Friday, January 28

Friday

Today is Friday - and looking back - it feels like I have not "accomplished much" (i.e. housework) HOWEVER I enjoyed my day, which began with a short visit to the "neighbors" house.... no fooling you - you know that my neighbors are my kids Josh, Leah and grandson Everett.  I had been out on a mobile clinic with work (the first overnight clinic I have done since starting with CBS) and we got home close to midnight.  SO... it was nice to just chill today - as I could not believe how tired this old girl was! I guess I am just not used to that!

The mobile was good - we went to Altona and then Winkler.  I learned alot of things (and as I was teasing some of them, I learned alot of the "informal rules" of travelling with a bus full of people!)  What a great gang of people I work with.  I am slowly learning the names of the clinical assistants and nurses!

It was an interesting thing - as both clinics were housed in MB churches.  And, the weird thing was that even though I am no longer a paid pastor - I still felt like I was "home" ... not sure - does that make sense?
I guess it was some of the commonality that I saw/felt/sensed... as I looked at church lay-out - church bulletin boards - church ministries - church bulletins...  Guess the "MB thing in me runs deep!"

Today - being Friday - I am at home - warm and toasty even if it did snow... and snow... and snow....
Did I say snow?? 

I have enjoyed a few cups of good bold strong coffee...a few hugs from my kids ... and a few cuddles and kisses with my grandson - my sweet boy Everett.  I have enjoyed lunch at home with my man.  I have enjoyed hearing the joy in his voice as he has talked about the house moving ahead.  I have looked at the fluffy snowflakes coming down - and marvelled again at how creative our God is.  I have baked some banana bread, washed dishes, loaded pictures on the blog for the ministry.  I have just had a restful day and I realized pretty early in the day that I am just plain  HAPPY




Tuesday, January 25

unXpected gift

Today I met my friend Ingrid for coffee at Mountain Bean.  Ingrid and I have never gotten together alot - but we are friends.  After having to cancel and postpone our coffee time twice (I had to do that unfortunately) but today worked.  She said that she would finally be able to give me something.  So there she came, with this big box about 20 by 24 inches.  She set it down, and went to get her coffee.  I thought perhaps it had to do with a project she is working on .... but she said it was for me.  Then she proceeded to tell the story leading up to the gift.

Quite a few years ago, actually early 2002, I shared the story of what God had laid on my heart in 2000 in regards to the vision for the retreat ministry.  I shared the story in adult Sunday school one morning in January 2002.  I shared that along with the vision, it seemed suitable to name the ministry Women Refreshed at the Well.  WELL... apparently, shortly after that - Ingrid's mom and dad (Jake and Mary) were given the opportunity to pick out a "gift" for themselves from a ministry that they had supported called Life Outreach International.  On the letter inside of this box, upon reading it, I see that Jake and Mary obviously had given monetary support to this ministry as it said "Thank you from the depths of our hearts, for your involvement with the life-saving water wells outreach to remote African villages.  We pray that this gift series will be a special reminder that, working together, we can bring life and hope to those in desperate need.  God Bless you" and it was signed by the Robinson's.

So - Jake and Mary - having heard me speak in Sunday School - picked out an oil painting on canvas, that they were going to give to me for the ministry.  It was mailed to them - however at that time, I had just taken the job at McIvor - and I guess they thought the vision was dead in the water, and so the box was safely tucked away.  Until this past fall, when apparently, following Jake's death - they were doing some rearranging of rooms and came across the oil painting.  Ingrid said that her mom didn't know what to do with it now - and Ingrid said that she would give it to me.  So this morning, over a cup of good coffee - she gave me the box.  I carefully opened it - and was so blessed by their gift - the gift they had ordered for me/and the ministry back in 2002.  There is was  - the canvas still carefully covered with plastic. (which is why the picture I took of it, looks a little funny)  Life Outreach International had commissioned ARTIST:  Timothy Thompson to paint a piece titled WOMEN AT THE WELL in 2002 for Life Outreach International.  Today, the painting became mine!

I really am quite blown away by a number of things - first of all that Jake and Mary believed in the vision God laid on my heart - back in the early years - 2002....

I am really blown away by the fact that they got something so amazingly suited for the ministry - and now it is mine.

I am just really blown away again, at how God works to bring so many surprises to His plan, along the way!

To Jake (who just went home to heaven in summer) and Mary - a big thanks!  It will hang with great appreciation on one of our walls!  What an unexpected GIFT I received today.  The conversation with Ingrid over the cup of wonderful coffee was really good too! 

Sunday, January 23

Did the walls come down with the wind? NOT
















Today is a blustery day.  During the night, as I was snuggled under the quilt (in between hot flashes when the quilt quickly gets peeled back) I could hear the wind just howling!  When Alvin got up, as the night had just turned into day - Alvin decided that he was going to go and make sure the walls were still standing on the house.  YES.... wooohooooo ~ I said the "walls"!  Yesterday the walls were delivered.  Alvin had gotten the walls "prefabbed" by a company in Blumenort called Integra Systems (I think it is called Systems).  Integra is owned by a guy named Leon.  Alvin figured it was worth the money to get someone else to pre-fab the walls - and so yesterday they were delivered with a big truck/crane.

When I got there with some hot chocolate for the boys (yesterday it was Alvin, Mike, Brennan outside, and Mike inside doing the drywall taping in the loft).  It was exciting to see!  They put about half of the first floor walls up before they finished for the day yesterday.  It was a very cold day to be doing this - but I think the joy of actually working with the walls - warmed them!!  Alvin took some pictures before I came - of the truck/crane etc.  and then I took a couple more.  There were smiles all around!

Last night Alvin and I were talking about the timing of it all.  As a family - some decisions have been made - and we are 100% for them but the thing is, they have slowed down the pace that Alvin is used to be working at.  Anyone who knows Alvin, knows that in the past - he works (sometimes a little too much) to get the job done "yesterday".  Whether this is a fault or not - it is the reality.  I saw this work ethic in his dad and mom too.  They worked hard, and then when they finally sat down, they often fell asleep because they were tired!  Hard work seemed to energize them.  Now - my parents worked hard too - don't get me wrong - but it was not as "physical" as what I saw Alvin's parents do.
So for Alvin to s-l-o-w down on this build has been a hard thing.  And well - the reality is, he sometimes doesn't know how to explain why they are still working on the same thing they were working on a week or two ago!  (maybe this is our own pride issue, and if so - God is working on it with us)

Anyhow - last night we were driving home from having coffee with our dear friend Kim and Kevin.  We decided to drive by the land, as we often pick that route on the way home.  I was talking about how sometimes we think we are making decisions that affect our work/or in this case our building project but that I feel that NOTHING - is outside the scope of God's timing, and that His timing is ON TIME.
We really do want to continue to hold the build very loosely in our upturned hands.... continually giving it to God one day at a time.  HIS project being built through US.    For me - that brings comfort and peace knowing God is at work - and that this is a process that He is using to change us - refine us - speak to us - prepare us for HIS work, His ministry in the future.

Alvin said he doesn't know what to say to people when they ask "So when do you expect to be in the house?"  Reality is that we originally thought we would be living in part of the house by now - as we worked in it.  We were fully prepared to living in a room  - and to live sort of "make shift" so that Alvin would just be able to work whenever he had a chance.  SO our timing - well - it is so totally off at this point that the best answer is just - "we are not sure."  But then again - as I said - we are learning how to trust God on the timing.  Perhaps you could pray with us about that.  Alvin ~ being the main builder - likely finds this harder, than I do.  Reality is - God began laying this ministry on our hearts in 2000 ...
so perhaps He is saying to us.... "a year is but a blink to me - so why are you rushing and impatient?  just trust me."

I could hardly wait to get some new pictures to post... so here they are!  We are thrilled with this new stage!  Now - hopefully the weather turns a little nicer this week!  Oh ya - and this morning - early - when Alvin went and checked on the walls - they were still standing!  The boys had braced them securely ... we are thankful.

My Son - Joshua Gerald

Yesterday was my son's birthday (well - I should say "our" son :)
I have had a hard time getting on the Internet lately, since my grandson figured out where the box was for the Internet!  Josh and Leah moved it so that he wouldn't be touching it/unplugging it, etc... and that explained why all of a sudden our Internet (we share theirs) wasn't working!  Since I could not post this Friday, the 21sat - I am posting it now!

 The beginning stages of assembling the traditional Klassen family Birthday Coffee Cake!



 




 alot of whipped cream .... Aero "bubbles" and voila - the cake is assembled -
7 layers and LOTS of coffee flavored whipping cream!
 It is easier to eat at home so that Everett can enjoy the time too! So I ask the kids for their "menu" and then I buy/prepare their favorite dish for the birthday meal.  Josh ordered crepes.
Ashley made a couple recipes of the crepes at home.  Alvin cooked them up!
Ashley whipped up some more whipping cream to be used on the crepes.
Everett wanted to be where the action was!
 Our little Ev.... the life of the party!  Like Father - like Son!
 
 We sang happy birthday and returned to the table for coffee, coffee cake and...

 birthday present opening!
 The later - Josh tried his technique at making balloon animals.
 Josh
 Joshua - 10 months
Happy Birthday to my First Born - my son Josh

Where has the time gone - the years ...
When I think back - it seems like yesterday
That we heard your first cry,
and held you for the first time.
At the time we could only dream of what your future held
We could only dream of what God would do in your life
Somehow then, dreams were numerous, especially as you decided what you wanted to do in life
A firefighter like Dad...
A Youth Pastor and perhaps the prime minister!
Well - you accomplished two of three!

Where has the time gone -
As I look at you - and recall the times that I would fall asleep by you on your little bed
Or when I would make your teddy "Ricky Klassen" TALK to you about what happened during the day
He was your close friend!
Years ago I would watch you as you slept
And thank God for you.
I would dry tears
Kiss boo-boos
Cheer at hockey games
Sit in the bleachers at baseball games.

I remember reading to you
Singing to you
Hugging you
Telling you I loved you (which I still do now!)

I tucked away letters that I wrote to you
As well as cherished letters you wrote to me!
I loved how you verbally processed "life"
And I also loved how you were able to sit and talk to me about hard stuff

You are my son "all grown up"
With an amazing wife -
And a family.
You have walked in joy, as well as in intense grief
I have watched, wept with, prayer with and for you
I have carried you in my heart day after day
And always will.

You are my son
I love watching you with Everett
I see the love in your eyes
I recognize it
A parent's love for their child.

That will always be
My love for you dear Son.
I love you more than yesterday but less than tomorrow!
You are a gift to us - from God.
Happy Birthday (Friday) to my amazing Son.
Joshua Gerald
I love you.

love Mom
xo

Tuesday, January 18

the 18th already?

Where does time go?  Can you believe it - it is already the 18th.  Today has begun and the sun is shining through the windows of the loft.  It is a great day - I did get up early - had coffee and mini-wheats with my man, kissed him good-bye as he left to go to our land.  He is on holidays for a while - so it is giving him more time to work there.  It is so terribly cold outside - not the best working weather - but they have been able to do some inside work on the cold days. 

After he left - I did my study - Day 1.  Last night I went to the introductory session of Beth Moore's bible study: David - Seeking a Heart Like His.  At the beginning of the year (18 days ago) my prayer was that I would draw closer to the Lord during this year.  I believe this study is part of it. I am a lover of the studies done by Beth.  Honestly - I have done other studies, but none compare to hers as far as I am concerned. 

David!  A man with a heart after God's own.  A man with a very "colorful" life as one woman said last night.
Hmmm... sounds like us doesn't it.  I have always been intrigued by David.  The Psalms, which contain many written by David - have comforted me ~ intrigued me ~ and confused me.  For the most part however - it has been reading the Psalms that I have been given "expression" during some of my "darkest nights".
I have always wondered what was in God's mind when he chose David...
And how David's sin (like my own) pains the heart of God.... often.

So this morning, I returned to the comfort of my bed - took my bed table, my bibles, my workbook, my pens and my highlighter and began the journey that I KNOW will be mine through this study!






also posted today ~    www.zephaniah3verse17.blogspot.com

Tuesday, January 11

"I can tell you like your job!"

Today was a short day for me at my job.  I began at 3:45 and ended at 8:30 pm.  The clinic was open until 8.  I was working at the front desk - checking people into their appointments for donating blood.  A young man came - and his mom (who drove him) was sitting in the front foyer waiting for him.  She could have hung out in the canteen - but instead sat in the front close to the reception desk.

As people came in - I greeted them, thanked them for coming, and just "shot the breeze" with them (you know, chatted).  It is interesting to see who comes, and what their response is.  You would think that people donating would be doing it happily.  Yes, it is scary for some - but no one is dragging you in - it is your choice.  But some are just not too talkative.  However - others are.

I am finding myself totally inspired by those who come to donate.  It is such a life-giving gift! After I checked a couple into their appointment slots - the woman sitting in the foyer close by said to me.  "I can tell you like your job!"  She kind of took me off guard - as she had been sitting there so quietly I almost forgot she was there.  I smiled and said, "Yes, I love it!"  She said, "You can tell!"

Just the other day I said to Alvin - how much I loved working for Canadian Blood Services.  I am surrounded by great people (donors and staff) and well - what more can I say.  I am so thankful that God provided this job for me - long story - but one day perhaps you can ask me.  This job was totally God-given.

Gotta run - I am back to work early in the am - going to hit the sack!
Nite!

also posted at my other blog www.zephaniah3verse17.blogspot.com

Monday, January 10

Everett loves Elmo

video
Today my sweet little grandson Everett came over with his mommy Leah, for lunch.  We have an Elmo that giggles and when you press him for the third time, he shakes as he giggles.  Well Everett was playing with some toys, and came over and laid on Elmo - and well, the rest you can see on the video.  Elmo laughed, Everett laughed and so did we!  What a blessing my little grandson is - he brings MUCH joy into our lives!
You will also hear him say "ba" at the end when he gets the ball.  Guess I am just bragging a little about our sweet boy!!

Sunday, January 9

what is my WORD for 2011

When I read the book I WILL CARRY YOU ~ the author mentioned a piece of jewellery that was made in honor of her little girl who died shortly after birth.  After finishing the book I looked up lisaleonard.com and have fallen in love with her creations.  Lisa also has a blog. 

I have ordered some jewelry from her.  The latest one that I ordered was called "be still".  I love it.
(take a look at her stuff - it is beautiful)

Anyhow - she asked people what word they would pick for 2011.  Usually I choose a verse for the year as well.  Her post got me thinking and this is what I have decided.

The word(s) to represent 2011 (yes, I chose two)
First choice:
journey

Second word:
beloved

Why did I pick these words?
Journey - this is the word I have used to express what I have been on, especially since our lives were so impacted on July 24, 2008 with the silent birth of our long awaited first grandson Jay Benjamin
(see jeremyhiebert.ca/jaybenjaminklassen)

The journey I (we all) have been on since that day - I can hardly express a fraction of it.  It is a journey we will be on for life... and while it will change - it is still none the less, a journey!  (which God knows each day of!)

Beloved:  I chose this because I know that God loves me - and I am truly HIS beloved and he is mine!
No other explanation needed!  I want to grow more in love with Jesus Christ over this year - to become more like Him each and every day of my journey.

The VERSE I chose from Scripture for this year is this:
"For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord.  They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.  In those days when you pray I will listen.  If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.  I will be found by you, says the Lord."
Jeremiah 29: 11-14a

This verse was my chosen verse in the past - but it seems this is the one I need to cling to (as well as the rest of the words in the Bible) for 2011.

also posted my journey on my other blog zephaniah3verse17.blogspot.com

Thursday, January 6

the picture

This morning - I was in a hurry to leave.  But my car would not start.  So, I took off my coat, and decided to hang out with God.  Me - and Him = Quiet Time.  I am still trying to get my QT in first thing in the morning.  I know enough at my age, that when I begin the day with God - everything just goes better.  Anyhow - yes, the car would not start - so it gave me the morning to sit, read, journal, pray, talk and listen!  And God never disappoints during this time together.

I am going through a book that I went through YEARS ago - called THIRSTING AFTER GOD.  We are going through Isaiah 35.  It is not a big chapter, but one that is packed full. (like all of Scripture is).  So today - the focus was on verse 7 which talked about the "parched land" coming to life with water quenching it.  I began to think of what it means to be parched.  I wondered aloud in my journal, whether this word describes my soul (often). It seems that sometimes the "heat" in my life just overtakes me and leaves me dry (extremely dry) and lifeless (looking dead) and very crusty like the soil that has not gotten water in a very long time. 

Of course this led me to ask - what in my life has made me dry, and cracked and parched?  After all - I know that only God brings LIVING WATER into my being!!

I wrote in my journal entry:  "I thirst .. O Lord please fill me."
And then, like God often does with me - He gave me a "picture". 
(I love it when God does this to help me understand something He is trying to give to me!)

the picture:
I see a woman standing under a waterfall with the water streaming down onto her face.  She is standing in all her clothes and her head is faced up toward the falling water.  Her eyes are closed.  Her arms are up as if to catch even more of the living and refreshing water.  There is a serene look on her face. 

In my journal I wrote:  O Lord, this is me -
fill me to overflowing
wash over me with your living water
Please Lord - please.

I know that like Isaiah's scripture says - that God IS the one who can bring new life into parched land.  He renews, refuels, refreshes.  He is also healer.

I know that often the "pictures" God gives to me - have to be mulled over so that I can get all of what he is saying to me.  So - you know what is in my thoughts today.  

Sunday, January 2

Happy New Year - 2011

Happy New Year to you!  2011 - what will this year bring?  I was almost hesitant to write in my new journal yesterday - but I realize that it doesn't really matter what I write - that God knows my thoughts regardless.  It just seems that when I put my thoughts into ink - they are there!! 

Yesterday - I had my QT with God and I was taken to Isaiah 26.  It was (as I know it always is) an intimate time with the Lord - as His Word comes to life - and my thoughts can be spoken or written.  After studying and spending time in the Word - part of my response to the Lord came in written form in my journal entry.  Here is some of it - although normally I keep my journal entries fairly private - I do want to share this with you here on my blog!

"So. Today is the first day of the first month of a new year. Lord, with some fear and trembling mixed with the knowledge of your faithfulness in my life – I do repeat the words I wrote in my journal on Jan. 1 of 2008 …
Lord, I give you this year – all of it – the whole 52 weeks – 365 days - 12 months…The hours. The minutes. The seconds. All.


I do not know what this year holds, and I guess Lord – that is the scary part for me. It is the anxious thoughts – the “feelings” – the fears all mixed in between the great expectations of all that you are going to do in me, thru me – because of me – in spite of me – through my family - … all.


I do not know – but I do know that YOU hold each second, minute, hour, day, week, month... the whole year – start to finish.  I do know that even in those times I struggle with what has happened or what you allow to happen – I know well enough that you are faithful even when I feel like you have turned away.


Help me to see you with a whole heart – to trust you completely. Help me to live fully for you. Help me Lord to trust you with a WHOLE heart – and to give you my life completely.

Lord, help me to thirst after you – and to continue to drink from your well –
Help me to lay down hurt – and the betrayal.
Help me to lay down my anger.
My disappointment and disillusionment.
Lord, do a work in my life –
Change ME


Renew my heart – my being
Fill me up to overflowing.


I love you Lord – this is my prayer – this is my heart’s desire – that I would become more like you – and less like me!! Change me - "


So that was that - yesterday's entry.  You see the thing is - 2010 was incredibly hard for us.  But in that - I know that God has begun to work - begun to shape us - or continued to shape us I should say.  God is at work.  Sometimes I think I would like "so and so's" life.... it seems that from the side - some people are just cruising along through life - with never a hard moment - never a struggle - never a faith crisis...
Honestly - I know that isn't the case really.... or if it is - I think I am glad that God is at work through me - and that I am just not mundanely going through life - complacent or content with the "normalcy" or the "ordinary" ... hmmm am I rambling or actually making some sense here?
 
What I wrote in my journal - I had written some of the same on January 1st 2008.  The year our life as we knew it STOPPED on July 24th, and our changed life began.  So even daring to write those words again bring fear and trembling.  Thing is - the reality is that God does know each minute, each day each month of my year regardless of whether I wrote that down in ink or not. 
 
So - as I look ahead - I want to be in tune with him!  I want him to change me - and I know He will (and sometimes does even if we aren't willing to enter into it!)  God IS God!!
 
On this threshhold of a new year - I have made some decisions, and actually early in the new hour of January 1st, I sat with Alvin and 4 other friends as we shared our concerns/requests/desires for each of us for the next year and then prayed for one another.
 
Part of my prayer requests were - to get healthy (aka to finally shed the weight that has entangled me) ; to become more like Jesus; to finally let go of some things and "move on" (especially in the area of where we are going to choose to go to church on a regular basis); and to not just "weather the storm but to dance in the rain" as I read on friend's sisters bulletin at her memorial service. 
 
I want to dance!!
Dance in the sunshine
Dance in the fog
Dance in the dark nights
Dance in the rain. 
I want to dance
through the symphony of seasons!! 
 
This is my first journal entry of this blog fo 2011.... this is the prayer of my heart!  How can I pray for you??