Thursday, June 30, 2005

Girls' Night!

Amanda and I have been having lots of girls' nights this week while Les has been away working. Tonight we made Chinese for supper and watched the movie "What a Girl Wants". We had seen it together before in the theatre, but that was a couple of years ago, so when it was available at the library, we thought we'd see it again. Our favourite line from the movie was when a friend of the main character's said to her, "Why are you trying so hard to fit in when you were made to stand out?!" Amanda and I talked quite a lot about what that meant and about what good advice that was. Also, as far as I'm concerned, you can't complain about a movie with Colin Firth in it... (Guilty confession time, I think he's delightful as far as actors go...I mean you can't go wrong with a cross between Mr. Darcy and my own dear hubby?!!) The movie had a happy ending...daughter reunited with father; father brings charming boy that daughter likes back to her; father and mother deeply in know, your typical "happily ever after". As we cuddled tonight Amanda and I talked about how we are living our own happily ever after:) We talked, we laughed, we shared chai lattes and cherries with pits...gotta love girls' night!!

On another note, this afternoon we went bike riding, and I just have one question for you... How is it that you can feel so good bike-riding...feel like you could go on forever and then, the moment you get off the bike find yourself to be overheating a bit?! It must have something to do with the wind and velocity keeping you cool, but both Amanda and I felt that way. Oh well, at least it was a nice day for a ride:)
An 82 Year Old Man

The other day at work I met an 82 year old man who happens to own a few shares in the company. He's been residing of late in Africa and was in town for a quick visit, so he popped in to see the CEO right around coffee time, and I am so much richer for getting to sit with him in the coffee room and hear his stories of what he's been doing in Kenya.

This is a very unassuming man. I'm not sure what he did for a living earlier in his life, but from things he's said in passing, I think he worked with farmers. He's lived in Ontario and Saskatchewan, and then he and his wife retired to B.C. Unfortunately, his wife passed away a few years ago. When she was alive they had always wanted to go and work in Africa, but he says "the doors were never opened."

Well a couple of years ago, this man went on a tour over there, and he's been there ever since. He talks in a disheartened manner of all the NGO's that we hear of and support and how they really do little there to help reduce poverty...that little of the money actually gets to the people who need it. He has an obvious passion to see these families be able to get out of the cycle of poverty.

One of the things that struck him the most was their need for water. You would never have a farm here without a well so he started finding ways to help groups of farmers build wells. On a sabatical trip back to B.C. a while ago, he says he was praying for specific incite of how to find water for these people and not waste effort on dry holes. He believes the Holy Spirit lead him to his closet, and within a few minutes he had fashioned these two "L" shaped tools. He lifted them up to show us and then he walked around our coffee room. The two rods would stay apart as he walked and then suddenly they crossed over each other (without his hands directing them to). At that point he said, "there's a stream here". He then asked the rods how far down the water was and they counted out the feet. He said that he knows they look like silly rods, but that he believes they are talking to him and that it's been incredible how accurate they have been in finding water for these people. To date he has been part of the construction of over 300 shallow wells. (By the way, he also passed the rods over two glasses of water - one with 10 grains of salt in it and one without. The rods crossed themselves only over the unsalted water, further showing the accuracy of his tool.)

This man not only helps the people he works with find water, he's taught them how to come together and help each other. He'll get three farmers working together to construct wells for each other so it costs less, and he's taught them to sell their rice from one day's meal in the market each week (and eat vegetation that day) to save up for the tools needed. He's still working out a way to get the cost of tools down, he says.

I was amazed by this man's stories and the pictures I saw. Then someone else asked him the exact question that was on my heart. "How do you finance your work? I mean, do you have the covering of any church or organization?" The answer was "no". He does not have the covering of any organization. He finances himself.

I was touched by this his stories, his example, his heart and his faith. That was the best thing that happened at work this week:)

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Highlights of the Last Few Days...

This past weekend Amanda was on a sleepover so Les and I had some extended 'date' time:) On Friday night we went to the Jazz Festival where we sat in the Bessborough Gardens and heard Theresa Sokyrka perform (along with others). Man, her voice is a lot more impactful in person than I realized. She sang quite a few new songs that she had written in the last few months. I particularly liked one called 'Riverbend'.

Saturday morning we actually got to sleep in a bit and then headed out for a bike ride together. It was a beautiful morning (much nicer than the weather network said it would be). The sun was shining, birds were singing... Afterward we did a bit of yardwork and then enjoyed our lunch al-fresco. It's so nice to be able to eat on our deck these days. We only recently got a patio set, so it's a new experience for us, but we sure like it. With the huge trees lining the view beyond our yard, it doesn't even feel like we are in the city. It's more like a mini-vacation everytime we are out there.

Sunday was a great day too. We had some friends in for a potluck bbq. I love having people over! We visited, we ate, we played games, we had pie. It was all good!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

This quote is profound...

"There is enough good in the worst of us and enough bad in the best of us, that it never behooves any of us to talk about the rest of us."
Mary Chapman
I'm a "Cool" Mom Now!

I was royally treated for my birthday this weekend. My husband romanced me, family and friends visited me, there were cakes and and cards and presents and laughs and fun. Amanda went to extra lengths to get me just the right present. Apparently the first store she went to was actually sold out of what she wanted, and a substitute just wouldn't do. Was I ever surprised when I opened her gift...earrings from the Stuff by Duff line! She wanted me to finally have something from Stuff by Duff (her favourite line;). I guess, I'm the "coolest" mom now! :)

Thursday, June 16, 2005

The "I CAN'T!" Girl, COULD, and She DID!
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I have battled many times with my darling daughter this last year (and the years before that) over the words, "I CAN'T!" ...hoping to banish them from her vocabulary. Fighting for her to believe in herself more and see all the wonderful things God made her to be and all the amazing things she CAN do. There have been more than a few tears from my Dolly when she started a new math section and in frustration declared that she just "CAN'T" do this! They broke my heart (and secretly lead to a few of my own tears) because she is such a bright and delightful child who CAN do I've told her over and over again. I've also told her many times that I don't want her to be perfect (we all make mistakes and much of the learning comes from there), but I do want her to try and to always do her best... I think I've shared some of this with you before...

Well, today we celebrate my girl who "CAN". This is Amanda's news more than mine. She is the one who did the work and who tried her best, and so it is with great pleasure that I let you in on the result. This morning Les and I attended an assembly at Amanda's school where she received The Honour Roll!!

Amanda, Daddy and I are VERY proud of you! ...not just for the grades though (or the Honour Roll), but for all the trying and the doing your best and the coming to believe in yourself (and in what we told you) more and more. You CAN do anything! We believe in you! Always believe in yourself and know that your best is always good enough! You are very bright and so imaginative and so creative and sensitive and caring....and we love you SO much!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

What is Your Theological Worldview?

You scored as Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan. You are an evangelical in the Wesleyan tradition. You believe that God's grace enables you to choose to believe in him, even though you yourself are totally depraved. The gift of the Holy Spirit gives you assurance of your salvation, and he also enables you to live the life of obedience to which God has called us. You are influenced heavly by John Wesley and the Methodists.

Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan






Reformed Evangelical


Neo orthodox


Modern Liberal


Classical Liberal


Roman Catholic




What's your theological worldview?
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Monday, June 13, 2005

My Latest Find!

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I found this on the weekend when I was at the market picking up a few things we needed, and I just couldn't resist... I mean chocolate and carmel in tea?!! Does it get any better than that?!!

Friday, June 10, 2005

The muck is gone! And we've been doing some yardwork. Finally my wait is over and I can put things in my front flower bed! We weren't even allowed to top up the dirt until this past Wednesday, and so last night my man, who does so many things just to make me happy, filled the bed up with more dirt so that I could plant today:)

And plant I did! For over 3 hours this morning I was out there planting flowers and filling pots:)) (And doing plenty of deep squatting!!) I got the front all done, but the backyard is not quite finished yet... I'm hoping to get some perenniels at the sale at the Church this weekend, and then there are a few more that some dear friends have said they would share with me... And oh yes, I can't forget there are the rose bushes that Brenda said she would share with me!! And I still have to plant my tomato plants, that is, once I get them... We are heading out to the Berry Barn on Sunday with the Inlaws, as is our tradition, where I will get some Early Girl tomato plants:)

All the flowers aren't as lush yet as they will be, but I'm very pleased with how it is coming together, and I guess we'll just have to wait and see them bloom and grow in the weeks and months ahead, which, in and of itself, is a bit of a parable for our hearts, so I'll just leave you to think about that a bit:)

Thursday, June 02, 2005

The Driveway Parable

Our driveway is covered in sand, has been for two days now, waiting for the rain to stop. Once the rain stops, the sand will dry, and when it's dry enough to look white-ish, the last step in securing our newly laid paving stones can be completed. It will be lovely once it is done. I know, I saw the preparation that went into it all...the excavation, the foundations, the leveling and then the laying of the stones. It will be just as we intended it to be, but in the meantime, it's covered with sand, and you can't really see what it will be. In fact, it looks pretty mucky right now, and I am impatient for what it will be. Please let the sunshine come soon.

Sitting here tonight, I can't help but think of what a parable our driveway is for our lives. God created us, planned every detail of who He wanted us to be. He planted the seeds, laid the foundation, etc. And He has continued working in our lives since the day we were born. Yet somehow right now when I look in the mirror (figuratively and also not so figuratively) all I see is muck. I fall more times than I want to, and I just want the rain to stop so that the things He's laid underneath can shine...the love He's put in me, the amazing husband He made me for (what a bless-ed marriage He's created!), the darling daughter He planned would be mine all along (what an amazing thing it is to get to be her Mom!)...and so much more. I know all those things are there, but all I see is the muck (the things I do wrong, the times I've failed, my strongholds). Tonight I'm impatient for the rain to stop on the inside too, to see myself as God intended me to be. To be lovely. To not fear contempt. Please let the Son-shine His light in me again!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Just a quick post to say I'm still living, just more so out there than in here:) This week, in particular, has been busy around the house as we are doing our drive-way, but it's coming along really nicely.