Day in the passport line in Victoria Tuesday, Feb 27 2007 

This was written by our amazing daughter-in-law, Jesika, on her blog, and I wanted to share it…what a great perspective!

what i like about being on vancouver island is that i find people a wee bit more relaxed than in calgary. maybe its because over 50% of them are retired or because every time i’m here i’m on vacation therefor i feel relaxed, regardless, as i stood in line i could envision the same line in calgary…people “tsk”ing and looking dissapprovingly back and forth between their watches and the little paper number they were handed. “time is money and i’m wasting my time” would be the thought in most heads. most likely they would just hand a big wad of cash to someone at the front of the line in exchange for their spot. but not here. here in victoria people gathered from all over the island to have a good old time of fellowship and community as we slowly crept up the sidewalk for the next five hours. by 2:00pm i had heard tales of people’s previous adventures and at least ten more of upcomming adventures…nigeria for vibrant colored cloth to be used in a designers spring clothing line, a couple vegas trips one by a 22 year old with her girlfriends, the other by a 42 year old with her girlfriends. a pleasant grandmotherly type visiting family in england, a father who drove his daughter down from nanaimo as she is going to mexico this summer to visit her sister. the list goes on. and between exchanging stories and attempting to study i was also able to leave for a little shopping, a few cups of coffee and a good visit in the book store across the street as others held my place in line.

it was a great time of fellowship and community and reminded me of waiting outside our broken down bus in indonesia or hanging out waiting for a train to arrive in india, always accompanied by locals interested in your being. interested in eachothers being. there’s no “wasted time” when you travel. “wasted time” doesn’t even exist in many other cultures and yet that seems to be what spurs us north americans on. “efficiency, multi-tasking and getting the most for our money”. now i must admit that i am as guilty as any other when it comes to these things, but it was nice for a change to step out of that and just enjoy what life had handed me…a day in a line-up with a group of jovial strangers. so as we drove away after five hours of standing in that line i tried to think, “oh i should have come later as the line was shorter and i probably would’ve only had to wait three hours instead of five”, but i couldn’t. as much as i tried to force those “efficient” thoughts into my head, i had no regrets of my day in that line-up. i had shared many conversations, experienced many adventures through other’s tales, and i had relaxed for a day with nothing else i could do but stand in line and enjoy the rare moment of true community that comes when a bunch of people are thrown together and can do nothing about it.

so thank you passport canada, because with out the new regulations my day would’ve been filled with research and studying and i may have learned a few extra facts about soil ecosystems or the genetic make-up of the cheetah, but ultimately i would not have learned as much as i did that tuesday.

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Life… Wednesday, Feb 21 2007 

Matt arrived home with Niko and Griffin on Saturday afternoon. So good to have him home just hanging out, doing his projects and spending time with friends. We had a progressive supper on Sunday evening…it was amazing! We started out with appetizers at Berke and Mel’s at 5:00 pm. We enjoyed great appetizers and great conversation and didn’t head out to Brooke and Kelly’s for the main course until around 7:30 pm. Arriving at Brooke and Kelly’s we had an amazing meal of Taco Soup and cornbread…delicious! Some great beverages were served as well, which were really enjoyed by some! A little after 9:15 pm, Jerry and I headed to our place to set up for our dessert, which was a chocolate fondue and good wine! It was an absolutely hilarious evening with laughter until your sides ached! Jerry and I did head to bed around 2:30 am and I am not sure when the others left for home! All in all, a great time was had by all.

I am still hard into getting my reading completed for my class starting March 4th. Lots of material to cover, but very interesting and I am really resonating with what I am learning. Now, the big thing is to put it all into practice. There doesn’t seem enough hours in the day to get everything accomplished, especially when the desire is to make life simplier. Not sure how to make that all happen.

It is Ash Wednesday tomorrow, the beginning of the Lent Season. Am looking forward to it this year and hoping to add something significant to my life during this time. I am not sure I will be able to follow through all the time, but I believe the experience will be worth it.

Brooke, Kelly and Molly… Saturday, Feb 17 2007 

Jerry and I spent part of today with the Graham family.  Jerry helped Kelly put up some gyproc in the basement; and Brooke and I spent the good part of the afternoon just talking about life.  That is the awesome part about friendship, you can just relax and be who you are and talk about the issues you are dealing with in life, and as you share your thoughts/experiences you find out that you are learning many of the same lessons; but the best part is that you each learn them in a different way; and as you share you relearn them, but from a totally different perspective.  Brooke and I go back a long way, and her greatest gift to me is how she sees and experiences life in pictures.  I learn through words and ideas, but today as we talked about being alone and solitude, she told me about her experience with imagination and pictures, and I just marveled at how creatively she gave me a picture of how we can recognize who we are in our innermost being.  It was amazing!

Molly is something else!  Her favorite book is about all the Prime Ministers of Canada, and as she goes through that book, she can tell you the name of every Prime Minister of Canada up to Stephen Harper, who is not in the book yet!   Molly was also playing with playdough, and has a tendency to eat it, if she can get away with it.  Brooke told her that if she ate any more playdough, mommy would take the playdough away.  Naturally, Molly put playdough in her mouth, and Brooke put the playdough away.  Molly was not too  happy, but Brooke asked her, “Molly, who made the decision here, Molly or mommy?”  Molly promptly answered “Molly”.   “Yes, you are right”, Brooke replied.  Funny or what!!!

Great day with friends!

Relationships… Thursday, Feb 15 2007 

Jerry and I had a long conversation a couple of days ago about our marriage and our relationship and how it is changing as we get older.  We are two very different people and we talked about how we live our life and how different aspects drive us.  Now that we have more time and are at a different place in life, we are beginning to move into a more holistic way of living, which includes embracing new ways of feeling and relating to each other.  I was reading the MacLean’s magazine a couple of weeks ago where it indicated that there is a huge number of couples who have been married as long or longer than we have, who are now moving into divorce.  As a reflected on that, I realized that if people have never taken the time to know who they are in their inner being, now as they are moving into the latter part of their lives, and their feelings and how they relate to each other changes, they feel they need to make a physical change, in order to figure out who they are.  The sad part is, that the divorce in many ways will not change anything, as they will still be the same person, and again, because they don’t know who they are in their inner being, they will look to someone else or something else to fill that emptiness, and the end result is not necessarily going to be anything different than what they had in the first place.  I am so glad that Jerry and I are committed to one another, and together, we will work out the changes that we need to make, in order to continue to build and deepen our relationship.

 If you have never watched the movie “Something has gotta give” with Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton,  it is a must view for people our age.  I have watched it a few times, and it is funnier every time I watch it.  We watched it last night, Valentine’s Evening, and again it was hilarious!  I love it!

Reaching out to our Innermost Self… Tuesday, Feb 13 2007 

I have been reading Henri Nouwen’s book “Reaching out: The Three Movements of the Spiritual Life”.  The first movement is from loneliness to solitude.  I have been reflecting on the whole loneliness issue as Tamara and I were talking about it a few days ago.  As I was reading this afternoon, I came across the following written by Henri Nouwen, and it has given me a very different perspective of loneliness.  Here is what he says…

“But what then can we do with our essential aloneness which so often breaks into our consciousness as the experience of a desperate sense of loneliness?…Instead of running away from our loneliness and trying to forget or deny it, we have to protect it and turn it into a fruitful solitude.  To live a spiritual life we must first find the courage to enter into the desert of our loneliness and to change it by gentle and persistent efforts into a garden of solitude.  This requires not only courage but also a strong faith.  As hard as it is to believe that the dry desolate desert can yield endless varieties of flowers, it is equally hard to imagine that our loneliness is hiding unknown beauty.  The movement from loneliness to solitude, however, is the beginning of any spiritual life because it is the movement from the restless senses to the restful spirit, from the outward-reaching cravings to the inward-reaching search, from the fearful clinging to the fearless play.

…Often we go to good men and women with our problems in the secret hope that they will take our burden away from us and free us from our loneliness.  Frequently the temporary relief they offer only leads to a stronger recurrence of the same pains when we are again by ourselves.  But sometimes we meet and hear that exceptional person who says:  “Do not run, but be quiet and silent.  Listen attentively to your own struggle.  The answer to your question is hidden in your own heart.””

I kind of look at it like this…when we move to embracing our loneliness and moving it to a releasing solitude, we become our own best friend!

Spiritual Direction Class Monday, Feb 12 2007 

I am taking a Spiritual Direction Class “Walking on Holy Ground” the beginning of March.  Before that date, I need to do some extensive reading prior to taking the class.  I have begun, but will need to be very intentional to make sure I get it all done.  I am also taking a short leave from Lakeview to do some concentrated study and also take some time for reflection.  I am not sure what the nudgings inside of me are saying, so I am taking time to figure that out!  

Tamara Tuesday, Feb 6 2007 

Had a chance to have a good talk with our daughter tonight.  I have missed her so much as we haven’t been able to communicate that much since she arrived in Japan.  She has now moved into her own place and will be getting a landline phone which will be a lot better than her cell phone.  She is doing well.  Working through some issues in her life and dealing with a little loneliness, but she sounded good tonight and it was so good to connect with her again.  Sure do miss her though!  I just might have to go and visit her one of these days!

Matt & Jesika Tuesday, Feb 6 2007 

Matt and Jesika just got word tonight that they have been accepted for a summer internship in Kakamega, Kenya.  Needless to say they are very excited, both being able to work in their area of study.  What a great opportunity for them.  Also a great opportunity for us as we will be the home for Niki and Griffen for the summer, our grandpuppies.  I am sure they will remember the time they spent here last summer, so it looks like an interesting and busy summer for us; and a great learning and busy summer for Matt and Jesika!

Jordon Cooper…friend or foe Tuesday, Feb 6 2007 

Jordon has been so kind as to retrieve all my lost blogs. Now from his perspective, the loss of these blogs was of little consequence, as from some of his comments he has intimated that there is not much searchable material in those blogs…Jordon does know how to hurt my feeling…but I am just going to forgive him anyway…that is the “christian” thing to do, isn’t it…turn the other cheek…do good to those who despitefully use you…

First service in new Lakeview auditorium Sunday, Feb 4 2007 

This was an exciting weekend for Lakeview as we celebrated the opening of our new auditorium.  It was an amazing evening!  Corwin Thiessen, an amazing young man, led our worship team, and the music and sound was absolutely magnificent.  The pictures on the screen and the music, together with the words of the songs, people together giving praise to the creator, our awesome is our God! 

There was a children’s carnival from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm and the building was full of kids from the community with lots of laughing and excitement.  I even scored on Thomas Miller with one of my shots on net…I don’t think Thomas expected an “old” farm girl like me to be able to shoot so hard and straight…I did fall down after I took the shot…but it was good for a lot of laughs!  All in all a great day! 

 Still have mixed feelings and thoughts about the whole building thing, but also know that God works in a diversity of ways and who knows what the next step will be! 

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