106497811025889141 Tuesday, Sep 30 2003 

We had a death in our family last night. Tamara’s fish passed on to fish heaven. Jerry buried it in our garden compost and I am sure will be wonderful fertilizer for our plants next year. We will miss the little “critter”. One less mouth to feed – that is Jerry’s philosophy of life!

Was at home again today. Am feeling better and will head to work tomorrow. Read a book today by Joyce Meyers on Knowing God intimately. Very good book. Is about the work of God the Holy Spirit in our lives. How we are to build an intimate relationship with God the Holy Spirit that integrates absolutely everything in our daily lives. We are to be passionate about our inner life and put significant effort and work into feeding our inner life. We concentrate so much on the doing and we are to concentrate our whole attention on our “being” which will then affect our “doing”. A good reminder for me again!

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106487916833027195 Monday, Sep 29 2003 

Worship Freehouse was amazing last night. The theme was about the “noise” in our lives that keep us from hearing the “signal”. To me the “signal” is the still small voice of the Holy Spirit. Every part of my life gets full of noise – mental, physical, spiritual. We took time to be silent for 2 1/2 minutes last night and it was amazing to see the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the people. It was also great to share a table with my friends, Kelly, Grace and Bernie. We had great discussion and prayer together. It is awesome to see how God is working in each of our lives. We have much to be thankful for.

I have not been feeling well and as a consequence have been spending time alone at home. This has been a very good thing for me. It all works into this noise thing. I keep a very busy schedule and sometimes my old body says “no more” we need a rest.

Been reading about contemplation and solitude. I thought I would share some of those thoughts.

Letting go and Letting be are indispensable contemplative habits. These seemingly simple practices have to be learned — they are the fruit of years of spiritual practice through the day-to-day labor of meditation. Attaining inner quiet, seeking stillness of mind and senses, requires enormous discipline. If we can learn to withdraw our attention from its attachment to sensory experience, to stop relying solely on the senses for satisfaction and joy, then we are in a position to become aware of God.”

“Solitude assists the process of interiorization in which the person withdraws attention from the outside, and begins to look within. Withdrawal from the world soon lends a genuine perspective on life, people, God, nature and oneself. When we enter a place of solitude, all the things that seem so important to us recede in significance; what is truly important emerges into clarity. It is difficult to imagine any real breakthroughs without a solitary element in one’s spiritual life.”

106470341935321166 Saturday, Sep 27 2003 

I was hoping that I wouldn’t get it – the cold that is. It has been a looooooong time since I have been sick with a cold and this time it got me good. The worst part is the coughing! Jerry was complaining that I was hollering in my sleep – I think it was my coughing.

However, a few nights ago I did wake up and knew I had been screaming – when I opened my eyes there was Jerry looking at me in total confusion. I got up out of bed and went and slept downstairs in my favorite spot – Tamara’s bed. I had been really scared as I had been dreaming. In my dream I was with Matt and Jesika up in the mountains someplace and I was rolled up in a blanket like a sleeping bag trying to sleep but wild animals were clawing away at my blanket and there claws were getting pretty close – I was frantic and when I woke up I knew I had been screaming. My heart was still pounding! I think my imagination gets away with me when I think of those kids trekking the Himalayas!!

106461810777791629 Friday, Sep 26 2003 

I had a great morning with my friend Kelly. She always challenges me to think. Bernie came over as well. God has given me such wonderful friends. I am very blessed.

Went to Carla today and had my hair cut. Decided to do something different. I am looking ahead to when we travel and want a hairstyle that takes no work. Maybe I should just shave my head!!! That would be easy. Anyways, Carla did do a great job again and I am happy. Great colour and great cut!

106437450198727523 Tuesday, Sep 23 2003 

This is a post from September 23rd which I was unable to post. Thanks to Coop for getting my blogspot back up and running. You are the best Coop! You deserve a hug!!!

I do not like gray days and today was a gray day! The wind is howling and the skies are gray with small spits of rain falling. Gray days make me feel gray! They just do.

I am attempting to make my office a little brighter than it is. My office does not have an outside window so it can be very dim. I have a beautiful office which was decorated by my friends Twila and Erin Barbour. It is my sanctuary. What I did tonight was go out and buy brighter bulbs to put into my lamps. I also bought a new lamp for my desk. My office also needs a good cleaning, so I hope to accomplish that as well. I hope that will make a difference.

Tamara came to my mind many times today as it is 26 years today that Jerry and I saw our beautiful little baby girl for the first time. She was 13 days old and there she was this little bit of a thing – all 19″of her with her dark eyes, dark eyebrows and dark hair. There is no doubt it was love at first sight! Jerry said “She looks just like I imagined she would”. It is hard to believe that she is now a confident young woman living in Taiwan teaching English to children. It seems just like yesterday we held her in our arms for the first time. Some tears were shed today as I thought back over all these years and the joy she has brought to our lives. I have to add that it was not all “joy”, there were hard times as well, but that is life isn’t it. We talked to her last night and she sounded great. We are thankful to God for the opportunity of being parents as there was a time when we thought it might not happen.

We received an email from Matt yesterday and they are heading out on a 2 week trek. He said Nepal is absolutely beautiful and they were enjoying there time there.

106412256516767306 Sunday, Sep 21 2003 

I went to a surprise 40th birthday party for my friend Laurie Fehr. I love surprise parties! The house was packed with people and we all waited patiently as Cal and Laurie came into the house – Laurie thought they were coming for their Small Group – but she was fooled. She was totally surprised. Laurie is an awesome “young” woman. I have gotten to know her better over the last couple years and she has much to give to those around her. Happy 40th Birthday Laurie!

I am learning to relax in who God has created me to be. To let things go! Not to get so upset if something does not go the way I thought it should. There really is much freedom in living this way. To be intentionally thankful for who I am. To know that I can be okay with who I am. This is not something which comes naturally, at least to me. I have had to change the way I used to think about myself. There was a time when I didn’t really like the person I was. I didn’t fit! Life didn’t make sense! As I have grown in my relationship with my Heavenly Father my attitude about myself has changed. I am thankful!

Pastor Dean was talking about family life tonight in his message. As he talked I thought about Tamara and Matt, our children, and how they are now adults. They are two very different children but both “awesome”. Dean talked about how we need to make sure our children know that they are loved. I trust my children know that as I have said it to them many times. Tamara and Matt, you are loved muchly! I love how you have matured into responsible adulthood; your independence; your passion to travel; to learn new and experience new things. I know you are both on your own spiritual journeys that will be different from anyone else’s. I know you love and respect your mom and dad. What more could a parent ask for!! We are blessed!

106394757129497030 Thursday, Sep 18 2003 

We heard from Matt and Jesika this morning. They are in Nepal in the midst of a 3 day strike. They are heading out to do some trekking and will email when they return. It was so good to hear from them and to know that they are okay. Trusting that they will be safe as they trek the Himalayas.

106386072563071351 Wednesday, Sep 17 2003 

I hate being cold!! When it started getting colder in the Fall I begin to remember what winter is really like!! I wish I could stay inside in front of the fireplace all winter. Wouldn’t that be wonderful!!!!

We haven’t heard from Matt and Jesika since they left on Saturday night. I am hoping that all is well. We talked to Tamara the other evening and she sounded great. She had a nice break in Hong Kong – very expensive though!! Also some beautiful places to see.

Life is very interesting. Everyone has something to deal with and work their way through. The more I connect with people the more I realize that life isn’t fair.

I am enjoying reading “The Mystic Heart”. Some challenging concepts about interspirituality. I like that! I need to be challenged as I don’t ever want to get to the place where I think I don’t need to learn anymore. Keep this gray matter pumping away!!

Jerry and I went for our first set of immunization shots – one in each arm.

Here’s my story from yesterday. We have this machine which is supposed to help tighten your abdomen – in other words tighten my loooooose stomach muscles. Now I am not sure how to use this machine so I ask my brilliant husband what to do. He tells me what to do and says I am supposed to keep doing it until my stomach muscles burn. Well, mine never get to that point so I quit!!! Guess what???? Today I can hardly walk because Jerry didn’t know what he was talking about and my abdomen feels very good, in fact, it feels very good compared to the front of my legs which are so stiff I can hardly walk. It appears I wasn’t using the machine properly because Jerry didn’t show me the proper position I was supposed to be in. And to top in all off, it hurt my neck so much that I got up at 6:00 am this morning to take some anacin as I had a bad headache from my sore neck. That is my sad story for today on my quest for a tight abdomen!!! I think I will hobble to bed and forget about my abdomen tonight!!

106351598061593664 Sunday, Sep 14 2003 

Matt and Jesika are off. They left Calgary at 7:19 pm tonight and have landed in L.A. on their first leg of their trip to Nepal. Tamara should be home from Hong Kong. We haven’t heard from her but I believe she came home tonight. It will be fun to hear from her.

I talked to my niece Christa tonight. She is staying with Heather, Greg and Kieran – new parents. The household is turned upside down when a new little person comes on to the scene. It is remarkable how the world revolves around a little 6 pound 15 ounce boy. Life will never be the same. Christa had Kieran up to the phone so I could hear him. Christa says he is the cutest little “gaffer”. He has no hair just like his Uncle David and Cousin Matt when they were babies.

I started reading a new book today entitled “The Mystic Heart” by Wayne Teasdale. Its about discovering a universal spirituality in the world’s religions. I think I am really going to enjoy it. The following are some good quotes:

“What is Spirituality? Spirituality is a way of life that affects and includes every moment of existence. It is at once a contemplative attitude, a disposition to a life of depth, and the search for ultimate meaning, direction and belonging. The spiritual person is committed to growth as an essential, ongoing life goal.”

“Spirituality draws us into the depth of our being where we come face to face with ourselves, our weaknesses, and with ultimate mystery. A genuinely spiritual person passionately commits to this inner development. He or she knows that life is a spiritual journey, and that each one of us must take this journey alone, even while surrounded by loved ones. How we make this journey is what spirituality is all about. We must take responsibility for our spiritual lives. This means finding the right way to relate to the divinie, and this is what prayer is all about.”

“We are created for the spiritual journey. To be spiritual essentially means to take responsibility for our inner journey while using all the resources from all the traditions available to us.”

I am also reading “Leap over the wall” by Eugene Peterson – earthy spirituality for everyday Christians. Writes about the different events that took place in David’s life and relates them to everyday living. Very good! We are going to be discussing this book at our Friday lunches with Jordon, Wendy, Darren, Cathy and whoever else joins us. Should make for good discussion.

I am also reading through “The Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren. Good book. I don’t necessarily go along with everything in it, but overall a great book for new believers who want a good understanding and foundation for daily living. Also a good review for some of us. A good read.

106349019039031227 Saturday, Sep 13 2003 

It was a busy week. Meetings and meeting with lots of different people. Trying to simplify my life so I have more time for meditation and contemplation in my life. My life has a tendency to get too busy running around connecting with people and not still enough to connect with God. I have to be very intentional in this.

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