A Perfect Day Thursday, Nov 30 2006 

Yesterday was a perfect winter day for me…it went like this….

I got up at 9:15 am and looking outside saw the beautiful mountains and clear blue sky with a temperature of -22. Jerry and I decided to head outside before breakfast, so we bundled up in our winter clothes and headed out. The mountains covered in snow were absolutely spectacular with the blue sky and bright sunshine…it was more beautiful than words can express. The new snow sparkled like thousands of diamonds and the snow crunched under each of our footsteps. the chickadees were singing in the trees and as we walked around the frozen lake with the panarama of mountains all around us, my heart was so full of gratefulness for the privilege of being alive and experiencing this kind of beauty. My sense of God is always so beyond comprehension when I breathe in the beauty of his creation…amazing.

In the afternoon Jerry and I drove to Lake Louise and the trip down continued to be breathtaking as we drove through the mountains. Lake Louise had received about 10 inches of new snow and as we got closer to Lake Louise, the trees were just hanging and covered with new snow, up to about 10 to 12 inches…it was absolutely beautiful. We drove up to the Lake Louise Hotel and words cannot express the beauty that was all around us. We just took picture after picture…but you just aren’t able to capture the beauty and the vastness of nature all around you. I love winter like this…it is perfect!

The Chateau Lake Louise was all decorated for Christmas inside, so we toured the old hotel enjoying all the history pictures and reading about all the early people involved in the building of the railway across Canada and through the Rockies. No agenda…we could do it at our own speed and in no hurry.

My favorite bakery is in Lake Louise so Jerry and I stopped and puchased all our favorite things to eat together with a Chai Lattee…there we are the two of us eating scrumptious sausage rolls in the parking lot…we couldn’t wait!! The Health Cookies, Cinnamon Buns and other goodies we bought were saved for later!!!

We then drove back to Banff and I spent a couple of hours in “The Spirit of Christmas” store…it has everything you can imagine for Christmas…it was fun just to look and not feel pressured by buying into the having the right “look” for Christmas. I am dealing with all the expectations that comes with Christmas…I don’t need to buy into it.

We then went up to the Banff Springs Hotel to see the Christmas Decorations there…they were absolutely amazing with 6 huge Christmas Trees decorated and lights and decorations everywhere…we then headed back to Canmore.

We came back to our place in Canmore…ate some of our goodies…watched CSI New York and Criminal Minds…and in between read my good book Maya that I received from Matt and Jesika…and that was our day…no heavy intellectual thought or converations…just the enjoyment of being alive and enjoying the world around us.

As we were driving yesterday, I reminisced about all the places were had been to and how there is beauty everywhere…we just have to take the time to embrace it and enjoy it…

Those are my thoughts for today as I listen to the Messiah and look out the window at the blue sky with the majestic mountains all around us.


Silent Retreat Thursday, Nov 16 2006 

My Silent Directed Retreat was amazing! The Spiritual Director I had was so awesome! I will definitely do it again only I will do it for a longer period of time. I would like to work my way up to a 30 day retreat sometime in the future. The setting was at Queen’s House of Retreats which is so quiet and has so many nooks for one to sit and reflect. Certainly refreshing to my inner being!

We are off to Canmore for two weeks. We have been offerred a place to stay for a couple of weeks so are heading out tomorrow morning. My sister Joanne and her husband Dwight will be joining us the first week, and hopefully my good friend Kelly will come for the following week. It will be much relaxing, reading, doing coffee, visiting, playing cards/games, and anything else that doesn’t take much energy. Probably a couple of trips into Calgary as well, but all in all a relaxing time!

Spiritual Direction Thursday, Nov 9 2006 

Have had a terrible chest cold which is finally running its course! My cough still sounds awful, but I actually feel pretty good.

Have a busy weekend ahead of me. I taught a class of 22 last Saturday and am doing followup on the people who attended. I am going to my first Silent Directed Retreat this coming week. I will be receiving spiritual direction during this retreat, but otherwise I will be on my own with designated readings, prayer. I am looking forward to it. It will be a new experience.

Updates Thursday, Nov 2 2006 

This has been quite a day. I conducted the funeral of a 2 1/2 month baby girl, Rogan, and then this afternoon we went to the airport to meet our dear friends, Bart and Kim Gilbert, as they arrived from Haiti with their new 1 1/2 year old daughter Katiana. What an emotion day!

The service was good and Chris and Megan are just an amazing young couple. They were so open with their grief and love for their little baby daughter. I was so glad the sun was shining and the sky was blue at the cemetery. I can’t even begin to imagine what it must feel like to let your little baby go. Only God’s strength and grace can give you what you need at a time like that.

I am so excited for Kim and Bart. They have waited so long to be parents and it was so neat to be at the airport with others from our staff. I was thinking today of Kim’s mom, Donella, who was watching from Heaven. Katiana is named after her grandmother, Katiana Donella Gilbert, that is so awesome. She is so little and so cute…a whole new journey for the Gilbert family begins. God is good! All the time!

Loss Wednesday, Nov 1 2006 

Baby Rogan passed away on Monday morning. The memorial service is Thursday, November 2nd. Please pray for the young parents as they deal with overwhelming loss. May God’s comfort be their comfort in these difficult days.