Monday, February 28, 2005


If my success as a mother was to be measured by Amanda's confidence in herself when doing math, I'm sure I wouldn't get a passing grade...and this, despite the number of times I've encouraged her, praised her and told her she could do it. I don't know when it happened, but my girlie has decided that she is not good at math, despite the fact that she is doing very well in it.

Of late, the battles have been over finishing memorizing her multiplication tables. I would have thought this would be the easy part for Amanda...she has an phenomenal memory, but she just has that word 'can't' in her head when it comes to math. (Did I mention that I long ago banned the word 'can't' from her vocabulary?!)

This past week, Amanda had to study for a math test on four digit times two digit multiplication. She was dreading it, and in frustration and tears the night before the test proclaimed that God just hadn't gifted her in math! Yeah,'s God's fault...
Amanda brought home the test this weekend. She had gotten an A! I guess God hasn't gifted her in math much at's His fault!

Thursday, February 24, 2005

The BIG 1-0!

Our dahl-ing diva-girl turns 10 today! At 10 she is only 4 inches shorter than me, her mom! I'm sure she will be towering over me in no time!! She's kind of in that in-between stage...not really a little girl anymore and not quite a teenager, yet...I guess that's why they call it the "tweens". Here are some of my favourite things about my living dolly, my precious daughter:

- her sensitivity
- her hugs
- her giggle
- her dramatic flair (you should hear her read a page!)
- her imagination
- her heart for Jesus
- she loves pink!
- her precious notes she leaves for me and her dad
- she likes tea (a girlie after my own heart:)
- singing together in the kitchen
- the private concerts she gives singing into her hairbrush in her bedroom
- her smile:)

Amanda is a very bright girl, full of hopes and dreams and oodles of potential! She can do anything that she sets her mind and heart to. Right now she thinks she'd like to be a teacher when she grows up. She'd be a great teacher! She'll be great at whatever she chooses to do! Today I thank God again for the priviledge of being Amanda's mom!

I love you, Amanda! Happy Birthday, Dolly!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Everything about God Shines...especially His Grace!

There are so many things I wish I had time to blog about what I'm learning at Encounter in the letters to the Churches in Revelation, like my thoughts about the Dream Giver message this weekend and the thought that maybe I'm (we're) lopsided on purpose?! how wonderful the man I'm married to the special bday coming up for our living dolly this Thursday, but this week seems to be going by in a blur. I continue to covet any and all prayers sent my way. I'm realizing more and more these days how much trouble I have asking for help, and how difficult it is for me to receive grace sometimes. Today I can think of two especially gracious things that God brought my way, and now even as I sit here pondering them and attempting to give thanks to God for them, I'm afraid...afraid that they'll be taken away or reversed because I don't really deserve them...yet isn't that the very definition of grace...unearned favour...

The words in this song are my heart's words right now...

You Shine

By Brian Doerksen

Why should I fear man,
When You made the heavens?
Why should I be afraid,
When You put the stars in place?
Why should I lose heart,
When I know how great you are?
Why should I give up,
When Your plans are full of love?

In this world we will have trouble,
But You have overcome the world!
You Shine,
Brighter than the brightest star!
Your Love,
Purer than the purest heart!
You Shine,
Filling us with courage and strength
To follow You!

Why should I fear man,
When You made the heavens?
Why should I be afraid,
When You put the stars in place?
Why should I lose heart,
When I know how great You are?
Why should I give up,
When Your plans are full of love?

You Shine,
Brighter than the brightest star!
Your Love,
Purer than the purest heart!
You Shine,
Filling us with courage and strength
To follow You!

In this world we will have trouble,
But You have overcome the world!
You have overcome the world...!

You Shine,
Brighter than the brightest star!
Your Love,
Purer than the purest heart!
You Shine,
Filling us with courage and strength
To follow You!
You Shine,
Brighter than the brightest star!
Your Love,
Purer than the purest heart!
You Shine,
Filling us with courage and strength
To follow You!

You---- Shine----(oh Lord! oh Lord give us courage,
give us courage and strength, to follow you!)
You---- Shine----! (to the ends of the earth! oh Lord! oh Lord!
We're gonna follow, we're gonna follow You!)

Saturday, February 19, 2005

The Past Week

I guess it's been over a week since I last posted. In that time, we've celebrated Valentine's, had a busy work-week, one of Amanda's friends has had surgery, and Les has been practicing to play at the weekend services at Church.

Our Valentine's was really nice this year. It seems that every other year something has come up to get in the way of our plans, but not this year. Amanda was off on a sleepover with Aurora on Sunday the 13th, so that is when Les took me out. We went for supper at The Granary. I had the special...champagne lobster fettucini...and, yes, it was as good as it sounds. Then we went to the movie Hitch which was funny and romantic all in one. Les and I both had Monday off together, so we did some shopping together downtown that day. We never seem to get downtown these days, so that was nice...and we got to eat out again?! (Elephant and Castle for lunch). For supper that night, we had Arilee and Aurora stay when they brought Amanda home. We had lasagna and giggles, and the girlies even brought some heart cookies they'd baked for us for dessert! It was a good Valentine's, topped off with a beautiful card that is still sitting on my bedside table from my dreamy husband:)

The rest of the week went by very quickly, especially workwise, and I have another really hectic one coming up this week. Any and all prayers are appreciated!

Yesterday, we went to visit Miss Aurora, Amanda's bestest bud who had her adenoids and tonsils removed on Wednesday. We're pleased to report that she is doing very well and was very brave through the whole ordeal. I think Arilee is still working through the emotion of having her baby go through such a thing. She's a wonderful mom, you know!

Friday, February 11, 2005


This ( is what I'm learning to play (and the model I'm using is called a 'sweetone' sweet is that:) On our trip to Edmonton, Les and I spent a day going to the music stores and Old Strathcona. We usually look at the guitars and amps (and accessories) for him, and the keyboards...particularly the full-size weighted ones for me (dreaming of the day when I can trade my Yamaha up). Well this time we spent some time in the wind instrument section. We enjoy Celtic music and worship and are both fond of the tin whistle. On a whim, I decided that I would like to learn to play one. I'm in the very early stages, but am through most of the D scale. I can play Twinkle, Twinkle and the introduction to Revival (Robin Mark)...although not with the emotion and feel I hope to play once I learn more about breathing. It's fun to learn something new though!

Here are a list of tin whistle (penny whistle) resources that I'm putting together so I can refer back to them:

Clarke Tin Whiste (
Chiff and Fipple ( )
Brother Steve's Tin Whistle Page (
Tin Whistle Fingering (
The Irish Tin Whistle (

Wednesday, February 09, 2005


While we were in Edmonton last week, we heard Joyce Meyer speak. I had never heard her speak before, and I must admit I wasn't all that excited about the prospect. Yet her message was very good; her subject was 'going deeper' and some of the things she said struck a chord with me. She's quite a lively presenter and in good ways reminded me of Gloria Reimer in her the point, spirited, seeds of wisdom and at least one 'suck it up' comment in her presentation.

The thing that has stuck with me from Joyce is her comment about our thoughts about ourselves. She said we need to replace our own critical thoughts with God's thoughts about us. When we look in the mirror, we need to see what God sees. I suppose that this isn't really a new thought for me, I know to do that, but sometimes God has to re-teach me things I've already (thought I) learned?!

I don't think that I have a critical spirit (at least most of the time), particularly not toward other people. But toward myself, especially in stressful times, well I can be pretty hard on me...and in the mirror (both literally and metaphorically) I can be especially hard even though I know better, even though my husband tells me differently, even though friends tell me differently and even though I know that God doesn't share my opinion.

Hard? that's not a word I would generally use to describe myself. Generally, I'm a soft-y, a soft touch, soft-hearted, soft-figured, so why am I so hard on myself?! I can dig up all kinds of history, but that doesn't totally help me to try and make sense of it, and it especially doesn't help me to turn my thoughts over when I need to.

I remember a year ago, while at the WJOF conference, the speaker, Liz Curtis Higgs, struck a chord with me on the same issue. She started out by teaching me the real meaning of the expression, 'ta-da'... It's child's talk for 'thank you daddy'...and 'daddy'/'abba' is, of course, the affectionate term Jesus taught us to use with the Father. Liz advised us to spread out our arms and proclaim 'ta-da' to God every morning as we look in the mirror to show our thanks to God because when He made us, He saw that it was 'very good'.

You know, I've thought about saying 'ta-da' occasionally since Liz mentioned it, but I've never actually done it. I don't always see that what God made (in me) is 'very good' and I need His forgiveness for that.

Here are a few quotes from one of Liz's 'ta-da' talks:
"Does it not thrill you that we (as women) are God’s crown of creation?" Higgs asked... "We are the last thing He made, and He said we are very good."

She told every woman to jump in front of a mirror after she’s ready for the day and say, "ta-da!"

Saying "tada" will change the way you think, she said. "You can’t say it grumpy. It takes 5 pounds and five years off your face right off the bat. It will change
how you think about you and how you think about God and trust that He knows what He was doing when He made you. I want you to see yourself as God sees you, and you are gorgeous."

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Love Expressions
Love is all there is, and love is enough:
Justice is love holding the balance
Mercy is love being gracious
Faith is love believing
Charity is love giving
Patience is love waiting
Endurance is love abiding
Hope is love expecting
Prayer is love communing
Sympathy is love tenderly touching
Comfort is love soothing
Enthusiasm is love burning
Work is love laboring
Peace is love resting
Understanding is love accepting
Listening is love receiving
Forgiving is love cleansing
Teaching is love reaching
Giving is love circulating
Receiving is love blessing
Love is enough because
Love cannot fail.

McDougal Church

Last week, Les and I attended Breakforth 2005. It was something we had wanted to do for a couple of years. We spent the Saturday afternoon of the conference in McDougal Church. It is a beautiful old church in downtown Edmonton, near the river....wood pews, a balcony, stain glass windows... We were part of two worship cafe's (back to back). The accoustics in there were amazing! The sun was streaming through the stainglass. Songs and hearts were joined together. Old and young worshipped together. It was absolutely beautiful! experience I don't ever want to forget:)

During a break, Les commented to me about why they don't make churches like that anymore. I thought that perhaps that that style didn't lend itself to all the offices and gyms most churches need these days, but later found that this church had all of that in the basement. I don't know why they don't make churches like that anymore, but I wish they did!

Monday, February 07, 2005

Love is:
(from a child's perspective)

1. "When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love."
- Rebecca - age 8

2. "When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You know that your name is safe in their mouth."
- Billy - age 4

3. "Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other."
- Karl - age 5

4. "Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs."
- Chrissy - age 6

5. "Love is when someone hurts you. And you get so mad but you try not to hurt their feelings."
- Samantha - age 6

6. "Love is what makes you smile when you're tired."
- Terri - age 4

7. "Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK."
- Danny - age 7

8. "Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss."
- Emily - age 8

9. "Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop
opening presents and listen."
- Bobby - age 5

10. "If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a
friend who you hate."
- Nikka - age 6

11. "Love is hugging, Love is kissing, Love is saying no"
- Patty - age 8

12. "When you tell someone something bad about yourself and you're scared they won't love you anymore. But then you get surprised because not only do they still love you, they love you even more."
- Matthew - age 7

13. "There are two kinds of love. Our love. God's love. But God makes both kinds of them."
- Jenny - age 4

14. "Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday."
- Noelle - age 7

15. "Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are
still friends even after they know each other so well."
- Tommy - age 6

16. "During my piano recital, I was on a stage and scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling. He was the only one doing that. I wasn't scared anymore."
- Cindy - age 8

17. "My mommy loves me more than anybody. You don't see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night."
- Clare - Age 5

18. "Love is when mommy gives daddy the best piece of chicken." - Elaine - age 5

19. "Love is when mommy sees daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford."
- Chris - age 8

20. "Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day."
- Mary Ann - age 4

21. "I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones."
- Lauren

22. "I let my big sister pick on me because my Mom says she only picks on me because she loves me. So I pick on my baby sister because I love her."
- Bethany - age 4

23. "Love cards like Valentine's cards say stuff on them that we'd
like to say ourselves, but we wouldn't be caught dead saying."
- Mike - age 8

24. "When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you."
- Karen - age 7

25. "Love is when mommy sees daddy on the toilet and she doesn't think it's gross."
- Mark - age 6

26. "You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget."
- Jessica - age 8

27. "Love is that first feeling you feel before all the bad stuff gets in the way."
- Charlie - age 5

Creation Calls

There was the most beautiful sunrise as I drove to work this morning with colours of pink fading to purple and blue all along the horizon. I woke up this morning singing this song, and the sky gave me one more reason to keep singing it...
Creation Calls
Brian Doerksen

I have felt the wind blow
whispering Your name
I have seen Your tears fall
when I watch the rain

How could I say there is no God
When all around creation calls
A singing bird, a mighty tree
The vast expanse of open sea

Gazing at a bird in flight
soaring through the air
Lying down beneath the stars
I feel Your presence there

I love to stand at ocean’s shore
And feel the thundering breakers roar
To walk through golden fields of grain
‘Neath endless blue, horizon’s frame

Listening to a river run
watering the earth
Fragrance of a rose in bloom
a new-born’s cry at birth

I believe . . . I believe . . . . I believe . . .

1994 Mercy/Vineyard Publishing
CCLI Song No. 1346834

Brian Doerksen(
began writing this song a few years ago while visiting relatives in Saskatchewan (you'll recognize the lines about the fields and sky). As Les and I were driving back from Edmonton last week, we were awed again by Saskatchewan's sky, and the majestic sunset that brought us home. Sometimes I feel like God paints the sky just for us:)

Saturday, February 05, 2005


A week ago today, Robin Mark taught me alot about worship as we explored an important act of worship in Revelation 5. This chapter confirmed to me that singing (while not our only act of worship) is a big deal. What's sticking in my heart today though are some verses in Genesis 49:9-10 and the thought that every occasion of worship may be preordained...that God is waiting for our worship...that He has ordained it! Oh the thought of the God of the universe actually waiting our worship:)

Worship is our response to God's actions. You do it because He is worthy, not for Him to do something for you. You don't do it to please Him because He's already pleased with you anyway! Worship is more than just praise to God for what He has done though, it's a time of sitting at the table with him and enjoying that intimacy.

In Revelation there is evidence that when we worship the angels join us in our song, and not only them, all of creation worships with us...(imagine the spiders in the baseboards of the walls joining in:)

I was blessed with many opportunities to worship this past week, in a conference, in a church, in a car. In it I was revived and renewed and I learned so much:) I'm looking forward to tonight's occasion of worship, and I feel embraced by the thought that God is actually waiting for it too!

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Undeniably pointing to God

Did you know that in the days before Phillip Yancy returned to the Church, when he was questioning whether there even was a God, three things convinced him there was:

- creation (nature, the things that God made),
- music (classical music), and
- romantic love

All I can say is, amen! ...these very same things woo me to Him as well:) I believe it was Chesterton who said one of the sad things about being an atheist is feeling an overwhelming sense of gratitude without having anyone to thank.

When your world becomes discouraging, go be around the things that God made (not the things man has made) and it will make all the difference in your heart...Brian Doerksen and I both agree:)

Wednesday, February 02, 2005


I've learned and experienced so many things this past week... I will share more when there is more time, but the words to this song really sum up the way I'm feeling right now....


I hear the voice of one calling, prepare ye the way of the Lord.
And make His paths straight in the wilderness
And let your light shine in the darkness
And let your rain fall in the desert.

As sure as gold is precious and the honey sweet,
So you love this city and you love these streets.
Every child out playing by their own front door
Every baby laying on the bedroom floor.

Every dreamer dreaming in her dead-end job
Every driver driving through the rush hour mob
I feel it in my spirit, feel it in my bones
You're going to send revival, bring them all back home

I can hear that thunder in the distance
Like a train on the edge of town
I can feel the brooding of Your Spirit
"Lay your burdens down, Lay your burdens down".

From the Preacher preaching when the well is dry
To the lost soul reaching for a higher high
From the young man working through his hopes and fears
To the widow walking through the veil of tears

Every man and woman, every old and young
Every fathers daughter, every mothers son.
I feel it in my spirit, feel it in my bones
You're going to send revival, bring them all back home

I can hear that thunder in the distance
Like a train on the edge of town
I can feel the brooding of Your Spirit
"Lay your burdens down, Lay your burdens down".

Revive us, Revive us,
Revive us with your fire!

Copyright © 1998 Daybreak Music Ltd.