Wednesday, March 31, 2004

God's Will:

The will of God will never take you,
Where the grace of God cannot keep you.
Where the arms of God cannot support you,
Where the riches of God cannot supply your needs,
Where the power of God cannot endow you.

The will of God will never take you,
Where the spirit of God cannot work through you,
Where the wisdom of God cannot teach you,
Where the army of God cannot protect you,
Where the hands of God cannot mold you.

The will of God will never take you,
Where the love of God cannot enfold you,
Where the mercies of God cannot sustain you,
Where the peace of God cannot calm your fears,
Where the authority of God cannot overrule for you.

The will of God will never take you,
Where the comfort of God cannot dry your tears,
Where the Word of God cannot feed you,
Where the miracles of God cannot be done for you,
Where the omnipresence of God cannot find you.

--Author Unknown

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Jackie has a wonderful post on her blog today about a Brennan Manning book she's reading called..."The Relentless Tenderness of Jesus". It sounds amazing...I might have to go and get it, I was so encouraged by her quotes from it. Here's one:

"God's love is based on nothing, and the fact that it is based on nothing makes us secure. Were it based on anything we do, and that 'anything' were to collapse, then God's love would crumble as well. But with the God of Jesus no such thing can possibly happen. People who realize this can live freely and to the full...We don't have to earn this love; neither do we have to support it. It is a free gift."

Last night, Les and I spent the evening with Elizabeth & Neil Nickel. What an amazing couple they are! I always come away from time with them encouraged and filled up with love:) I'm still needing extra encouragement these is stressful, but no matter what, God is ALWAYS good.

Monday, March 29, 2004

Today's a tough day... in honour of that, I'm going to share a two pieces of inspiration that I have on post-it-notes (where only I can see them) in my office.

The first is some wisdom that I got from Donna Nakrayko's blog months helped me alot the day I first read it, and it's big for me again today...good advice for us all...

"Remember to put the shield of the Lord around me daily thus not letting the arrows pointed at me pierce my heart but to reflect off because of the Lord's love about me."

The second is from an unknown source:

"When you relinquish the desire to control your future, you obtain happiness."

Also, I was reminded in my devotion last night of this quote from Amy Carmichael:

"A crucified life cannot be self-assertive. It cannot protect itself. It cannot be startled into resentful words. The cup that is full of sweet water cannot spill bitter-tasting drops, however sharply it is knocked."

Saturday, March 27, 2004

My handsome husband made me breakfast this morning (a date last night AND breakfast this morning!!) was wonderful! ...french toast and berries...mmmm! ...and all of this with a sore back (pray for his back if you think of him). What a wonderful man I am married to! :)

Les & I saw Starsky & Hutch last night and it was great! ...just like I remembered it. It was a very good parody of the show...very funny...and the best part was at the end, when the REAL Starsky & Hutch (Paul Michael Glaser & David Soul) delivered a new Ford Grand Turino to the parody was the best! It was wonderful to look over at Les throughout the movie and see that little boy smile on his face:)
(hard to believe that Glaser is over 60 now?!)

Thursday, March 25, 2004

I'm having one of THOSE days. I had my annual performance review today. I should be doing a jig I guess, it says he is "very happy with all aspects of my performance," and I got a raise! ...but I also got a load for my 'to do' list and 'objectives' for the coming year that today seem a bit daunting. Why is it that I can have a really good review and walk away from it feeling bad?! That just doesn't seem right. I guess it's because my mind keeps replaying the points we discussed. Why is it that the focus of these meetings always seems to be on small critical points or things you are still working on rather than the big picture and all the the things you've accomplished?! As I look back over the written evaluation now, I'm hard pressed to find much criticism at all, yet despite all the praise, I'm feeling a little criticized right now....maybe it's just my personality (big 'feeler' here!)... Ok, repeat after me...'everything does NOT have to be perfect'!...(sigh)

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

There was no try in this guy...

This morning I've been thinking about several things that I saw in the men's short program last night. The first is, of course, the disappointing skate of Emmanuel Sandu from Canada. I really thought that he finally had it together...was training hard and had the drive, but just a few seconds into his program, my hopes for him, on this night, fell apart...

The second thing I've been thinking about is what I saw in several of the other top skaters...Plushenko, Joubert, Lindemann (surprise from Germany)... I saw fight! Plushenko's quad was not perfect in the air...neither was his axle, but he fought for the landings...there was no way he was going to fall! I saw that in Joubert and Lindemann of the jumps, in particular, was leaning so bad in the air that I have no idea how he landed it?! It seemed a pure act of will that there was no way that he was NOT going to land it.

In talking about Sandu, the CBC commentator said, "maybe what we all want for Emanuel he doesn't want for himself." Maybe? I mean, he has the goods...he has the talent, skill, athleticism and artistry to win the World win the Olympics. He proved three months ago at the Grand Prix Final that he can beat Plushenko, the reigning World Champ, but when his performance really mattered, last night, he seemed to not try. I don't think I'm being too hard on him...I don't think that he just couldn't have salvaged his jumps...I watched him approach the take offs...and he didn't appear to try. Is he afraid of what he is capable of?...and so it's easier to throw it away rather than really try and see?...

Are we the same sometimes? I don't know...all I know is that I didn't see a skater out there who believed in what was great within him. He seemed scared to find out that he wasn't great, so he didn't try...

Day to day we each see flashes of greatness in our lives. Things can be going along so well, and then suddenly we let go...scared that maybe we're not doing as well as we are. We let a passing comment or a minor occurance shake our confidence and we can start to feel bad about how we're doing. The question at this point is, "what are we going to do about it?" Are we going to give up and stop trying so what we fear isn't proven OR are we going to fight?!

Back in University, I remember once or twice being given a mark that I felt was lower than what I deserved. I remember on one occasion talking to my Prof about it, and he seemed to feel that I hadn't as fully demonstrated mastery of the material as he wanted. I remember accepting his comments, but walking away and thinking in my mind, "I'll show you!" ...and I did! ...kind of like Plushenko and Joubert and Lindemann last night...there was nothing that was going to stop them from landing those jumps...they wanted it that bad! (...and there was nothing that was going to stop me from demonstrating what I knew to that Prof at that time either!)

That's the way I feel about my family. Being a wife and mom has a steep learning curve to it, and I can be sailing along doing my best for a long time, and then the enemy can taunt me with thoughts that it just isn't good enough. The question is, "what am I going to do in those moments?" I can either quit trying so what I fear cannot be proven OR I can fight! ...and I love my dear husband and darling daughter too much not to fight! Being Les' wife is God's will for me (since before I was born), and being Amanda's mom was ordained by God long before I even had wind of it....
so there is no way that I will not 'land my jumps' even if sometimes they are leaning
in the air!

"So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised."
(Eph 10:35-36)

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
(Isa 41:10)

Twilight Zones of Our Heart

"There is a twilight zone in our own hearts that we ourselves cannot see. Even when we know quite a lot about ourselves - our gifts and weaknesses, our ambitions and aspirations, our motives and drives - large parts of ourselves remain in the shadow of consciousness.

This is a very good thing. We always will remain partially hidden to ourselves. Other people, especially those who love us, can often see our twilight zones better than we ourselves can. The way we are seen and understood by others is different from the way we see and understand ourselves. We will never fully know the significance of our presence in the lives of our friends. That's a grace, a grace that calls us not only to humility but also to a deep trust in those who love us. It is in the twilight zones of our hearts where true friendships are born."

[Henri Nouwen...see link on the right]

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

This and this is why the judging system in skating has got to change! I haven't watched the tape yet, but I'll see for myself tonight...(sigh)

24’’ front suspension girls’ bike for 10 to 15-year-olds
Carbolite girls’ specific frame: safe, easy mounting and dismounting
Specific components and accessories will please girls’ tastes
15 speed micro-shift: SHIMANO quality derailleur

This is Amanda's new bike. She just turned 9 but is very tall, so already needs a 24" frame. We've been looking at this particular bike since December when her great uncle sent some money towards it's purchase for Christmas. We thought we'd hold off until spring for two get Amanda more used to and excited about the idea of a bike....and to see if it went on sale. On the weekend, as I was doing my shopping, I couldn't believe my eyes, not only was the bike on sale ($80 off), but it was exactly the amount of money we had set aside for it! God is good! Now...if only we can support Amanda's interest and success with it! You see, last year Amanda was against ever riding a bike. When she was very little she had a small bike and had a spill off of it at grandma's once and never tried again. So, in essence, we have to teach her (at 9) from scratch how to ride a bike, and I doubt that we can get training wheels to fit a 24" frame?! I'm praying that it will come very naturally to her and that she will have instant success to keep up her interest and bravery in trying. If any of you have any suggestions on teaching her or making this a positive experience to her, please let me know.

When Amanda wasn't interested in learning to ride a bike, I kept encouraging her about it because I didn't want her to miss out on it...the fun, the I was concerned that she might get left behind by friends or her class if she didn't ride too. I don't want to change who she is. It's ok with me if she never rides a bike, but as her parent, I feel like it's a lifeskill and I need to at least try to encourage her with it

For her birthday last month, her nana and pappa gave her a bike backpack with accessories including knee pads and elbow pads (princess theme), and her Uncle Brian gave her a Barbie gel bike seat. Hopefully these things will make her experience more comfortable and fun!

Monday, March 22, 2004

They start today! ...the World Figure Skating Championships in Dortmund, Germany. Here's a link to CBC's coverage, and here's a link to a profile of our Canadian team.

Sunday, March 21, 2004

Today, I got a card from my daughter, for no apparent reason... :) As we were leaving to go grocery shopping, I found it on my purse. It said:

"Mom, I think you are ...I love you!"

Talk about making my day?!! Amanda is such a wonderful daughter:) I was especially touched as she used some of her 'Lizzie' stickers on my card! Lizzie is a big deal, and those stickers are used most judiciously!

Lizzie is, of course, Lizzie McGuire from the Disney series and the recent movie by that same name. Amanda loves Lizzie...she isn't obsessed but she really enjoys the show, and she looks up to Hillary Duff, the actress who plays Lizzie. I don't mind. I remember feeling that way about certain shows/actresses/singers when I was Amanda's age. I especially remember looking up to Valerie Bertinelli from One Day at a Time. I probably was worse than Amanda though...I wanted to BE Valerie Bertinelli. Amanda is content to think Hillary/Lizzie is cool. She enjoys the things they have in common but doesn't try to be her because she thinks being herself is more cool than trying to be someone else...(my child's a genius!)

As far as a role model, I think Lizzie is pretty one's perfect, but I do see a number of good values/lessons portrayed. Lizzie is a regular girl...she has an annoying brother and a couple of true blue friends. She's not one of the 'popular' girls, and she won't sell out her friends to be one. She's a little clutsy, but generally tries her best. Her parents love her and are actively involved in her life, even when it's not always cool...and deep down Lizzie loves that. I give cudo's to Disney when they made The Lizzie McGuire Movie for not changing her on her trip to Rome...and when she steps out of line...there are consequences from her parents in the end.

Hillary Duff, the actress who plays Lizzie, has now released her first solo cd...which Amanda got for Christmas, so we've listened to it alot... True some of the songs are pretty simple, but I'm refreshed to not find anything questionable in the lyrics. The most controversial lyrics on the cd are: "If you can't do the math, then get out of the equation..." (It makes me giggle to hear Amanda sing that!) Zellers has also recently issued a line of clothing by Hillary (Stuff by Duff)'s cool to see that she tells girls they don't have to show alot of skin to be stylin'...

I think it's important to know who our kids admire and what they are watching and listening may not always be my taste, but I think it's important not to ridicule their interests and to use both the positives and negatives as places to begin discussion. Amanda's only 9 now, but I hope that this discussion continues well into her teen years...and I hope she still thinks her mom is "cool" enough to talk about things with:)

Saturday, March 20, 2004

Early this afternoon as I was putting something away in the fridge, I noticed that Amanda hadn't had anything to drink yet today, and so I pointed this out to my husband. Les was puzzled as to how I could know this and called for Amanda who, in turn, confirmed that she had 'forgotten' to drink anything so far we asked her to have something to drink. Afterward, Les looked at me and said, 'you're a good mom!' I think that both he and Amanda are often puzzled as to how I know things...sometimes I think Amanda might wish that I didn't know when she was holding something back...but somehow I do...and it doesn't seem to be much of a mystery to me. I don't think that knowing that my daughter needed to drink something today makes me a good mom, but none-the-less, I do desire to be one.

I had a much different role-model in my own mother. She was not a huggy-feel-y kind of a person (and who says a mom should be?!...but I am very much wired the huggy-feel-y way..) My mom was a strict woman who had worked very hard all of her life. Control was important to her and so was our obedience to that. When I think of my mom, two pieces of advice run through my head, perhaps because of the countless times she said them to me:
- "If life is so bad, go outside and dig a hole, jump in, and throw dirt over yourself!" AND
- "It's a poor BEEP (think donkey) who can't press his own pants."

As I've mentioned before, one thing I did learn from my mother was to always work hard.... Oh, but she has softened through the years. The same mom who told me as a little girl that "only babies needed hugs", and who often pushed my arms down when I went to hug her when I came home to visit, now anxiously waits for her hug at the end of our time together...and, I've even seen her offer hugs to others without prompting:) (God is good!)

What's even more miraculous to me though, is to see my mom with my see how her eyes light up at what Amanda has to say (I remember being told that children were to be seen and not heard). And then there are the treats... As a child there were no chocolate bars or chips in our home, yet you would not believe the treats that Mom is always dropping off "for Amanda's lunch"... Also, almost everytime Mom sees Amanda, she has something for her...

This evening, we saw Mom after Church, and it was no exception....tonight she had a bag for Amanda...inside, were click-its and 4 Lizzie McGuire books (4!!) I'm touched by her generosity but also worry whether she can afford that. I sometimes wonder..."where was this woman when I was little?!" But I guess that's one of the privileges of being a can spoil a child as much as you want.....and it is precious to me that my mom (and dad and brother...the whole family...) would want to spoil my daughter:)

A while back, my dear friend and mom-coach, Arilee, shared an analogy with me that sums it up well . Grandparents shine God's love...or at least some people's vision of God's love...they are gentle older people who always smile at you and give you everything you want. But a parent's love is different...a parent's love is more like Jesus' love.. Jesus came to show us how to live, and that's what each of us as parents have been called to do with our children...and that means you can't always say yes and give them everything they want. As I look back over Jesus' time with the disciples, sometimes He taught them and sometimes He rebuked them, sometimes He went out with them and sometimes He sent them out on their own...

What a tall task it is to be a parent in light of Jesus' example... AND...what a privilege! :)

Friday, March 19, 2004

Looking For You

I've learned alot of lessons in life from looking and waiting (maybe I'll share some on another day..) I always tell Les that I waited for 30 years for him...and he tells me that I wasn't waiting when I was in the crib...and I say, oh yes I was:) I think as surely as God puts eternity in our hearts...He puts the desires in my heart:)

"Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to Him, trust Him in this, and He will make your righteousness shine as the dawn, the justice of your cause as the noonday sun." Ps37

I've waited so long now
I've wanted forever to hold you
Now you're in my arms
And I'll never let you go

Whatever you do, y'know
I'll be standing here beside you baby
Just like a bird that's find it's way back home
I've finally found a place where I belong

I've been looking for you since I took my first breath
And I'll be loving you baby til I take my last
I'd like to know
What would I do without you in my life
From the moment I saw you I knew
I was looking for you

Can I wake up now
Can I believe what I'm feeling
And I'll be sure I wasn't dreaming it all

Baby it's true, you do
Something supernatural to me
Each night I pray to God that you'll be blessed
I need you so much baby I confess

I've been looking for you since I took my first breath
And I'll be loving you baby til I take my last
I'd like to know
What would I do without you in my life
All along I was waiting for you
From the moment I saw you I knew
It had to be you

So sure yours
Together ever after
Now the dream came true
And maybe when you least expect it love will come to you

I'd like to know what would I do without you in my life
All along I was waiting for you
From the moment I saw you I knew
It had to be you

[lyrics by Amy Grant]

Thursday, March 18, 2004

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Amanda wants to be a teacher! ...and she'll be a good teacher too!! She's practicing already...most days after school, she gets her beanie bopper dolls out and 'class is in session'. She has the blackboard, the books, the pencils... Currently she's teaching kindergarden...not bad for a grade 3'er! :)

It makes me smile to see Amanda play that way. It reminds me of when I was a little girl and I would play school. I used to take a brown paper bag (they used to pack groceries in them, you know?!) and use it as my chalk board... You see, I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up too! Well, actually, I wanted to be a wife, a mother ... and a teacher. I would pretend all of these things with my Barbie, and thankfully I can look back now and see that two of these dreams came true:)

A teacher...hmmm...what did I want to teach?...for the longest time it was elementary school...then for a while it was music and high school I decided I wanted to major in English and minor in Social Studies. I always wanted to be a teacher, except for in grade 6, when I decided I wanted to be a child psycologist...because no child would be as mis-understood as me!?! (I can chuckle about that now;)

So if I wanted to be a teacher so bad, why am I not a teacher right now? Well, practicality set in. Family matters for me were such that I needed to be able to take care of myself, and at the time, there were no jobs locally for graduating teachers. When I realized this, I decided not to go to University...I thought that maybe I would go to business college, learn some skills and get to work...only, my guidance councillar got wind of this...and, well, convinced me that would be a waste. My guidance councillar actually had a background in Economics and that sounded interesting to me, so off I headed to University and the College of Commerce. I loved Economics very much...and even thought I would like to teach
it at the University level...but then more practical considerations set in (were there jobs in this career path?) ...and, I ended up majoring in accounting.

Yes, accounting. I'm an accountant, a chartered accountant. Most people who get to know me are surprised by what I do for a living...even I am often surprised by it?! Do you know the really odd part...I'm good at what I do?! (The grace of God is amazing!) One thing that my mother always instilled in me as I was growing up was the need for hard work...and I've learned that if you work hard at anything, you usually will succeed. But I tell you, somedays it is really hard to work hard at something that you don't love. Oh sure, there are parts of what I do that I have loved along the way... When I was working in public practice, I really liked training and mentoring my staff. I also taught professional development courses, and I loved that! Now working in industry, I do like working with my staff, and I like it when I do finally get through in terms of helping someone to see things in a new light... I like that people often say that I am not your typical accountant...that's a true compliment, and I like being able to encourage and help others around me to grow... It may not be what I'm paid for, but it is the light in my work week.

Before I was married, I used to have time to lead small groups, coach leaders and teach classes outside of work (at church), and that used to help balance my fulfillment level. But as you can imagine, I cannot fit all of these things in now that I'm a wife and a mom. And that's ok because being a wife and a mom were my BIG dreams anyway! ...and through them, I get a chance to nurture people, and even to teach a bit too. If anything, I'd like more time to devote to these roles. These days, it can be really hard to go work as an accountant by day, when my heart is all about what I do after work. I know I need to be grateful for the job God's given me and for the flexibility to be able to take my daughter to school and pick her up on the days I need to. heart is at home most days, and that can be a struggle. I'm so grateful for my handsome husband and darling daughter who make that struggle worthwhile. I LOVE being Les' wife and Amanda's mom. And so, I cherish their dreams...

And... when Amanda grows up, she wants to be a teacher....AND.....she WILL be one - too!

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Happy St. Patty's Day!

In honour of St. Patty's Day, we are having my in-laws over for dinner, and for dessert I am making (at Les' request) traditional (at least in our house) green parfaits!

In honour of the day, I thought I'd share some of my favourite Irish blessings:

May you always have
Walls for the winds,
A roof for the rain,
Tea beside the fire,
Laughter to cheer you,
Those you love near you,
And all your heart might desire!
May your neighbors respect you,
Troubles neglect you,
The angels protect you,
And Heaven accept you.
May you have:
A world of wishes at your command
God and his angels close at hand
Friends and family their love impart,
And Irish blessings in you heart.
May the road rise to meet you, May the wind be always at your back, May the sun shine warm upon your face, The rains fall soft upon your fields and, Until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

There is a Carolyn Arends song that has a very celtic feel to it, and the words are much like an Irish blessing. I've been singing it in my mind all are the words: (if you want to take a listen to on my link to her...she has a sound bite on her site:)

Go With God

Farther than lands you have ever imagined
Deeper than even the oceans of blue
An open horizon is waiting like morning
Waking the dreamer who's living in you

So now go with the wind at your back
And the sun on your face
With a song in your heart
And the promise of grace
Go in peace and in truth
And let love lead your way
Go with God
Go with God

Stronger than will in the soul of a fighter
Higher than hope in the heart of a child
There is a longing, a yearning inside us
That's reaching for heaven and won't be denied

If you go with the wind at your back
And the sun on your face
With a song in your heart
And the promise of grace
Go in peace and in truth
And let love lead your way
Go with God
Go with God
Kiss Me, I'm Irish!

...I am, you know?! marriage. On my Father's side of the family, we are Austrian. On my Mother's side, we are English and Scottish. On Les' Father's side, we are Irish, and on Les' Mother's side we are Russian. What a rich heritage we have! Here is our family crest:

The name Brophy in Ireland is derived from the native Gaelic O'Broithe Sept that was located in the Province of Leinster and in Counties Carlow and Kilkenny especially. It is in these Counties that the majority of descendants bearing the name can today still be found.

Les and I both have an affinity for Ireland and hope to someday visit there. When Les first came to Saskatoon, it was summer and very green, and he dubbed it 'little Ireland'! When you drive along the Circle Drive Bridge eastbound, the river banks in the summer do look Irish. From his first trip to Saskatoon on, Les always said that being in Saskatoon felt like coming home:)
The Prayer of St. Patrick


I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through a belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
Of the Creator of creation.

I arise today
Through the strength of Christ's birth and His baptism,
Through the strength of His crucifixion and His burial,
Through the strength of His resurrection and His ascension,
Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.
I arise today
Through the strength of the love of cherubim,
In obedience of angels,
In service of archangels,
In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In the prayers of patriarchs,
In preachings of the apostles,
In faiths of confessors,
In innocence of virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.

I arise today
Through the strength of heaven;
Light of the sun,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of the wind,
Depth of the sea,
Stability of the earth,
Firmness of the rock.
I arise today
Through God's strength to pilot me;
God's might to uphold me,
God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye to look before me,
God's ear to hear me,
God's word to speak for me,
God's hand to guard me,
God's way to lie before me,
God's shield to protect me,
God's hosts to save me
From snares of the devil,
From temptations of vices,
From every one who desires me ill,
Afar and anear,
Alone or in a multitude.

I summon today all these powers between me and evil,
Against every cruel merciless power that opposes my body and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom,
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of women and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man's body and soul.
Christ shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that reward may come to me in abundance.
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me,
Christ in the eye that sees me,
Christ in the ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through a belief in the Threeness,
Through a confession of the Oneness
Of the Creator of creation.

St. Patrick (ca. 377)

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Things I'm Looking Forward To:

1. March with my husband to see Starsky & Hutch (and have dinner too, right?)
2. April 29th - May 2nd...tentative dates for romantic getaway...this will be the first time that we've ever gotten away together in the year and half we've been married (I guess a sort of honeymoon?!)
3. June 16th...Les' classes are done..celebratory lunch at Tony Romas...weekend following will be date weekend!!
4. October 24th...Carolyn Arends concert!

I love to nurture my husband and daughter! I love to do things to take care of them like making dinner each day! I love that our family sits down at the table together for supper almost every night (unless Les is working)! I wouldn't have it any other way. But every once in a while, I guess I'm learning, that I need a break, and as long as I'm in my home environment, I don't take one. I just naturally want to do the things I do to care for my loved ones (cooking, laundry, cleaning, reading, making lunches, helping, spending time at their sides....). I don't like that sometimes doing these very things that I love wears me down, but it does (especially on top of my job). At those times, I need things to look forward to...some of which I've listed above.

My oh-so-debonair and absolutely-wonderful husband noticed what I needed this weekend, and made room in his schedule for us to go away at the end of April! I didn't realize until it started to come together just how much I needed it, but the only way that I will set aside my doing is if we go away (and I used to think I was more Mary than Martha?!! ...I still am, I know I still am, and this getaway will restore that balance:)

Here are the words to a song I've been singing since I was making supper on Sunday (it's a song that I often sing while I'm busy in the kitchen)....the words are a little bit intimate, but really capture what I feel about nurturing my family...and especially about loving my husband and making him happy:)

- Amy Grant

I want to look behind your eyes
And gently brush the hair back from your face
'Cause, baby, I just realized
Seeing you there in that light
It's better to be kind than right
And I'm about to bridge this kiss between us

'Cause, baby, I'm ready to dig in
Ready for more than skin on skin
This is where love begins
So I say
I'm gonna tell you you're my man
'Cause it makes you happy
I wanna rush to hold your hand
You know it makes me happy
I'm gonna love you best I can
'Cause I know it makes you happy

I know I've made some big mistakes
I've learned the hardest lessons that way
So adios to foolish pride
I've got nothin' left to hide
I stand here open wide
And ev'rything inside of me is sayin'...

Baby, I'm ready to dig in
Ready for more than skin on skin
This is where love begins
So I say
I'm gonna tell you you're my man
'Cause it makes you happy
I wanna rush to hold your hand
It makes me feel happy
I'm gonna love you best I can
'Cause I know it makes you happy

And I wanna see you happy
I want us to be happy

I wanna hear you laugh
And I love your smile
'Cause that's what makes me happy
And I want us to be happy

I wanna rush to hold your hand
I'm gonna love you best I can
'Cause I know it makes you happy

Monday, March 15, 2004

Words from the Wisest Woman I Never Knew (Mrs. Meads)

Whenever I would become overwhelmed by things in my life, Sylvia (my dear friend and sister-in-heart...who is also Elizabeth's sister!) would remind me of these words from her mother:

"She who does the best her circumstances allow...does well, acts nobly, angels could do no more!"

I guess I needed to hear those words again today:)
Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice (by Jane Austin) is my favourite work of fiction! I love the language and the character development! On some levels I feel like I AM Elizabeth Bennet. A few year's ago a BBC production of Pride and Prejudice was done. My stage-managing and very creative friend, Marsha, first introduced me to the video, which was just so well done. I also attended a local production of the play a couple of years ago...(Saskatoon's own Garnet Colbourne played the very sensible and at times tormented-in-marriage, Mr. Bennet).

A few weeks ago, my husband, Les, showed some interest in seeing Pride and Prejudice since I love it so much, and last night we watched the last part! What a good husband to want to watch this with me!! I'm kind of sad it's over though as I've been liking our cuddle-up time as we've watched it, and also...Les' imitation of dialogue from it has been priceless these last few weeks?!

Here are a few of my favourite P&P quotes:

- "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife." (ch1)
- "He looked for a moment at Elizabeth, till catching her eye, he withdrew his own and coldly said: "She is tolerable, I suppose, but not handsome enough to tempt me!" (Mr. Darcy - ch3)
-"My mind was more agreeably engaged. I have been meditating on the very great pleasure which a pair of fine eyes in the face of a pretty woman can bestow." (Mr. Darcy - ch6)
- "Elizabeth, having rather expected to affront him, was amazed at his gallantry; but there was a mixture of sweetness and archness in her manner which made it difficult for her to affront anybody; and Darcy had never been so bewitched by any woman as he was by her. He really believed, that were it not for the inferiority of her connections, he should be in some danger." (ch10)
- "I do assure you, sir, that I have no pretensions whatever to that kind of elegance which consists in tormenting a respectable man. I would rather be paid the compliment of being believed sincere. I thank you again and again for the honour you have done me in your proposals, but to accept them is absolutely impossible. My feelings in every respect forbid it. Can I speak plainer? Do not consider me now as an elegant female, intending to plague you, but as a rational creature, speaking the truth from her heart." (Elizabeth in refusing Mr. Collins - ch19)
- "An unhappy alternative is before you, Elizabeth. From this day you must be a stranger to one of your parents. Your mother will never see you again if you do not marry Mr. Collins, and I will never see you again if you do." (Mr. Bennet - ch20)
- "She was suddenly roused by the sound of the door-bell, and her spirits were a little fluttered by the idea of its being Colonel Fitzwilliam himself, who had once before called late in the evening, and might now come to inquire particularly after her. But this idea was soon banished, and her spirits were very differently affected, when, to her utter amazement, she saw Mr. Darcy walk into the room. In an hurried manner he immediately began an inquiry after her health, imputing his visit to a wish of hearing that she were better. She answered him with cold civility. He sat down for a few moments, and then getting up, walked about the room. Elizabeth was surprised, but said not a word. After a silence of several minutes, he came towards her in an agitated manner, and thus began: // "In vain I have struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you."
- "In such cases as this, it is, I believe, the established mode to express a sense of obligation for the sentiments avowed, however unequally they may be returned. It is natural that obligation should be felt, and if I could FEEL gratitude, I would now thank you. But I cannot--I have never desired your good opinion, and you have certainly bestowed it most unwillingly. I am sorry to have occasioned pain to anyone. It has been most unconsciously done, however, and I hope will be of short duration. The feelings which, you tell me, have long prevented the acknowledgment of your regard, can have little difficulty in overcoming it after this explanation."
- "And this," cried Darcy, as he walked with quick steps across the room, "is your opinion of me! This is the estimation in which you hold me! I thank you for explaining it so fully. My faults, according to this calculation, are heavy indeed! But perhaps," added he, stopping in his walk, and turning towards her, "these offenses might have been overlooked, had not your pride been hurt by my honest confession of the scruples that had long prevented my forming any serious design. These bitter accusations might have been suppressed, had I, with greater policy, concealed my struggles, and flattered you into the belief of my being impelled by unqualified, unalloyed inclination; by reason, by reflection, by everything. But disguise of every sort is my abhorrence. Nor am I ashamed of the feelings I related. They were natural and just. Could you expect me to rejoice in the inferiority of your connections?--to congratulate myself on the hope of relations, whose condition in life is so decidedly beneath my own?"
- "You are mistaken, Mr. Darcy, if you suppose that the mode of your declaration affected me in any other way, than as it spared the concern which I might have felt in refusing you, had you behaved in a more gentlemanlike manner." // She saw him start at this, but he said nothing, and she continued: "You could not have made the offer of your hand in any possible way that would have tempted me to accept it." //Again his astonishment was obvious; and he looked at her with an expression of mingled incredulity and mortification. She went on: "From the very beginning--from the first moment, I may almost say--of my acquaintance with you, your manners, impressing me with the fullest belief of your arrogance, your conceit, and your selfish disdain of the feelings of others, were such as to form the groundwork of disapprobation on which succeeding events have built so immovable a dislike; and I had not known you a month before I felt that you were the last man in the world whom I could ever be prevailed on to marry."
- "You are too generous to trifle with me. If your feelings are still what they were last April, tell me so at once. MY affections and wishes are unchanged, but one word from you will silence me on this subject for ever." (ch. 58)
- "Elizabeth, feeling all the more than common awkwardness and anxiety of his situation, now forced herself to speak; and immediately, though not very fluently, gave him to understand that her sentiments had undergone so material a change, since the period to which he alluded, as to make her receive with gratitude and pleasure his present assurances. The happiness which this reply produced, was such as he had probably never felt before; and he expressed himself on the occasion as sensibly and as warmly as a man violently in love can be supposed to do. Had Elizabeth been able to encounter his eye, she might have seen how well the expression of heartfelt delight, diffused over his face, became him; but, though she could not look, she could listen, and he told her of feelings, which, in proving of what importance she was to him, made his affection every moment more valuable. // They walked on, without knowing in what direction. There was too much to be thought, and felt, and said, for attention to any other objects."
- "Your reproof, so well applied, I shall never forget: 'had you behaved in a more gentlemanlike manner.' Those were your words. You know not, you can scarcely conceive, how they have tortured me;--though it was some time, I confess, before I was reasonable enough to allow their justice."
- "I have been a selfish being all my life, in practice, though not in principle. As a child I was taught what was right, but I was not taught to correct my temper. I was given good principles, but left to follow them in pride and conceit...Such I might still have been but for you, dearest, loveliest Elizabeth!"

Saturday, March 13, 2004

(sigh...) I can't believe how much snow we got last night! I just came in from shoveling...what a job! I think the neighbour across the street was actually impressed by how strong I was even?!! (hmmm...) Today I was supposed to do my weights workout, but I'm pooped...I think shoveling counts, don't you?! Les is at work. I could have waited until he got fact he always tells me to, but you see, he worked last evening and then again early this morning, and I just couldn't bear for him to have to do all that shoveling when he came home.

The power was out here for over an hour this morning...I'm not sure why, so I thought I wasn't going to get much housework done (can't vacuum with no power), but alas, once I came in from shoveling the driveway and walks...and caught my breath, sure enough, the power came back on. So now my house is clean, my walk is clear, the laundry is started, my daughter is content and playing, and I'm heading for a relaxing shower...(sigh..)

Friday, March 12, 2004

Sacred Spaces

My dear friend (and oh so much more!), Elizabeth, told me about a wonderful site for devotion and prayer is called Sacred Spaces. It is a prayer site run by Irish Jesuits. I did today's prayer and was wonderful! Here is the description of what this week's devotions are about:

"The scripture passages this week all have to do with contrasts: mountain-top experience and suffering, judging and being judged, exalting and humbling myself, being lost and found. And the thread running through it all is trust in God. Not the feeling of trust. The transfiguration is at the same time a foretelling of Jesus death. That shows us clearly what a switchback ride our feelings can give us. Trust is a deeply instinctive need in our human relationships, and in our relationship with God. But my trust in the Church and in Christians may have left me with wounds rather than peace. Now is a time where I can ask God for the grace to take a small, concrete step in trusting him again."

The site provided wonderful inspiration and aid to preparing my heart to read God's Word followed by contemplative prayer.

About Elizabeth

Above I described Elizabeth as my dear friend (and so much more)....I want to explain what I mean by that. You see, Elizabeth was my mentor as I stepped into ministry at the Church. She would coach me and encourage me and teach me, and I wanted to grow up to be just like her in many ways. She has also been like a sister to often sharing with me wisdom and memories passed down from her own parents. I remember one afternoon when I was included in a lunch with her and her two sisters. There was a picture of her parents on the table. Oh the stories they told and the heart-knowledge I gained that day! I believe Elizabeth's parents were the two wisest people I never met. What a priviledge to be included in a day like that! Elizabeth is also like a mother to me. She has watched out for and over me. It was she who gave me the 'mother/daughter talk' before my wedding. Elizabeth is also a pastor to me. She is the one who married my husband and I, and she and her husband provided our pre-marital councelling and continue to connect with us that way. And Elizabeth is also my dear friend. Just seeing her makes me smile, and she always has a warm hug. She is, indeed, an extraordinary woman, and I am so blessed to really know her!

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Ohhh, the good ole hockey game....

Imagine, me, a hockey fan?!! Who'd of thunk it?!!

I grew up in a house that revolved around hockey...and I mean REVOLVED! I remember holidays and family celebrations where the games table even had to be set up in the living room, so that everyone, except for me, could see the tv screen with hockey on it...and it didn't need to be an important game, or someone's favourite team could be some minor league game with teams they didn't even know!?! I have alot of memories of being 'shhhhed' during hockey one ever had time for my questions or comments, and so I started to dislike the game....well, except for in a couple of my tween years when the Oilers were hot and there were exciting players that appealed to us tweens like Gretsky, Lowe, Messier, etc....I watched a few 'Hockey Nights in Canada' back then....and even met Wayne Gretsky once when I was 13...I have a picture of him to prove it, signed 'To Sherri, hugs and kisses, Wayne'! I also did some on and off watching of the game in my teen years as there were cute guys in my high school who were on our local WHL team, The Blades....I actually went to a few Blades games back then...players like Dave Chartier went to school with me, and guys like Todd Struby and Marc Habshied were pretty nice...

Into my adult years though, I had kind of gotten turned off by the game. I mean, I knew so many guys who seemed to almost worship it, and I often felt like they would choose hockey over me anyday. Watching hockey with a guy was like being put into timeout in a corner...not a fun experience....and I found myself getting more critical of the game..and especially the violence.

When I met Les (my husband), he was a hockey fan. Having grown up in Vancouver...he'd grown up with his team, the Canucks. He'd also played hockey as a child...and even did some adult drop-in hockey...(he's a goalie!) And he enjoyed watching the odd game on tv, especially when his Canucks were playing.

Les was a bit apprehensive about even asking me at first if I would watch a game with him because he'd seen, first hand, the obsession for it that I had grown up in. But I knew how much he liked the game, so I agreed to watch with him. I thought we could make an evening of it. I'd make a really nice dinner...maybe we could have a glass of wine, go for a walk, and watch some hockey. It turned out to be a great evening! I really enjoyed all of it...even the I asked myself what was different about it this time?

Les is what was different. He really engaged me in the game, not shhhhing my questions. You see, I like the personal side of things...once I know more about the players - their families, their struggles, it becomes a whole human story to me...not just a game. And Les didn't discourage me in this...I think he actually came to enjoy seeing hockey through my eyes:) Well, all last winter we watched our Canucks whenever they were on Hockey Night in Canada (if we didn't have other Les is wonderful that way, his wife and his family come before his hockey:) ...and by playoff time last year, I had become quite knowledgable in the game, if I do say so myself....I even called it that Anaheim would make it to the final! Les said that he'd never experienced hockey that way see, I have different ways of looking at things and talking about hockey than your average viewer. This culminated in quite an emotional night by last year's Stanley Cup Final. To make a long story the end of the game, the Conn Smythe trophy for the MVP in the playoffs was presented to the losing team's goalie, J.S. Gigeure...and I broke out into tears, because the hockey press had done the brave thing and chosen the right person for that award (would have been much easier to give it to a player on the winning team). I knew so much of Giguere's personal story that I couldn't help but be moved. That night, Les took one look at me and said, "There's no crying in hockey!?" But I couldn't help it...and Les still loves me for it!

This year, we've continued watching our Canucks, and I will proudly tell you that I am a fan. A true Canuck fan is easy to spot...we have no problem calling our team a bunch of bums when they play that way! But the reverse is also true. I know all sorts of things about the players and I have my Nazzy, he has such soft hands (that refers to his puck handling ability), and then there's Danny-boy (Daniel Sedin, formerly known as Gretel) - long before he had shown his improvement this season, I called it, I could see it would happen...I remember Les teasing me when he saw how much I believed in him.., and then there's Clouts (I've learned alot about goalies, since my husband was one) - Clouts just got engaged, you know?! (and to his high school sweetheart:)

Anyway, rather than going on for a page about what I find remarkable or special about each player, I'll just jump to one final favourite...Berti...that's right, Todd Bertuzzi, the guy in the news...the guy who messed up this week. I could jump off the band-wagon as I'm sure many have done this week and disown Berti because of his actions, but I won't (and I'm sure glad that God doesn't do that to us when we each mess up). I still believe in Berti's talent (he's got the soft hands too...and that's a strange combo for such a big lug...he really has a way of making plays happen). I do not condone what Berti did in sucker punching Steve Moore. It was wrong, horribly wrong, and I am very disappointed in his actions, and he will face the consequences. I agree fully with his suspension for the rest of the season as announced today and the monitoring this summer. I am so relieved that Moore will make a full recovery...he's been in my prayers. I believe that Berti will have some really tough things to learn from this, but I know he will do it because I know that under it all, he does have a good heart…and my prayers will be with him and his family (wife-Julie, kids-Jade and Tag) as they step through this. Will he play again in the NHL - I don't know...with the potential lock-out next season, that part of his life might be over, but a new day will begin..

When this whole incident happened this week, it hit me really hard…it was like something was happening to someone in my extended family, and I felt a sort of responsibility for what happened because I’m a Canuck fan. My hope is that out of this all, the NHL (players, coaches, fans, refs, etc.) learn some lessons and take steps to remove violence from hockey. Violence does not need to be part of the game…look at the 2004 All-Star Game…it was one of the best games I’ve seen and there was no hitting. And while these lessons are being learned, I’m going to watch and cheer on my team as they show courage today and tomorrow in facing the aftermath of yesterday. Go! Canucks Go!

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Last night I played with my barbies...

After my workout last night, my parents stopped by to drop off my barbies from when I was a little girl. I had saved them in a trunk in an outdoor shed by their house. I have asked if we could dig them out ever since I got married, thinking that perhaps Amanda would enjoy playing with Mommie's barbie stuff. It was so sweet to see that stuff again! I have so many memories of hours upon hours spent playing and imagining! I didn't have many barbie dolls as a little girl. I had a Barbie and a Ken, and I had a Barbie-like doll that my great aunt brought me back from Hawaii and then I had a Marie Osmond doll! I couldn't believe when we found the Marie doll last night...she was just as I remembered! You see, when I was little, I wanted to grow up to BE Marie Osmond! I would sing into my skipping rope and croon out "Paper Roses...." I always thought she was so beautiful.

When I was a little girl, you didn't have a different Barbie for everything you wanted her to do (like they do today) just changed her clothes. The suitcase of my Barbie clothes we went through last night was priceless...many items were home-made or knit. I remember my mom always telling me that the doll clothes in the store were too expensive! I found many outfits that I'd made for myself...some by hand with a needle and thread! (amazing they are still together?!)

Usually every Christmas I would receive something for my Barbie...often something new to play with her year it was a country town home, one year a camper, one year a cruise ship (my sister went on a cruise that year), one year it was a blow up swimming pool, one year a ski village (I think that was an Olympic year), and one year a motorhome. They are all there! their 70's/80's glory (lots of yellows, oranges and browns used in decorating....I remember even then thinking they should use more pink!)

Anyway, it was wonderful to stroll down memory lane in my mind and remember all of those dreams and hopes and wishes! This morning, I let Amanda take a peak at what was there before she went off to school. I wasn't sure if she'd really like it all as it is quite dated, but she did! She loved it and said she could hardly wait to play after school! Ohhhhh the memories! :) I think I'll keep my Marie Osmond doll in my bedroom for awhile, in case I want to play some myself!

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

More Mary!

Did you notice how she spells 'Engelbreit '....(my maiden name was Breit...pronounced 'bright'...but people often mispronounced it...I've never heard Mary's mispronounced...she even has a place in her magazine for 'breit ideas' !)
Today's the day! ....

The new Mary Engelbreit Home Companion hits the newstands today...I must make a mental note to pick one up on my way home from work! This is one of my few guilty husband and I have an agreement that he gets his new guitar magazine and I get my Home Companion when they come out every second month. Funny, when I was single, I didn't always let myself have it....but Les actually insists that I do! (good husband, eh?!!:)

I love the art of Mary Engelbreit! I love the whimsy, the use of colour...everything about it! It makes me smile! As I sit here writing this, one of my favourite Mary Engelbreit pieces is starring back at's a little girl (resembling me a bit, I am told), with a big smile on her face, arms extended and it says 'Happy'. I saved the print from my desk calendar a few years ago and painted a Mary-inspired frame and easle for it. It now lives on my desk by my computer. I was also inspired to do some primitive stitchery with this...and there is an embroidered pillow in our family room as a result. (Can you tell that I like it?!)

Mary was originally inspired by her mother's vintage storybooks. There is a very fresh and innocent quality to what she does, and she draws alot from real life.

I love getting Mary's really get your money's worth. In each issue she includes a new print (except at Christmas where she included a sheet of hand-drawn gift tags) and a sheet of paper dolls. The paper dolls are too cute! There's Anne Estelle and all her friends. My dolly, Amanda, now has a quite a collection (especially since Auntie Alana brought her the Victorian House Cutout Doll collection from Mary on a trip she took one summer!) The magazine is usually full of ideas and inspirations for artistic expression. There's lots of decorating and more. It's just a happy thought for me!

Here's another one of my favourite prints from Mary. It's called, "LIFE - Put your HEART in IT". Now doesn't that say it all?!! That's just how I feel! :)

This is not even fair!

From Dr. Diaz

Aspartame Strikes Again!
Stellman SD, st al. Prev Med 1986;15:195-202.

This study looked at weight change over a one year period in a group of 78,694 women aged 50-69 years who were enrolled in a prospective mortality study. Artificial sweetener use increased body weight and decreased with age. Artificial sweetener users were significantly more likely than non-users to gain weight, regardless of their initial weight. There was no significant difference between the users and non-users in food consumption patterns leading us to propose that something on or caused by the sweetener itself, possibly the increased release of insulin, could be causing the weight gain.

There is something wrong with a world where a diet soda promoted as having 'no calories' can actually make you gain weight! I guess this tells the rest of the story....

I know, I know...drink more water (64 - 80 ounces a day...minimum!) Last night I measured out how many water bottles a day that is for me. Yikes...I'm not even close?!!

Monday, March 08, 2004

Carolyn Arends just emailed me....

...and I'm thrilled to say that she's booked for a concert in Saskatoon on October 24, 2004 at Emmanuel Baptist Church! (That's right, you heard it first here?!!) This will coincide with the release of her new album which is due in the fall!

Sunday, March 07, 2004

Scone Recipe...

My basic scone recipe comes from Emilie Barnes' book, An Invitation to Tea (a gift to me from Alana several years ago...:)

Scones are quite simple to make, so I usually make my own. However, a packaged scone mix can also give you very good results. You can add all kinds of extras to scones, depending on your taste. Try cut-up apples, currants, ginger, orange, almond flavouring, cinnamon, apricots, fresh blueberries, cranberries, or even chocolate chips.

2 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
6 tbsp butter (I use marg)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 lightly beaten egg

Mix dry ingredients. Cut in 6 tbsp of butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Make a well in the centre and pour in buttermilk. If you don't have buttermilk, use regular milk (I use skim). Mix until dough clings together and is a bit sticky - do not overmix. Turn out dough onto a floured surface and shape into a 6 to 8 inch round about 1 1/2 inches thick. Quickly cut into pie wedges. The secret to tender scones is a minimum of handling. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet being sure that the sides of scones don't touch each other. Brush with egg for a shiny beautiful brown scone (I also sprinkle very lightly with sugar...barely a teaspoon for the whole batch). Bake at 425 for 10-20 minutes (mine usually take 15-17 minutes in my oven), or until lightly brown.

...if you don't have time to bake scones, you can usually buy them at Calories, The Living Room or McNally.....the ones at Calories are the best, but will cost ya....($2.75 each!...yikes!)
Daily Meditation: March 7 by Henri Nouwen; from Bread for the Journey

The Great Gift of Parenthood
Children are their parents' guests. They come into the space that has been created for them, stay for a while - fifteen, twenty, or twenty-five years - and leave again to create their own space. Although parents speak about "our son" and "our daughter," their children are not their property. In many ways children are strangers. Parents have to come to know them, discover their strengths and their weaknesses, and guide them to maturity, allowing them to make their own decisions.

The greatest gift parents can give their children is their love for each other. Through that love they create an anxiety-free place for their children to grow, encouraging them to develop confidence in themselves and find the freedom to choose their own ways in life.

Tea with Thee

This morning, I had tea with God.

Before I was a wife and a mother, I used to do this very regularly as part of my devotion time. I would get my tea tray ready, with a proper teapot and teacup (of course!), perhaps light some candles, have my Bible nearby, and have tea with God as I talked with Him and read His word. When I shared that I did this with others, some would just smirk and shake their heads, but some Alana, my dear dear friend and kindred-tea-spirit! Alana is like a sister to me (well even more than that!) I think she understood, and she even made me a tea cloth for such occasions...cross-stitched with a beautiful teapot, roses and the inscription, "Tea with Thee".

Since getting married, there hasn't been much time for Tea with Thee. Oh yes, I still spend time with God, but carving out that time is much more of a challenge, so I don't usually have the extra moments for the tea part.

I loveeeee tea! Something about it just warms me up and makes me smile. My Great Auntie Bammy was the first to give me tea when I was just a little girl, and it was always in a china teacup with cream and sugar....mmmm. Just thinking about a cup of tea makes me feel so cared for.

I guess that's why Tea with Thee is so special to's a nurturing time of pouring out to God and being filled up...of not always talking , but sometimes just being ...just enjoying being in each other's presence and sipping on tea.

With my husband at work this morning and my daughter engrossed in a Disney movie, I was tempted to go and do a number of things around the house, and then He beckoned to me, "Come have tea with me..."

"Oh, I couldn't," I thought, "I have too much to do." I was hungry and walked to the kitchen, but nothing appealed to me. I thought about how much I'd love a scone right now (a food for which my loving husband and daughter have no appreciation!) And His voice said, "Yes, make scones, and come and have tea with me..."

So I did!

English Breakfast tea, on a lovely tray, with my tea cloth....triple berry scones (first time I've baked scones since I got married)....mmmm.....
and I rested in His presence sipping tea and nibbling on a scone, reading His word and listening...and...
...and He filled me as He always does...touching exactly what I was feeling so deep inside of me!

"Thank God for tea. What would the world
do without tea? How did it exist? I am
glad I was not born before tea."--

Sir Walter Scott

Saturday, March 06, 2004

The Butterfly Effect

You've simply gotta read this! It's an article for Moody Magazine by one of my favourite musical artists and writers, Carolyn Arends...

Best of Friends!

A week ago this morning, I was running around the house putting finishing touches on Amanda's birthday party. The girls came in the afternoon. Just 4 of them were able to make it, but I was struck by what wonderful girls they all are. I am so thankful for God bringing such wonderful girls into our daughter's life!

Right from the moment Amanda moved here, there was one girl especially who reached out to her, and with whom there was instant connection...Aurora!
It makes me think of Anne (of Green Gables of course):

"Marilla," Anne said presently, "do you think that I
shall ever have a bosom friend in Avonlea?"

"A--a what kind of friend?" asked Marilla.

"A bosom friend--an intimate friend, you know--a really
kindred spirit to whom I can confide my inmost soul. I've
dreamed of meeting her all my life. I never really supposed
I would, but so many of my loveliest dreams have come true
all at once that perhaps this one will, too."

Here they are...Princess Amanda and Princess Aurora!!

My Living Dolly!

This is my living dolly, my daughter - Amanda. She just turned 9, and I gave birth to her when she was 7 1/2. It's not easy giving birth to a 7 year old, but it is one of the best things that every happened to me!

Here are some of my favourite things about my dolly:
- she's a girly-girl
- she's creative and imaginative
- she's got a sensitive heart
- she's smart as can be
- her hugs
- her giggles and her smile
- her tender prayers
- when she says 'mommie' to me

She truly is a living dolly, and I am blessed to be her mom and to live and grow and love with her:) I have always wanted a daughter, and God has soooo blessed me with our precious little girl!

Friday, March 05, 2004

Which Peanut Character are You?

My husband and I just did this quiz.

Les is...


Sherri is...

Which Peanuts Character are You? brought to you by Quizilla

Ditz? Les totally disagrees with that part...but perhaps he's a bit biased?!

The song he didn't sing :(

As I mentioned, the Steve Bell concert was great last night, except, of course, that he didn't sing my favourite song of his.

Here by the Water
Music and Lyric by Jim Croegaert
© 1986 Rough Stones Music

Soft field of clover
Moon shining over the valley
Joining the song of the river
To the great giver of the great good

As it enfolds me
Somehow it holds me together
I realize I’ve been singing
Still it comes ringing
Clearer than clear

And here by the water
I’ll build an altar to praise Him
Out of the stones that I’ve found here
I’ll set them down here
Rough as they are
Knowing You can make them holy
Knowing You can make them holy
Knowing You can make them holy

I think how a yearning
Has kept on returning to move me
Down roads I’d never have chosen
Half the time frozen
Too numb to feel
I know it was stormy
I hope it was for me learning
Blood on the road wasn’t mine though
Someone that I know
Has walked here before

This song became significant for me a few years ago at a leadership retreat. We used it in worship as we each layed a rough stone down building our own altar. As we layed the stone down we were to let go of something into God's hands. One of the things I let go of was my anxiousness for God to bring His man into my life...just a month earlier I had prayed (like the Shunammite woman with Elisha in 2Kings4) that I was not letting God go on this desire He'd given me until He blessed me in it...that night I didn't let go of that desire either, but I did lay down my angst and my own efforts on the matter...six months later, God's man for me walked into my life...the following November we were married...and that is about a year and a half ago now! When we were still dating, I took my (now) husband to the church I attended one night after a date and we knelt together and prayed at the altar. Afterward we played this song......oh, what God can make holy:)
Went on a date last night...

My husband and I went out for supper last night to Kelseys (mmm shrimp pasta) and then to the Steve Bell concert. This was the second time I had seen Steve Bell. This time he had an accoustic band and his daughter with him. It was all good. The last time I saw him, it was just he and his accoustic guitar...although at times it sounded like there were 2 or 3 guitars...he's very talented. My favourite number he did last night was one Carolyn Arends wrote called "Getting Ready for Glory" it's a story of his grandmother in her latter days. One other thing that really touched me was when he and his daughter sang "Come back to me". This song is one that I sang growing up in the Catholic tradition...I miss some of that music and loved to hear this one revived. Here are the words:

Hosea (Come Back to Me) - Gregory Norbet OSB

Come back to me with all your heart
Don’t let fear keep us apart
Trees do bend though straight and tall
So must we to others call

Long have I waited for
Your coming home to me
And living deeply our new life

The wilderness will lead you
To the place where I will speak
Integrity and justice
With tenderness
You shall know

You shall sleep secure with peace
Faithfulness will be your joy

You can listen to snippets of these songs on Steve's website.

The real surprise of the night was Steve's opening act...Jacob Moon...we had never heard of him before. He was phenomenal...great guitar playing, and since my husband is the best guitar player...well, we really enjoyed Jacob!

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Today Jackie has a really insightful post on Ephesians 5:21-33.

God’s Message to Women - Author UnKnown

When I created the heavens and the earth, I spoke
them into being.

When I created man, I formed him and breathed life into
his nostrils.

But you, woman, I fashioned after I breathed the breath
of life into man because your nostrils are too delicate. I allowed a deep
sleep to come over him so I could patiently and perfectly fashion you. Man
was put to sleep so that he could not interfere with the creativity. From one
bone I fashioned you.

I chose the bone that protects man's life. I chose the rib,
which protects his heart and lungs and supports him, as you are
meant to do.

Around this one bone I shaped you. I modeled you. I
created you perfectly and beautifully. Your characteristics are as the rib, strong yet
delicate and fragile. You provide protection for the most delicate
organ in man, his heart. His heart is the center of his being; his lungs
hold the breath of life. The rib cage will allow itself to be broken before it
will allow damage to the heart.

Support man as the rib cage supports his body. You
were not taken from his feet, to be under him, nor were you taken from his head,
to be above him. You were taken from his side, to stand beside him and be
held close to his side.

You are my perfect angel. You are my beautiful little girl.
You have grown to be a splendid woman of excellence, and my eyes fill
when I see the virtues in your heart. Your eyes -- don't change them. Your lips --
how lovely when they part in prayer. Your nose, so perfect in form, your
hands, so gentle to touch. I've caressed your face in your deepest sleep; I've held
your heart close to mine.

Of all that lives and breathes, you are the most like me.
Adam walked with me in the cool of the day and yet he was lonely. He could
not see me or touch me. He could only feel me. So everything I wanted
Adam to share and experience with me, I fashioned in you: my strength, my
purity, my love, my protection and support. You are special because you
are the extension of me.

Man represents my image -- woman, my emotions.

Together, you represent the totality of God. So man --
treat woman well. Love her, respect her, for she is fragile. In hurting her, you
hurt me. What you do to her, you do to me. In crushing her, you damage
your own heart, the heart of your Father, and the heart of her Father.

Woman, support man. In humility, show him the power
of emotion I have given you.

In gentle quietness show your strength. In love, show
him that you are the rib that protects his inner self.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

The man who'd walk a thousand miles and fall down at your door...

My husband moved 1000 miles to be with me. On days like today I think about all the changes, all the inconveniences, all the work...everything that it took for him to do that...there were career changes...there were financial changes....and I'm sure it wasn't always easy...but he did it for me:)

On Valentine's day one of his presents to me was Steven Curtis Chapman's cd "All about love"...this song is on the cd:

When I wake up yeah I know I'm gonna be
I'm gonna be the man who wakes up next to you
When I go out yeah I know I'm gonna be
I'm gonna be the man who goes along with you

When I'm lonely well I know I'm gonna be
I'm gonna be the man whose lonely without you
When I'm dreaming well I know I'm gonna dream
I'm gonna dream about the time when I'm with you

But I would walk 500 miles
And I would walk 500 more
Just to be the man who walked a thousand miles
To fall down at your door

When I'm working yes I know I'm gonna be
I'm gonna be the man who's working hard for you
And when the money comes in for the work I'll do
I'll pass almost every penny on to you
When I come home yeah I know I'm gonna be
I'm gonna be the man who comes back home to you
And if I grow old well I know I'm gonna be
I'm gonna be the man who's growing old with you

But I would walk 500 miles
And I would walk 500 more
Just to be the man who walked a thousand miles
To fall down at your door

When I'm dreaming well I know I'm gonna dream
Dream about the time when I'm with you
And when I wake up yeah I know I'm gonna be
I'm gonna be the man who wakes up next to you
And when I go out well I know I'm gonna be
I'm gonna be the man who goes along with you
When I come home yes I know I'm gonna be
I'm gonna be the man who comes back home to you
I'm gonna be the man who comes back home to you

But I would walk 500 miles
And I would walk 500 more
Just to be the man who walked a thousand miles
To fall down at your door

Monday, March 01, 2004


These are a few of my favourite things:
- the colour pink
- caramilk
- lobster
- greeting cards
- lyrics to songs
- Carolyn Arends
- Amy Grant (shhh...I want no comments from the peanut gallery!)
- Vancouver Canucks (Nazzy, Berti, Moro, Danny-boy, Clouts...)
- Dr. Phil ( comments!)
- snow falling
- sky's...night (stars, northern lights)...sunsets...
- roses
- ballet
- giggling
- singing
- english toffee cappucino's
- chocolate chai amour....tea of love!
- tea
- Mary Engelbreit
- Debbie Mumm
- hugs
- dolly's (especially my living dolly!)
- sheep
- teapots (and teacups!)
- everything about my husband!
Simple Things

Wake up baby look around
Birds sing, ooooh that sound
Reminds me of a line
From Unchained Melody

Feel like I'm a little girl
Best thing in the whole wide world
Is I can see the makings of a memory
I remember how it used to be
Well I'm still dreaming...

Cuz I dream of simple things
I can believe in
Like the feeling this day brings
True love and the miracle of forgiving
I believe in simple things

Ain't nothing like a sunny day
Chit-chat at a street cafe
Just paint the picture, baby
Where you wanna be

Take a walk, take a ride
So far, you and I
Don't need a plan
But we can share
This revelry

I remember how I used to want it all
Funny now the big things seem so small

I dream of simple things
I can believe in
Like the feeling this day brings
True love and the miracle of forgiving
I believe in simple things

Through all the days
The blues, the greys
A ray of light keeps shining...
I'm a feeler...and often teased for being so. So I thought maybe this could be a place where I could write down some of my feelings about things. Some days maybe I'll write alot, and somedays just a little. I imagine that many people may see things quite differently from me, and that's ok. What I don't like though is when someone tries to invalidate what I have said because I'm a feeler condemning my thoughts/feelings as not rational. They are rational...they come about through a different process for me than for a thinker, but they are still logical and rational.