Friday, May 27

Belated Birthday Blessing for Leah

time passes quickly
days to weeks
weeks to years
relationships and love grow
and parents realize what God has given to them, in the form of children and "married in" children

with Leah there were ...
years of getting to know the love of my son's life as they dated
and she spent many weekends at our home with us
and then years of getting to know her as his wife
this year they will celebrate 8 years of marriage
and lately getting to know her as mommy to my grandsons
our little grandson Jay Benjamin, in Heaven, July 24, 2008
and his brother Everett John born December 18, 2009 and bringing so much joy to our lives daily

my daughter, my friend
i want to thank you for what you have brought to our family
for the friend you have been to ashley
(it was so important that there would be a great connection)
for the wonderful companion/wife/support/strength/love you have been to our son
(we had prayed for that since he was a baby)
for the woman of God we have seen you to be
(you have taught us alot)
for the way you have brought joy/happiness/fun and laughter into our lives
(and let us be silly too, and not thinking we were dumb!)
for the way you are such a loving and wise mom to our grandsons
(the way you made deliberate choices while you were pregnant and then the way you have loved your little boys while you carried them in utero, and for the way you are such a wise and loving mom to Everett)
we learn from you
we love you so much
we celebrate YOU!

I know this is overdue, but since I didn't have access to internet - this is coming out today - to recognize that on May 19 - you had a birthday!
Happy Birthday dear one!!
May God bless you as richly as He has bless us through you.

mom k

Saturday, May 7

mercies in disguise

today my man and I are working at the land - doing some clean-up and other things and
marvelling in the beautifully warm day that God has given to us.
it began with some rain showers

today while I was outside I heard the sound of a Blue Jay
and saw it ~ the first Blue Jay sighting on this land this spring
Blue Jays are "kisses" from God to me
just like the little fuzzy yellow caterpillars are also little blessings in disguise.

God is like that
I believe anyhow - that He loves to give us little glimpses of himself through creation
and I am thankful.

this past week has been a week deep in reflection.
it began with my coffee with Jo
and our discussion about life - about gifts/blessings - about hard stuff
Josie lets me go there alot with her
and I appreciate that we can still talk to others about our journey these past 2.5 years.

while drinking coffee at Tim Horton's
a little boy came over to our window
a cute little guy
and when I asked his mom how old he was
I was right .... he was the age our little Jay would have been
I watched him and felt our loss deeply

the other day I reflected on losing my mom 15 years ago
and how the thought of her being in heaven with our Jay brought me comfort
the constant tension of heaven and earth
plays out often in my thoughts
and my imagination

this song that I share with you today
has resonated with my heart since the first time I heard it
I think you will know why,
if you read the lyrics

song written and sung by Laura Story

We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things

‘Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we’d have faith to believe

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not our home

What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy

What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise

(I also posted on

Thursday, May 5

Remembering Mom ~ Praising God for her!

You have to love the easter bonnets on each of us girls. 
Every Christmas and Easter, right up until I worked and made my own money - we got complete easter outfits -
shoes to hat, purses, dresses, coats, knee socks, and gloves!!  You gotta love my mom's hat!

On the right of the picture as you look at it - there is a little girl between a mom and dad... with a little frilly short dress. 
That is me, mom and dad at camp.  Sunday's were always PICTURE DAY!!

Today marks 15 years since I kissed my mom good-bye.  I may have told this story before - but I am going to tell it again. 

The night before Mom died, my "little" brother Tim and I stayed overnight in her room.  At this point, Mom had been in the hospital since the Sunday before.  This was Saturday night.  When Mom was admitted, Dr. Lepp told her very compassionately, "Mrs. Thomas, there is nothing we can do for you but make you comfortable" and she told us that Mom would only live about a week.  From Wednesday on, Mom did not speak to us, but Alvin told us to make sure we kept talking to her, as there seems to be indicators that even though people are not talking/or in comas, that they still hear.  So, we did talk to her and held her hand.

That night Dad allowed us to stay for night and he went home.  Tim took the recliner in the room, and I sat at her side, with my arms up on the rails and my head on my arms.  Not a great sleep - but then again, that was not what I was there for. 

In the morning, Tim went downstairs for something to eat, and I had some 1:1 time with Mom.  Those times did not come often, as usually a couple of us were there at any given time.  Anyhow, as I sat and held Mom's hand, I talked to her.  I told her that she had been a wonderful mom - and that we would be okay if she left us to go "home" and that we would miss her - but she would be with the Lord.  It was at this point that all of a sudden a tear appeared in both eyes.  Her eyes till that time, had been dry.
Those tears moved me - and made me realize that (or at least I think this is true) she heard me. 

Within about 6 hours, Mom went to be with the Lord while we gathered there with her.  It seems like yesterday and yet it seems like forever.  How can that be.  I miss her so much.

However, it was great comfort for us when our little Jay went to be with Jesus - that we knew his great Grandma - Great Poppa - Great Grandpa were all there to meet him. What joy that must have been.  And I can only imagine the smile on their faces.  I don't know for sure (since I am still on this side of Heaven) but I believe that my parents and dad Klassen KNEW that it was Jay, when Jay entered Heaven.  That gives me comfort and brings joy in the sorrow.

Today I leave this post with the scripture from Proverbs 31, as from THE MESSAGE paraphrase.  This is for my mom.... the Proverbial Woman.  Mom, I love you, and I miss you so much.

Proverbs 31:10-31 A good woman is hard to find, and worth far more than diamonds.
Her husband trusts her without reserve, and never has reason to regret it.
Never spiteful, she treats him generously all her life long.
She shops around for the best yarns and cottons, and enjoy knitting and sewing.
She's like a trading ship that sails to faraway places and brings back exotic surprises.
She's up before dawn, preparing breakfast for her family and organizing her day.
She looks over a field and buys it, then, with money she's put aside, plants a garden.
First thing in the morning, she dresses for work, rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started.
She senses the worth of her work, is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.
She's skilled in the crafts of home and hearth, diligent in homemaking.
She's quick to assist anyone in need, reaches out to help the poor.
She doesn't worry about her family when it snows; their winter clothes are all mended and ready to wear.
She makes her own clothing, and dresses in colorful linens and silks.
Her husband is greatly respected when he deliberates with the city fathers.
She designs gowns and sells them, brings the sweaters she knits to the dress shops.
Her clothes are well-made and elegant, and she always faces tomorrow with a smile.
When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say, and she always says it kindly.
She keeps an eye on everyone in her household, and keeps them all busy and productive.

Her children respect and bless her; her husband joins in with words of praise:
"Many women have done wonderful things, but you've outclassed them all!"
Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades.
The woman to be admired and praised is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.
Give her everything she deserves! Festoon her life with praises!

Tuesday, May 3

our little "Sweetness"

I think it is obvious why Jesus says that "unless we become like little children" ... and yesterday our little Sweetness Everett John taught this Granny something important, although I am just realizing it now.

Yesterday I went to spend time with Ev while Leah went to vote and do another errand.  So, we went for a very long walk with him in the stroller.  I stopped along the way so that he could touch things.  We touched new buds on trees.  We touched cedar branches.  We touched pine tree branches.  We drove through puddles.  We "called" the birds.  We listened to the frogs.  And, at the end, I made a "ball" as he calls it, actually a SNOW ball and we touched it, and played with it.  I got such cute pictures, too bad that my free Internet access at Mountain Bean does not allow me to download pictures!

Then we played in the yard.  First of all we changed from his cute little Converse high tops (we just love those) to his little yellow rubber boots and off he went.  He sees everything.  This simply thrills his Papa because this is how Papa works too - noticing all the little things that are otherwise missed.
Everett loves to pick up stones.  He got mud under his fingernails.  He smiled when he saw the neighbors dogs outside.  And then when his Mommy came home we went in. 

Everett is a climber.  He loves to climb on whatever he can, and so his Mommy thought that perhaps he would like to go downstairs to climb on the slide they have.  At this point he was also showing some signs of being tired.  Once downstairs, he decided he would rather watch Sesame Street.  He has fallen in love with Elmo and Sesame Street in general.  He is only allowed to watch one show.  He really gets into it - sits very still - and laughs easily at things that catch his fancy.  He "signs" more... and points or goes up to the t.v.  However, his wise mommy said "no Everett, not this time" 

Now, Everett does not throw many tantrums as such, but he does know what he wants or THINKS he knows what he wants.  It is usually when he is tired that he has trouble with limits.  Leah was telling me that then he also usually will go to the cupboard and want a "cookie" which also has limits.  I watched, trying not to interfere or say anything.  I have told Alvin how I love watching them deal with Everett during this time - so gently and quietly but firmly and consistently. 

In his own little way - he let her know that "but I want it!" and he stamped his little feet a bit, and cried, and really looked determined to get his way.  But his mommy knew best, and gently brought him to her, cuddled him, spoke with him, was firm but loving; gentle but extremely caring.  And before long, he was doing something else - Sesame Street and Cookies long forgotten.

"unless you become as little children..."
Sometimes I "tantrum" "rant" "rave" and "stamp my feet" when I am with my Lord.  Really - why would he always say YES?  He is the loving, kind, gentle, caring parents that lavishes me with so much grace.
Sometimes I (like my grandson) get tired... and when I am tired, I do not make good choices!
Sometimes I (like my grandson) think that something sweet would help "fix" that empty spot ... when what I really need then is to give that feeling/emotion to God.
Sometimes I (like my grandson) thinks that "distraction" solves the places I am in - but my Lord knows way better about what I need - and when I need it.

I think that unlike Everett - sometimes I don't get past it as quickly, as easily.  However I know that like Leah and Josh are such wise parents - my Lord is even wiser/loving (simply because HE IS GOD) and often just takes me and holds me.  Sometimes I actually FEEL that his arms have wrapped about me.

My grandson has/is and will teach me many things.  I just feel that in my granny-bones.  I love watching him - how he "wows" over the things in life.  I thank God for him, our little "Sweetness" as his mommy and daddy refer to him - for my kids (all of them) but most of all I thank God that HE knows what is best and gently directs/guides/loves ME.

also posted  today on

Monday, May 2

daring to live fully for Him

The other day, while standing at a red light I watched a person at the same street intersection. The cars were travelling north-south and she was wanting to cross east-west. The light had just turned green for those heading north south but she came up and hit the button on the crosswalk. Then she hit it again. She began to look a little impatient and I could imagine her thoughts "SO OKAY, I PRESSED THE BUTTON DARN IT SO WHY AREN'T THE LIGHTS CHANGING SO I CAN CROSS!" By the sight of her body language and her expression on her face... I honestly believe she thought that by pressing the button on the side that says crosswalk - that she "controlled the lights" and would bring the traffic going the opposite way to her - to a halt! I just had to smile. This is not the first time I have seen this happen. One time the person hit it at least three times as they waited impatiently at the corner!

WHile I smile at this - it speaks volumes into my own heart. I wonder how many times I have "hit the button" and tried without fail to speed something up - or slow something down - so that I could do what I needed to do NOW!

Today, I enjoyed something very timely (for me especially) about s-l-o-w-i-n-g down to experience life FULLY in the everyday here and now. It happened at noon when I met my "friend who sticks closer than a sister" Josie to talk about the book we are reading together. (Jo and I have been best friends since Grade 4) The book we are reading is called "one thousand gifts" by Ann Voskamp. I have had it for a while - but I am finding that her poetic style of writing is one that I have to make lots of time for in order to read (and sometimes re-read) and to soak it in. I purchased this after I had a conversation with Nicole about a book that had a huge impact on her, and I googled it, read Ann's blog and ordered the book. I didn't realize that within the first few pages, my heart would break again as I read about her loss.... I am not sure why I keep being surprised at how raw I still am.
Anyhow - I began to read (and re-read) and then gave the book to my friend Jo for her birthday, and we together decided to have our own little book-club and get together over a good cup of coffee and a couple hour time slot! We are only discussing two chapters at a time - but it has been rich. And, like I said at first - it is very timely!!

We reviewed chapter 3 & 4 but it was 4 (A Sanctuary of Time) that spoke deep into my being. Ann says some profound things (which is why SHE is an author of a book!) about how busy our lives get. Page 62 she says, "Oh yes, I know you, the busyness of your life leaving little room for the source of your life. I'm the face grieving. God gives us time. And who has time for God?" 

She quotes Psalms 39:6 which says, "We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing."

Excerpts from pages 66-67 say:
"In our rushing, bulls in china shops, we break our own lives."
"The hurry makes us hurt."
"Hurry always empties a soul."
"I speak it to God: I don;'t really want more time; I just want enought time. Time to breathe deep and time to see real and time to laugh long, time to give YOU glory and rest deep and sing joy and just enough time in a day not to feel hounded, pressed, driven, or wild to get it all done --- yesterday. In a world with cows to buy and fields to see and work to do, in the beep and blink of the twenty-first centruy, with its "live in the moment" buzz phrase that none of the whirl-weary seem to know how to do, who actually know hot to take time and live with soul and body and God all in sync?"

Ouch.... this feels like me. It is as if Ann has looked deeply into my soul and speaks the words my heart cries out often. O Lord - help me to live FULLY - to live FULLY FOR YOU! I don't think that it is just because I am in mid-life... turning 53 in a couple months. NO... I think it is because I am desiring MORE of the LORD because I HAVE tasted and I HAVE SEEN that HE (my Lord and Saviour) is GOOD!

I have joked about the phrase "GO BIG OR GO HOME" and have also wanted to "LIVE ON THE EDGE" and people who know me likely think - really Joy? But REALLY..... I want to live all out for HIM.

I have come to realize (and I also thank Ann for underscoring this with her book) that "living fully" has to be about living for the Lord. Jesus said that he came to give us life to the full! Living fully is about being thankful for whatever state I find myself in. (YEP that IS a challenge, believe me, I get that)

Elisabeth Elliot said "Wherever you are, be all there!" And if there is one person that modeled that for me - it was my mom, Dolly Thomas. She lived fully,even though she was blind at the end, and housebound for the most part. She found out how to live content in her circumstances. I remember the one time I came up to see her - her osteo had really taken its toll on her, and she was in great pain. I said "Mom, do you ever feel like giving up?" to which my mom replied "Oh no dear! I have so much to be thankful for!" My mom and Ann would see eye to eye.... about being thankful. About finding GOD in the moment - in the every day simple things. We so often miss him because we are rushing!!

Ann took a challenge from her friend to write down 1000 gifts (or in other words, to wake up to the everyday blessings!) It is an intentional way of living. A way of slowing down to embrace the here and the now. A way of praying without ceasing as you give thanksgiving to God throughout the day.
SO... for that reason, I have started another blog for my own 1000 gifts