Tuesday, June 8

turning 52 and loving it!

They say that people, when they get older, should exercise their minds. Okay... I hate suduku!! I am also not great at putting puzzles together (Alvin will tell me how I sometimes wedge pieces in where they don't belong!). So I thought I would (in honor of my 52 birthday on June 5th) write down 52 things about ME! Read if you want - otherwise just consider it a mental exercise on my part!

1. I was born at dawn on June 5, 1958, and my mom was apparently wanting to call me Dawn... I think my sisters named me, but will have to confirm that with them.
2. My name is Joy. Not Joys (Oma used to call me that) or Joyce (which I get most often) just JOY... not short for anything.
3. I love my first name - but was never excited about my second name till lately. My second name is Esther
4. I am a middle child (even though I was the "baby" for a period of time). I have two older sisters and two younger brothers whom I love dearly.
5. I went from Kindergarten to Grade 3 (end) at Lansdowne School
6. The address of my first home was 1190 Inkster Blvd., I remember my first phone number. It was JU9-6076
7. I was a cheerleader from grade 6 - grade 10 and absolutely loved it. (yep, I bet you can't believe that!)
8. My first pet was an apricot colored pomeranian named Tippy. My last pet was my faithful old dog Oreo who just passed away a couple months ago. I miss him alot!
9. I asked Jesus to forgive my sin and be Lord of my life January, 1966. I was almost 8 AND I did know what I was doing! (contrary to some people who discredit young children coming to know the Lord)
10. I was baptized in stormy Lake Winnipeg in August, 1969 by Uncle Bill Orr during the Missionary Camp at Faith Bible Camp
11. I was "raised" at FBC (which my dad began in 1954) and spent every summer there right up to the year I got married. My heart holds many memories of life on Elk Island!
12. I fell off the dock at the cottage, and into the Lake when I was about 4. My dad said he waited for me to surface and then grabbed my overalls and pulled me out.
13. I moved to Peterborough when I was in Grade 8 and to this day it holds a wonderful memory in my heart.
14. I loved putting on plays/dramas with my friends. However, when I charged a 10 cent admission, my mom was not happy and I think she made me give the money back.
15. I had a birthday party and invited 9 girls and 2 boys. One was sick, and only one boy came. All the girls wanted to sit on his knee. His name was Billy Romantica... ironic my kids think!
16. I remember when Jeannie's bakery delivered cakes to the house, and when the milkman also delivered BEEP juice.
17. My father sold the very first "autoboggans" in Canada for H.C.Paul. Dad used to go on many sales trips, and mail me letters with stick people illustrations. I cherish them to this day.
18. Apparently (my sister Heather says) I was sick and could not go to the Santa Claus Parade, so my parents bought their first t.v. so I could watch the parade on t.v. (she is implying that I was spoiled?)
19. My first tricycle got driven over by an older cousin.
20. I got hit with a swing on our swing set and have a little scar on my face by my nose
21. I brought balloons into the car and my brothers were batting them around and my mom had an accident! My brother Brian was just talking about that!
22. I went to Awana Kids Clubs. My sisters ran it. I attended church with my parents right up until the Sunday before I got married. It was Arlington St. Gospel Chapel, which is now Oxford Bible Church. Sweet memories.
23. I have been encouraged to write a book .... and that is a goal that I hope to accomplish, at least the first manuscript by this time next year. I have thought I may call it ... An ordinary life!
24. My earliest friend's name was Emi. The longest friend I have had that I am still bff with is Josie. We met in Grade 4, lived together in the city during our grade 11 year. She introduced me to Alvin.
25. I took piano lessons and then organ lessons, but I never liked to perform. Instead I loved to play when everyone was in bed, and I could put it on quiet.
26. I sang in a band until Grade 11.... I played (get this) the triangle, and the chord organ (for some instrumentals) and sometimes the tambourine. I was a vocal.
27. I had my first kiss at age 12, across from my house in Beausejour, on the merry go round. The boy, now grown - still lives in Beausejour!
28. I got asked to go with someone to their grad, but being that I was only in Grade 9 - I declined. This happened one more time, and I declined the other person. Hmmm.... guess I was popular afterall!
29. I loved to snowmobile and was a model in a safety video that was made by Polaris
30. I was never good at sports! Although I loved to play baseball!
31. When I was 5 I knew I wanted to become a kindergarten teacher. In stead after grade 12 I began working in daycare... thought it was sort of the same! Boy was I wrong!! This is my one regret.
32. I am double jointed in my arms - yep, I bet you will look next time you see me. My arms actually look pretty weird, they don't hang straight at my sides.
33. I met Alvin the first day of Grade 11 - 1974 and something within me knew that he was the one I would one day marry. By the time we got married, we had dated for almost 4 years! Alvin says I put the pressure on to get married.... whatever!!
34. I loved paid pastoral ministry! Especially the care giving aspect. I had the privilege of performing two marriage ceremonies for good friends.
35. I bought a suede fringe jacket which I loved, and really would like to find another one!
36. My dad performed our wedding ceremony. Alvin and I renewed our vows in a ceremony in Sept, 2003 which our friend Pastor Terence performed, using the same traditional vows!
37. Dad drove me to our wedding by horse and buggy. Alvin and I drove away together after the ceremony. When Alvin was learning to drive the buggy, he almost lost his thumb!
38. We lived the first year of our married life in the big high rise apartments on Whellams Lane
39. I graduated with "so-so" marks, yet when I went back to school as a mature student - I got mostly A's.
40. God gave us the desire of our hearts in the form of our son Joshua Gerald, and our daughter Ashley Marie. We are now doubly blessed with our daughter in law Leah Michelle and Michael John Thiessen. We began praying for our children's spouses when they were babes!
41. I love my husband. He is my love, my best friend, and the one who knows how I tick and still loves me!! This year we celebrate 32 years of marriage. He is truly (absolutlely no joking) a jack of all trades AND a master of all of them!
42. Being a Granny is something beyond words. God gave us our little Jay Benjamin but took him before we could watch him grow. God blessed us again with a second grandson, our little Everett John whom we just can not get enough of as we watch him grow!
43. I have never walked such deep deep grief as that which has happened since our little Grandson Jay was born silently. We experience great joy with Everett but the great sorrow is very real daily as well.
44. I love to knit, read, walk, listen to music, and spend time with my family.
45. I love baseball games!! (watching them that is!)
46. I am a sister.... an auntie....a neighbor....a friend. God has richly blessed me by the love of others!
47. I love doing mission trips, and have had the privilege of working with teams in the Dominican Republic twice, and Thailand once.... and Lord willing, somewhere in 2011.
48. I am a journaller. I have journalled since about 1990. I have told my children that when I die, they can read them if they want, as long as they remember that I was very human... I loved their dad a lot... and struggled with things over and over and over in my life!! To this my husband said, "well you mean you wrote things in there that looked like you didn't love me!!" I would not be the woman I am without the love of my man! But let's face it - marriage is hard work, and I am sure there were times when he wanted to say a few things about me!! enough said!
49. I worked as an Early Childhood Educator/Daycare founder/director - from 1976 until Dec. 31 of 2001 when God called me out. 25 years of childcare. Have not looked back for a moment.
50. Worked as a pastor for 7 years in a paid pastoral position. Again God called me out. This has been a much harder career in some respects. And, pastoring does not stop even if the paycheck does. I love that God uses us!
51. God laid the vision for retreat ministry on my heart in 2000. 10 years later - He is bringing it to fruition.
52. In my life I have driven a small go cart car, a paddle boat, the Pelican (okay, my dad let me steer this big boat). I have driven a lawn tractor. I have driven standard MOST of my life, not drive automatic. I have driven a motor home, my son's huge truck, snowmobiles. I have driven Alvin's big tractors on a major highway for an hour! I did not like this experience!

I am 52.... I love my Lord and Saviour - He has been my all in all. I love my husband, whom I believe is a gift from God, way back when I was 16. I love my children - 4 of them... Josh and Leah, Ashley and Michael. We laugh and laugh and laugh together. We also cry together, talk, reason, dream, plan.... My kids are the best! I love being a Granny to my little boys Jay and Everett. Getting to watch Everett grow has brought new joy to this Granny's heart. There is nothing sweeter than to hold him while he snuggles! I love my friends. There are many of you who are truly like family to me! I love my siblings, my nieces, my nephews... I have been blessed by a mom and dad in law - as well as my parents whom God chose to take way before I was ready to let them go! One uncle said that I am "the best of my mom and the best of my dad put together." To me, this is a very hard thing to live up to. My parents were not perfect - but they were wonderful!

I, Joy Esther Thomas Klassen (no I didn't keep Thomas legally in my name, but wish I had) am 52. I am a lover of Life! I stick up for the underdog - have a heart for the down and out, and give every person a chance! I am a woman who is struggling with stuff that women struggle with... yep, the whole weight thing! I am a woman who loves to sit with the Lord, and to listen to him speak. (And He does, believe me). I do not struggle with the body of Christ, but I do struggle with the way we humans have made the "church" become. I don't think Jesus likes some of the ways we have distorted things. I am tired of complacency. I want to experience LESS legalism when it comes to faith related things, and more grace! I love to spend time in worship of Him... and believe that our worship is 24/7 NOT just one hour on a Sunday morning. I love to have fellowship around a good cup of coffee! I love sitting around a campfire chatting!

There are many more things about me than the 52 I outlined... that was a mental exercise for me since let's face it - I am getting old!!

You just have to laugh out loud!
I am 52.... and I am thankful for you - dear reader - dear friend.
Enjoy life!
Even at 52, this gal is learning new things... including how to let Go and just dance!

love you all!


ashleymarie said...

it makes me laugh every time i think of your birthday party and how all the girls wanted to sit on 'romanticas' knee...

love you mom!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing with all of us.

A belated Happy Birthday.

Did you know that we share the same middle name and that we are both middle children?