Monday, October 25, 2010


           When a woman is in labour, she has those moments when she wonders if the baby will ever come. In the last couple of weeks, I have felt like that woman, screaming out loud and wondering if this addition would ever be born. And then, there it was. Done. A new kitchen, a new bedroom and a larger, renovated bathroom. The house feels enormous. It isn't, but it feels that way. As the contractor and his assistant packed up on the final work day, I felt like weeping. I've come to appreciate these two young guys...younger than our son, like sons, in a way. We nearly drove them crazy with all our demands, but they remained gentlemanly and gracious through it all. These are hardworking guys...salt of the earth. I smile at their futures. They'll go far, these two.

             And we're delighted. Sleeping in the new bedroom takes some getting used to. It's so new, so pristine. At first I had trouble falling asleep in a blindless room. It was eerily quiet. The other floor had many noises, household things that turned on and off in the night. But this room is shut off from that, insulation thick and dense.

            The bathroom boasts a huge soaker tub. But one of my favourite features is a tube skylight above the tub. You can't see through it, but it does reflect the colour of the sky and lets in light, in an otherwise dark room.

And the kitchen, with it's "calabash" walls and "cotto flame" ceramic tile, is a dream. With a skylight and sliding glass doors, it's airy. We've been watching the squirrels and bunnies on the back lawn. It's like eating outside. And with new cabinets and a dishwasher, we're all set.
So the birthing part is over, we're adjusting to our new addition!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Heavenly Father

        I have a Father. He is so rich. He doesn’t just own land, but sky and sea as well. “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world and all who live in it.” Psalm 24:1.
         My Father is generous, oh so generous. Look what He gives:
His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” 1Peter 2:3.

         My Father loves me so much that he just wants to pour out his love and blessings on me. He has a plan for me and wants only good for me because HE IS GOOD.
God is all mercy and grace- not quick to anger, is rich in love. God is good to one and all; everything He does is suffused with grace.” Psalm 145:8-9

         Yes, I have a Father. I am not an orphan. Father loves me: He is only good. He is not like earthly dads. He is a perfect Father. He loves without reservation. He gives perfectly. I have no fear of harm. He wants only good, because He is good. 100%! I am not Fatherless.         
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!“ 1John 3:1

I have a Father... and you do too!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Grandma Annie

The silk lilies sit in the crystal vase, worn and dusty
They observe...
She shuffles in, aproned, with stockings rolled down like ankle doughnuts
To sit in her favourite place beside the good light
Where threads lie ready.

Grasping needle and white strands, calloused fingers
Guide to form designs.
Stacks of cross-stitched patches grow and wait.
No patterns to follow, she deftly weaves the needle's course.

Eyes, deeply wrinkled, still bright
Smile at filament motif - ideas tried and true.
Cobalt blue today, white tracks move along
Till all corners join together as one.

The quilt is ready. Soon to grace a
Granddaughter's room.
Only the warmth a Grandmother can bring.
Mine an expert maker of love blankets.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Hope That Does Not Disappoint

Romans 12:12 - Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. (NIV)

A couple of years ago, I was having a "down day". As I walked to my dad's house in the rain that Monday, I felt forlorn. Life, of late, had not been particularly kind. My mom had passed away several months earlier, and I was struggling to make sense of it all. At only 53 years of age, I was suddenly and irrevocably plunged into the world of bereavement. I hadn't had much experience with death, and now, here it was. It had moved into my heart with a vengeance, bringing along with it the thousands of niggling questions that I'd never had to think of before. Even though mom and I were both Christians, and I believed I'd see mom again, questions still arose. What was heaven like? What do people do there? Could my mother see me? Could Jesus give mom a message? Life would never be the same.
And that day, I had missed the bus, and the rain was drenching my sweater. As I passed the church, something caught my eye on the sidewalk: rain-soaked confetti -- coloured little dots catching the light on a gray, pebbled walkway. Clearly, someone had something to celebrate. There must have been a wedding that weekend, and in disregard for all requests from the pulpit, the confetti had flown at bride and groom. I could imagine their smiles -- a day of hope, a day of joy for two families coming together. A faint grin crossed my face as I thought of my own wedding day -- and more importantly, a wedding to come: the marriage feast of Jesus and His bride, the Church. It will be a time of rejoicing, unity, intimacy, and putting away of all tears. My heart was suddenly filled with hope. This grief would not last forever.
Life is sometimes heavy, but hope in Christ and intimacy with Him lightens the load. Today, let's decide to put our hope in the only One worthy of it: beautiful Jesus!
Prayer: Father, thank You for giving us Your Son. Thank You that death is not the end for Your children, but the beginning. We look forward to that day when we can see You face to face, with no more tears. Renew our hope today and give us the joy that only You can bring. We love You! In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

This devotional was published today, with minor variations on the PCCWeb Daily webpage: .

Monday, October 11, 2010

Privilege, Peace and Pie

       The weekend before last, I had the privilege of spending some much needed respite at Blue Lake near Parry Sound. Jennie and Jim kindly opened their cottage for friends, Ralph and Evelyn and I. The five of us spent the time strolling and conversing, appreciating the deep ornamentation and aromas of fall. We had no agenda, no schedule. That in itself made for a peaceful weekend.
       We sat in each other's company and enjoyed the leisure of it all. Evelyn is an artist, skilled in ways I can only dream of, a great inspiration to pursue gifts given by God. She was diligent to sketch and experiment with watercolour, rarely seen without sketchbook in hand. Jim, when not sawing up a large tree he had felled, favoured a corner with good light, off in another world with a good book. Ralph helped Jim with the tree and joined Jennie and I in many games at the table. Jennie floated among us singing the song of the hostess, making sure we always had whatever we needed. The food was grand and more than one recipe was copied. And to my delight, being raised on good pie, there were both lemon meringue and a berry crumble to choose from. Sheer relaxation.
       The place itself is a sanctuary of peace. Surrounded by tall oaks and maples, the cottage is nestled in, away from the road, up the hill from the water. A place well known to bears and bluejays, the forest sings with movement. Jennie and Jim bought the twelve acres at the end of the lake in the late eighties and have been spending the warm months working on their dwelling all these years. More country house than cottage, as it is fully winterized, bathroomed and bedroomed, the sheer size of it takes it fully out of the cottage category. But it wasn't always this way. For the first three years, they lived in a trailer. Patiently, persistently they used their "Willy," (a jeep sort of thing) to haul in materials and nail by nail build their "Lighthouse." Just last summer, their modern kitchen was completed. My favourite room runs along the side of the house with large windows on every side. It has all the benefits of being in the forest without the bugs and heat. Surrounded by nature, that room could stand by itself as a reason to build in the bush. 

       Jennie and Jim are salt and light. They humbly offer their abode to any who need it. It has been a place of honeymoons, baptisms, retreats and reunions. They've welcomed guests from their home in York region and as far away as Holland, Sweden, Finland and even New Zealand. Their doors are open and so are their hearts. I count it a privilege to have been part of this group.
       One guest echoed the sentiments of myself and many others when in their guestbook, he simply wrote,
                       Jennie and Jim,
                            Thank you for this place of peace.
                             May you be abundantly blessed!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

His Place

There are those days
when a throng of thoughts niggle away at a heart,
lists of lists
when no solutions are easy and rest seems remote

And there are those days when peace surrounds and lifts
when calm breaks forth on a biting sea
and life touches down

How to reach that peace during times
When minutes streak like fireworks
when time flashes instead of passes

Only the Prince of Peace can calm the soul significantly -
Only the Good Shepherd can hold me in his arms
and rock away the driven ness

Today the choice is made
His eyes behold me,
His arms encircle me...
It is well with my soul.