Thursday, January 31, 2008

A good old Canadian Winter

This January feels like a real Canadian winter. Something I've missed here in BC. Over the 37 years I've lived here we've had tastes of winter every few years but usually it's rain, rain and more rain. I am so much enjoying the more frequent and extended periods of snow this year. It's not so cold that you can't bear it like it's been in Saskatchewan where Chris and Dave reported -54 C with the wind chill this past week! Here it's brought a quiet beauty.

It amazes me how I can tell without even getting out of bed if it has snowed overnight - just by listening. The world feels hushed, like it is waiting with bated breath for something special. Several times the the snow coated every surface, from the links and barbs on fences to the finest stems and twigs. I am in constant awe and wonder over a Creator Who can so delicately blanket every inch of nature and yet somehow maintain each item as a recognizable part of the whole.

Job 37 says "His Word thundering so wondrously, His mighty acts staggering our understanding. He orders the snow, 'Blanket the earth!' When blizzards roar out of the north and freezing rain crusts the land. It's God's breath that forms the ice, it's God's breath that turns lakes and rivers solid."

From Psalm 147: "He spreads snow like a white fleece, he scatters frost like ashes, He broadcasts hail like birdseed— who can survive his winter? Then he gives the command and it all melts; he breathes on winter—suddenly it's spring!" both passages from "The Message"

A Stellar's Jay so visible against the snowy branches

Monday, January 14, 2008

About getting off the couch

I've been encouraged by my daughter Chris and by several good friends to start reading again. Oh don't get me wrong - I read all the time - actually I re-read alot of the time - old favourites - like watching a favourite movie again or listening to a favourite CD. No what I mean is to pick up some of those books that are challenging to read - books that are not just an escape into another place but books that stretch my thinking and help me to grow closer to God. Books that take me to another culture or life circumstance and get me thinking about who I am and how I live my life.

I've just finished "The Shack" by William P. Young which clarified some of my beliefs and challenged other ideas of Who God Is. It's not that I concur with everything the author says about God but instead I've had to think about how little I really understand about Him and His role in life here on earth. It is sending me back to the Bible to read for myself who God says He Is.

Thanks to the authors and to Chris and the others who regularly challenge me to get out of my intellectual easy chair.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Happy New Year 2008

Wow, has the time flown by! There was so much happening in December that I didn't have a minute to justify writing a blog entry. I should be posting expense receipts but I'm going to take a few minutes to bring this blog up to date.

What a busy but great month it's been. At our ladies' Bible Study we finished up the Beth Moore "Believing God"study. I was so encouraged by the way God was able to meet each of the women who participated. Each week the ladies shared their hearts as we reviewed the previous week's lesson. Thank you to each of you who participated and brought even more insights to my heart's attention. Now in January we will be starting Beth's "Stepping Up" study on several of the Psalms.

Of course Christmas and the preparations for it took up a good part of the month. I didn't do as much baking as I used to but did more entertaining than usual. We had the neighbours in for coffee and "appys", we hosted a dinner party, had the whole family home for dinner and Chris' birthday on the 23rd and then had our kids and grandkids, my parents and my sister and her family on the 24th.
Christmas morning was a wonderful time of sharing and celebration with our children and grandchildren. What fun to see Christmas through their eyes. In the picture on the right they are Evan (5 1/2), Nathaniel (almost 4), Kyle (almost 4) and Ella (almost 2)
I was so touched and blessed by the enthusiasm displayed by our Grandkids for the real reason for Christmas. They "read" the Christmas story with Chris before opening gifts and when we asked them to pray before opening their gifts they each willingly thanked the Lord for His Birthday in their own unique way.
Reading the Christmas story

Thank you Tim and Dulci, Dave and Chris for making Christ so much a part of your home that your children talk so easily to Him as their friend.

It was so much fun to see the cousins playing together. Kyle loves "babies" and Ella stole his heart away. All three boys loved the hotwheels track, Ella carried her animals around and when the boys made her the "monster" she delightedly chased the boys saying, "Rrrarr" and stomping her right foot. When asked if she was the monster, she said in her tiny, very feminine voice "uh Huh!"

Hot tubbing, decorating cookies, playing hotwheels and Lego, reading books, playing in the shop and outside. Can Papa and Nana think of anything more fun? As Ella would say,"No WAAY!"

Watching a bedtime DVD
We were also fortunate to be hosted by friends and neighbours on a number of occasions - how blessed we are to have so many wonderful people in our lives.

All I can do is praise my Heavenly Father who has graciously given all things (including family, fun times, health and peace) to enjoy.
The year ended with a New Year's Eve Italian style dinner at our house. Our friends, Gil and Susan had recently been in Italy and asked us to help them plan and host the meal, patterned after what they had experienced in Italy. It was great fun and we sat around the table til well after midnight enjoying the good food, wine and fellowship.