Friday, December 28

Christmas Past and New Year future

Seems like life is crazy full.... to say it was crazy busy perhaps would be even more accurate. While I hate the word busy as it implies a negative connotation, I am thinking that it would be more accurate. I have not had time lately to do the things I really love... like spending more time with my kids... like reading some of the great books I have waiting to be read... like meeting people for coffee "just because" it would be knitting.... or watching a funny movie... or just sitting and "being".

I have realized a few things about myself. Through the time off I had, helping to make Alvin's recovery easier, I realized that I struggled to be a good caregiver. Why was there such a struggle? I also realize that I spread myself too thin - trying to be all things for all people. not sure why, as I really don't think people expect that from me. I realize I am not good at delegation. Even over the christmas meals, I found it hard to delegate when people asked.
I realize that when I get stressed and busy, the first things that go out the window are things that mean alot to me.... exercise, good eating... laughter.
Oh Lord, help me to laugh more. I want to enjoy life to the fullest.

Live life to the MAX!! Okay so what does living life to the max look like for Joy Klassen? Me, the least adventurous... the one who hates to have any attention drawn to myself, whether it be kareoke, or dancing, or whatever.
But I want to live to the Max. Lord, i am really relying on you to make this very clear and obvious in my life. give me strength, and courage if needed.
Lately I have this sense within my being, that God is doing something new. This is exciting, exhilarating, and scary at the same time. Although I know he uses the ordinary to make extraordiniary, so not sure why it is scary, other than it is unknown. I feel like I am perhaps being gently removed .... Lord, is that it?
I also believe that your desire to get things going with the retreat center. Please direct my thoughts, my prayers, my actions as you desire.

Help me to GO BIG OR GO HOME!
for you Jesus... for you.
Thank you for this season, for your birth which we celebrated. Be my strenght Lord, please be my strength. amen.
I love you Jesus.

Tuesday, November 13

Lose It For Life

Lose it for life -- the name of a book I am reading, a workbook that I am doing, a website that I check into, and a ministry that offers small group coaching with a counsellor, and with others that become an accountability group. Lose if for life... it is my prayer that this will be the year of my life that I do lose it.. the weight that is.
You see, my weight has become like a millstone around my neck. I realize how much it impacts my decisions, my activity, my attitude, my mood, my relationships with my family and friends, and yep, my checkbook.
The other day, as I was rereading an old journal, I realize that this is a struggle that I have had most of my life. I also realize that it is a struggle that is for me, very much spiritually linked. I realize it is all about surrender.
Surrender, a word that we don't use very often. Even now again as I write this, the words from an old hymn surface... all to Jesus, I surrender, all to him I freely give...
Hmmmm.... seems that I have been surrendering very little lately. I have held on to my feelings, my hurts, my dreams, my desires.... perhaps journalling them, but holding them dear to me. Especially when they are tied up in the way I feel about myself, or about how discouraged I feel about myself, or the things that I have not done well. But I realize that He is My Strength... so what is the problem. My questions continue to be "God, why can I not claim victory through this stronghold?" "Why do I continue to give it to you, only taking it back a while later?" "Why do I continue to see comfort in the thing that only comforts for the moment (food) and then causes such great distress?"

I began small group coaching last night, and have felt so encouraged. It was life-giving. I don't know why it was so different.. but it was. I have encouragment through my immediate family, and thank God for that. My kids and husband are very encouraging, but somehow this group I think will be the additional key to get me through. I pray that it will be. Lord, thank you for Lose It For Life minsitry. Thank you for the new friends I have made through this ministry and its extensions. Thank you that today, I feel like there is new hope. Thank you for speaking to me through words and affirmation in scripture, through my family, and through my new friends who are helping to keep me accountable. Lord, be my strength. My fortress. Help me to run to you, and not to food!!

My goal is 55 pounds. My temporary goal is 20. I also have a goal for January 13th when I board the plane for Thailand. It is about 9 weeks away. Who knows what I will be down, but I hope it is good! May this be the start of the rest of my life!
I want to live a strong and healthy life. I want to be able to help my kids, play with my grandkids (whenever I get them) and to enjoy life to the max with my husband.
I want to be WHOLE - emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically.
Lord, be the center of all things in my life. Thank you in advance for all that you are going to do in and through me and my family. Glory to God!

Tuesday, November 6

First Snow

Well, it has come - the first snow of the season. They said flurries, and yet when we awoke, the ground was covered with a light blanket of snow. I am on holidays, and I thought that it would be good if it snowed during this time as I would be home snug as a bug, (or as a country mouse!) and not have to worry about slippery highways, as I came home from work late. But wouldn't you know it, it snowed on the day that I had to drive my husband - as he had shoulder surgery - and with the anesthetic, had to have someone accompany him. I think it was maybe God's sense of humor!

It is the first week of November, and I look and see that I have not posted since Thanksgiving. I guess it was after that, that everything broke loose with my schedule. My life went wild, and became overwhelmingly full, and well me, I didn't do so good under all the stress of it. Somewhere between good and very good, things turned a little bad. I don't do well at that point with stress. When I am physically tired, it seems everything else gets tired. Emotionally I had seen the well known "little red flags" popping up along the way. Somehow I guess I could handle them, and well, I just didn't worry too much about them, because my holidays were coming.
My summer holidays - which I had saved so we could go and work in Churchill... that was another "GOD thing" in my life. All those well conceived plans fell apart, and meant that we would both be staying home. Then my husband got called on the surgery cancellation list, and the rest is history, which brings me to today.

A dreary grey cold day - the only thing warm about it, is the warmth I could feel coming from the wood boiler outside as I wrestled with the logs to put them in. The logs -- thank you God for a son, a daughter's boyfriend and a good friend who came and put up our wood for the winter. With one arm out of commission, there was no way it would otherwise have gotten done. But now as I look at those neatly stacked piles of wood, I feel overwhelmed at knowing that most of the wood, will be put in the boiler by me. Lord, help my strained arm not to flare up again. And is this why my lower back is already hurting. Help me to not grumble. Oh Lord, please, help me to not grumble.

The good thing... our house is nice and warm!

November - Friday marked 10 years since my dad passed away. Oh how I miss him. I miss his voice, his prayers, his hugs, and the way he always seemed to know what to say to bring peace to me and my situations. Lately I have been feeling more needy than usual. I don't like that feeling, or should I say, I realize I don't like the feeling of knowing that others are aware of it.

I can't figure out this mood that I am in - a little bit of a funk. Sort of down, a great bit tired, but overall okay. I am praying that God reveals His will for me within the next few weeks. Something has to change in regards to work load, and obligations along with the things that I love to do. And toss in the desire to get the retreat place up and running. I think that is the thing that has me feeling this way, slightly overwhelmed even though I am on holidays. I need to let go and let GOD. Lord, I give it to you.

And the last thing on this post is the fact that I continue to struggle with my weight. I think this is a safe place to post since at this point, noone knows about this blog except my kids, and I don't think it is a sight even they will think of coming to often. So, it is like my journal, except out there... for any eye to see. Maybe I have already said way too much. Maybe I am really that naive as my son said in jest, to think that a blog would be so innocent.
Oh ya, back to the weight thing. What a sad moment when I finally got my sorry butt back into WW last week. Just when I thought it would only be a couple pounds up (after a bit of a time away) it was double. NOT GOOD! At this weight, my weight loss will certainly be worth its weight in gold. Anyhow, back into WW, and back on it, and have struggled with each day. Today is better. I just need normality in my life. (normality?? what is that??)
I have received a gift of a new friend however, through Lose It For Life. She and I have been emailing and working on accountability, and it is great. I realize that I struggle with fear of failure in regards to this weight thing, and perhaps that is why I always "self destruct" after a few weeks. But this time, Lord, you are my strength, and this time, I want to totally count on you to help me claim this victory.

My temporary goal is to lose about 15-20 pounds by January 13th. I think I will post along the way, (even if it is for my own purpose!). I have decided to go back to counting this week one.
So, week one, here I go... say no to chocolate!! Say no to pumpkin spice latte's from Starbucks... Say no to empty calories and yes to all that brings life to my body. Sooner or later, I have to get rid of these pounds. This is the year. By 50, I would love to be fat-free!! (smile)

So much for my whining.... regardless, I want to live to the fullest. (which the weight loss will only help me to do even better!) Perhaps I am a little naive and perhaps I have been too transparent here with my posting of my thoughts... I guess I can just hope that no one reads it!! (smile) All whining aside, life is good - I thank God for my family, especially my husband and kids. I am a very blessed woman.

Tuesday, October 9

Countdown whether we ask or not

While we have just put away the turkey remnants from Thanksgiving... before that celebration was even done, I was reading the paper and to my surprise, saw that someone had an article listing the number of days until Christmas!! It felt like an assault in some ways. I did not read the article, but I am thinking that it was likely something about shopping days, and lists, and what to buy that special gift. Speaking of that, I really have been thinking of what to buy my sister, who is leaving for Texas soon, and will be away when Christmas rolls around. So I guess that my thoughts have been there a little. But not in regards to shopping, but in regards to what is meaningful and what I can give.

What is meaningful. What IS meaningful? I know that this blog is basically the ramblings of one middle aged woman (that being me) but perhaps at some point in my life, someone other than my chidren will read this. Perhaps some thought would create a reaction in someone else's heart. My thought today is, what is it that is meaningful to me? And how does that show expression in my life? Does it make me more thankful, more giving, more thoughtful.

Also, reading the christmas countdown number, it also makes me realize that we need to live TODAY fully - to suck in each moment of each day in its entirety. To savour, to mull over, to chew on. To enjoy completely. (how ever that looks!! ) And to be thankful.
To not race into the tomorrows but to live fully in TODAY.

Those are my thoughts, and I am sticking to them!! :)
Enjoy, live to the full!! Be thankful. Reach out and love others. LIVE BIG!

Saturday, October 6

A Season of Thanksgiving

This is Thanksgiving Weekend. It is always bittersweet for me. 10 years ago my dad spent his last meal with us. As we sat around the table, we decided to write down (on little cut out leaves) what we were thankful for. If I had known that it was the last time my dad would sit and eat with us, perhaps I would have told him even more. My dad was a man who meant the world to me. He was the one that would give me advice if I asked. He was the one who always sensed when something was not quite right in my world!! He was the one who prayed daily for me and my family. He was "poppa" to my kids. He pulled out all the stops with them, at times bordering on spoiling them. I realize as I get older that I am alot like my dad. I am not sure if others see it as much. I had the privilege of working with my father in business for 6 years, and I learned alot from him. When I recite the quote "the acorn doesn't fall far from the tree" I realize that it relates to me too! I am terribly proud of where I have come from, and today thank God for a rich heritage - parents who taught me about Jesus, who loved me and guided me with unconditional love, no matter what I did. Parents who taught me that it was important to live fully and use the gifting and talents that are God-given. Parents who loved each other and who made sure that we heard and experienced their love. Parents who gently nudged when I needed that too. Parents who blessed me and my husband, who affirmed and who prayed for us and for the kids. 10 years ago, having just lost my mom, who'd have thought that in less than a month, we would also lay Dad to rest. I remember standing by their grave side, after the boys finished shovelling the sand back on top of Dad's casket, and thinking of how important they were to me. And, to my family. The many times I have gone to their grave site since, I have often wondered what my kids and their kids will think as they stand around my grave. Oh, that I can grasp life an live it fully - with no regrets, so that one day, whenever that day comes, my kids as well, will also stand and say, "my mom loved me, she prayed for me, she affirmed and blessed me, she loved my dad, she loved to laugh and she lived life to the fullest!" Because in that, they will find peace even amidst the hard stuff of loss.

Seems a little sad in some ways thinking this way, but that is part of what my Thanksgiving always entails. A bittersweet time, because even now, 11 and 10 years later since God took my Mom and Dad "home" I still miss them so much!! And often long to tell them the latest about my kids achievements, or just catch up on the day, or to hear them call me "honey".

But, in spite of the missing them, I can still say, Happy Thanksgiving. God, I am so thankful, I am truly blessed. Thank You Lord. As the weather outside today is grey and cool (about 9 degress celcius) and dreary, inside, in my heart, all is well in the world. :) Happy Thanksgiving.

Monday, October 1

Happy Feet

Last night I watched the movie Happy Feet for the first time. Well, actually the day before I watched the first 35 minutes while on my treadmill. I loved it. Something about that little Mumble that I could just relate too. Do you ever find yourself laughing when no one is around. I think the thing that touched me first off was when the singing teacher told them that they all had a heartsong and that she couldn't teach them their heartsong, but that they all had to find it. Hmmm.... our heartsong. What is my heartsong? What is yours?

These days so much has been said about finding your purpose, or your sweet spot in life, as Max Lucado puts it. The three bouts I had in hospital (June 05, Mar 06 and May 06) were blessings in disguise. I look at those times and realize the gift that they really were, although I didn't notice that at the time. I remember in the March time, that I spent alot of time in Scripture, and also journalling. I learned alot during that time. But could I say in one sentence what my purpose is? Hm....

I believe God created me so that all I do would reflect His image, and would bring Him honor and glory. I have decided lately that I want to live FULLY and to live it to the max! I have realized that I have been given many spiritual gifts, and I want to use them.

Lately, and maybe it is because I am closer to 50 than I was a year ago, however, it just seems that He is implying on me, that life is short. We are merely "passing through" aren't we. I have found that I care "less" about housework, and more about spending time with those I love.

Coffee tastes better when shared with someone! Not sure why I am more of a "thinker" these days, but so much causes me to refect. I have decided that I would like to "capture a moment" in my journal each day - a place where I saw God in my life! Which reminds me, it has been a long time since I have seen a "fuzzy yellow and brown" caterpillar lately. (during a period in my life, God used those fuzzy little things as affirmation of His love and His presence in my life. Long story, but He did!! ) God just loves doing little surprises like that! I love that about HIM.

So back to our heart song. What is it that makes me sing, that makes you sing. Does our heart sing many times throughout the day. What is it that makes us want to dance? (secret to those who may read this, and think that I can't dance... well, I have a few moves of my own when no one is watching!) My feet really want to dance, my spirit moves within me, as a response to life.

The other day I heard the song, couldn't tell you who wrote or sang it, but one line says, "Dancing with my Father God in the fields of grace..." That's me.

So, today, I hope you do a few things....

1) identify your heart song

2) laugh lots

3) dance like no one's watching!

Remember that God is sooooooo good, and He loves you!

Friday, September 28

first thoughts on my blog

For a few days now, I have been thinking of making a blog, but didn't know how until Jonathan from work showed me his. Seems easy enough, time will tell. I am not sure why I wanted to do this, other than I realize that in my life, I do have profound thoughts from time to time. I also realize that life really is quite short, and sometimes we don't record the things that we want to! So, maybe this will be one of those ways to do that! The other day, while on a personal "spiritual retreat" day, which was an amazingly beautiful day and time away with GOD, I was walking down close to the river, thinking and praying. It was there that the blog site came to mind again. It was also on this walk that I realized what a gift that life really is - I am so blessed. First of all because of Jesus - where would I be without Him!! God, you are so good. Then, my husband, my love and my best friend... and my kids! I feel so blessed as a woman, a wife, and a mom.

I have had many things happen in my life, and I see the growth as a result. Over a year ago, I seemingly had a close brush with death - but God obviously wasn't done with me yet! So, I continue on and it is my prayer that in all things, others would be touched by Jesus through me. He has impressed on me the desire to live life to the fullest!! Kind of like the slogan, Go Big or Go Home!! I have life ahead of me, and God, please help me to live every day to the max.
May this be a place, that even if no one else ever reads it, that it records some of those "a-ha" moments as well as what I love to call my "God moments" when I am reminded again just how precious life is because of Jesus!