marketing major (me, accounting). It was nice to see her, even if I didn't know her that well (she was in a different year and major than me). Anyway, now she's married to a friendly fella and has two adorable little girls (one is a newborn)! They mentioned that Costco was their BIG family outing (only half joking)...and I can relate! As we walked away to begin our shopping, Les said to me, "See there, you still look the same as when you were in're very youthful!" Thank you, dear! :) (For the record, I don't look just the, for one are different...and depending what year you saw me in University, I was likely heavier than today...but I guess, I'm still recognizable, and I'll take that:)

Well, our girlie is making some progress on the bike. Two nights ago, Les got tough...and I suppose, that is what she needed. He's doing such an amazing job with her...I just sort of back off when the tears flow, but Les can tell which tears for for effect and which ones are for real. It was a tough night, but by the end of it, she could ride her bike on her own for a distance of about two houses. Now we have to work on see, she could ride further, except for the fact that she starts to curve one way after about a house or two and has to stop to avoid hitting something. Last night she practiced again and she can now ride for about 3 houses...and the best part is that she's really starting to enjoy herself! I'm so proud of her! Just two things left to learn...steering...and pushing yourself off when you start out...we'll work on that tonight.

Speaking of Amanda...this is the second morning in a row that I've had one of her songs playing in my head. Amanda is a big Hillary Duff fan (Lizzie McGuire) and has her cd. Yesterday morning as we were getting ready for school she was singing Hillary's song, 'The Math', and now I can't get it out of my head. The chorus goes:

If you can't do the math
Then get out of the equation
I am calling you back
This is * 69

Is it a minus or a plus
Does enough equal enough
If you can't do the math
Then nothing adds up
Tell me why I'm here

It is just priceless to hear Amanda croon out those words!

Sunday, May 09, 2004

Well, it's my second ever Mother's Day being a Mom...(tears). Amanda actually calls it 'Mommie's Day', in honour of her favourite word for me...I like that:) ...and here I am all alone...Les is off at work and Amanda had a birthday party and sleepover last night - which meant I could sleep-in, myself, this morning, which is a treat! I'll pick her up in a few hours, and Les says that he and she will be making supper tonight...another treat! I've got a bit of preparation to do for work tomorrow and then I think I'll take a little cruize on my bike, have a shower and head over to pick up my daughter.

Last night before we went to sleep, Les gave me his gift and this wonderful card for Mother's Day...."To my beautiful wife...." I'd like to quote one of the verses from the card:

"Into a precious vessel
God pours tenderness and love,
an understanding heart,
and all the joy a child dreams of...
He gives her His compassion and
a kindness like no other,
then wraps her in His quiet strength
and gently calls her Mother."

Thank you, Les, for making me a mother...and thank you, God, for having the idea in the first place and ultimately creating it all! Thank you for your grace and mercy which I need everyday.
Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there! This picture reminds me of my own Mom for some reason...

Hope you all have a ROYAL day!
A Bicycle Built for Me...

Can you believe it...I got a Bicycle yesterday?!! I haven't had a bike since I was a I was a little worried whether I could still ride one...3 cruizes later, nothing to worry about:) I was the only one in our family without a bike, so Les kept encouraging me to get one. I told him that I planned to win the Retro-Schwinn at Timmer's in the Roll up the Rim contest. Alas...the contest is over, and I did not win:( In the meantime, Les found the same bike at Canadian Tire...and better yet...the LADIES version! And if things could get any better, we got an amazing deal (more than $100 off)! It's actually pretty amazing that we got the deal as we missed out on the sale...God is so good! So we used some of my income tax refund...and voila...I now have my very own Ladies Schwinn Classic Cruiser!

It is a beautiful bike! Biking the way I like it...comfortable and not hunched over. I'm not going to be winning any races, I'm sure, but I'm looking forward to cruizin' a bit this summer. I had a really hard time spending the money...not that it was too much...nor that it couldn't be afforded...but it's very hard for me to spend on something that big for myself, especially when in my mind a bike was more a want than a need. In Les' mind, it was a need...he and Amanda both have bikes, so I needed a bike. I like his mind:) I think I'm going cruizin' again this morning:)

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Whew! I just finished reading Pastor Dean's message from this weekend. Because Les & I were away, we missed it. But so many people have been saying good things about it, I had to go and read it, and it was GOOD! He was talking about marriage, and he started out by using Deut. 6 to explain that God's main plan to pass on His love, hope and grace to the world is through families. The thing that Dean said that really spoke to my heart the most though was this:

"Now folks, I want to be the 1st to tell you that, if you're married, the very best way you can help shine God's light on this earth, . . . is to have a strong marriage . . . the way to honor God the very most with your life, and the way you can get the most work done for God is this . . . by simply giving yourself fully to strengthening and developing your marriage over a lifetime because if your married . . . strengthening your marriage and family is what God has called you to do you don't even need to spend time looking for something else to do for God . . . until your marriage is strong and your family is growing spiritually . . . that's the work God has called you to do, and it is a huge responsibility and high calling . . . it is the centre piece for his strategy of saving the world!!

Got that - your marriage is not something that can take a back seat to anything - it must always be of the highest priority . . . because working on your marriage is working on something for God . . . and that is a really big deal . . . "

Dean's words were very affirming to me! You see, since I've been married I haven't been able to be involved in 'formal ministry' at the Church as much as I used to. There were times before when I would be at the Church or doing something for the Church almost every evening, but that is not possible now with a husband and daughter. Sometimes I feel inadequate because I can't do all the things I've done before, but I know that God has called me to make my husband a priority and our family. I know without a doubt that God created me to be Les' wife, and so the primary ministry God has called me to is Les and our children, and it is so encouraging to hear that affirmed by my Pastor:)

You can read/listen to the whole message here.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Reflection for the Day - from Henri Nouwen

God's Generosity
God is a god of abundance, not a god of scarcity. Jesus reveals to us God's abundance when he offers so much bread to the people that there are twelve large baskets with leftover scraps (see John 6:5-15), and when he makes his disciples catch so many fish that their boat nearly sinks (Luke 5:1-7). God doesn't give us just enough. God gives us more than enough: more bread and fish than we can eat, more love than we dared to ask for.

God is a generous giver, but we can only see and enjoy God's generosity when we love God with all of our hearts, minds, and strength. As long as we say, "I will love you, God, but first show me your generosity," we will remain distant from God and unable to experience what God truly wants to give us, which is life and life in abundance.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004


Les and I brought back a momento of our weekend together. It's a suncatcher embellished with fruit and a checkerboard edging...encircled with these words:

always protects
always trusts
always hopes
always persevers
never fails

Simple but profound words from 1 Corinthians, and a wonderful reminder of what God has given us! It's hanging in front of the window in our dining area. As the light shines through it, it comes to life, the colours are rich and full. Once it is dark out though, it doesn't shine the same, but the same truth is told by it, and its beauty can still be seen when we take the time to look. What a fitting metaphor for our lives and our love. When we each let God's love shine through us, it sparkles, but even when we're having a difficult day, the truth is still there to be seen when you look for it...and it'll still shine, if you let it:)

This momento is a precious reminder of the amazing, loving man God has given me who I love even more than I ever thought I could love (and the romantic weekend we just had).... and also a precious reminder of our glorious God who is LOVE and teaches us how to love!

Monday, May 03, 2004

Last night Les & I got back from our romantic get-a-way to Edmonton. It was the first time that the two of us ever went anywhere together! (Amanda had a mini get-a-way of her own at Grandma's this weekend.) Thanks to some Aeroplan points, Les & I stayed at a Best Western Inn near West Ed Mall for three nights in a jacuzzi suite! It was awesome!! I had never soaked in a jacuzzi before... I felt like a princess! 3 whole days and 3 whole nights where I didn't cook or clean or do! The best part was just being with Les!! :) Les was totally won over by the hotel before we even checked in because there turned out to be a Porsche dealership across the street. Every night we'd look in to tuck the Porsche's in for the night. Les now even has his own personal sales contact...and I made sure that we both got a chance to sit inside this gorgeous red 98 Boxster convertible. We did a bit of shopping too...IKEA, of couse, was a highlight along with Edmonton's Long & McQuade...saw some beautiful accoustics (it's interesting, you would think the Gibson Hummingbird or Dove, which are higher priced than the Songbird, would sound better than it, but they don't) to hear the differences between a Martin, Taylor, Ovation and Gibson... We also shopped at some outlet malls and, of course, hit the big mall - West Ed. West Ed wasn't as much of an attraction as the others. We had several yummy meals out...we found Edmonton's White Spot, which was just as good as B.C.'s...we had a wonderful meal at the Olive Garden one night too! One evening we went to the IMAX and saw the NASCAR experience (in 3D even!)...pretty neat! We had a nice drive there and back, great weather, great tunes and even got to see my sister for a bit on our way through Lloydminister on the way home. It was a great time away, and hard for me to come back...I just wanted it to last... But it is good to be home too...our home is warm and filled with much love and many memories already...anywhere that I am with Les is where I want to be! AND our Amanda just got home from school a bit ago, so I've been hugging on her lots... Les is already off to work this afternoon, and I'm back at it tomorrow, but it sure was wonderful to press pause on that for just a few days! :)