Friday, July 29

just be

I had many conversations with people this morning - family and friends I bumped into and talked with on the phone.  However since one of them, God has really been speaking into my being.  And, I have been hearing him loud and clear.  I love that about God.  He speaks .... and often I am too busy or distracted to hear - but today he is really speaking some simple words to me.  Words about just being still.  Timely words in many ways.

Lately, I have not allowed myself to "just be" .  My QT with the Lord has been lacking.  The fact that I am fighting with fatigue these days (presumably accented by low iron) just adds to the way life has been.
I give it all at work - but then on the off days, find myself just wanting to get other things done, odd jobs tied up.  I have been missing a regular schedule quiet time with my Lord, and I am seeing how that lack affects my life so drastically.  I am finding that I am not allowing time to just BE STILL and sit with Him.  I miss that.

I think God has used several things in my life to try to impress on me the fact that it is so necessary to just  be!  I don't know any other way to put it.  Sometimes when I talk to people, they totally get the "just BE" part.  Other people just don't get it.  That's okay - it is their life.    Lately I have had people asking me - "so what are you going to do at the retreat centre?"  "What are you going to offer for the women as far as types of retreats"  "What topics/sessions will you offer"

I was trying to answer their questions, and as I mentioned to Alvin, I often came away from there feeling like "what in the world are we doing?"  But today ... after a conversation about the retreat bed and breakfast for women that we are building - God just kept saying and reminding me that when He first gave this vision to me 10 years ago - He said it was to be a place where women come come and "just BE!"  God never gave me the impression or the go ahead to plan a place where it was so busy that women went away overwhelmed, or as tired as they came.  NO ... the vision was all about offering a place where women would be able to retreat to - and just be able to rest, renew and refresh by providing a place where women could feel relaxed and able to just rest if they wanted to rest ... walk if they wanted to walk... read a book in their pj's if they wanted to .. sit in a hot tub ... get a nice lunch or perhaps breakfast in bed if they stay over night.  A place where they could come alone or with a sister, or a friend.  A place where they could journal, or paint ... sit or sleep ... talk with others or enjoy quiet ... walk, or bike or just sit on the porch with a great cup of coffee and listen to and watch the birds!
I realized today that when some people ask me "what am I going to be doing ... what am I going to be offering etc..." that it makes me feel hurried.

I know without a shadow of a doubt that whatever happens in the house will be made very clear to me, so while I work on writing down ideas and reworking some of them ... I am going to continue to just be and listen to what God is saying.  I do not want to offer a place where there is so much happening that I lose the initial instructions from God .  He said to offer a place where women could come and just be.  That is my intent .  O Lord, may you find me faithful to this.

I came across something I journalled in summer of 2002.  Seems I always have a tendency to run hard and then realize I am not taking time to have my quiet time with the Lord.  Today, He has spoken again, and well, after two full FULL days of work - I am so glad I can have the quiet time - and to hear him loud and clearly saying ... JOY JUST BE ... be still.

Thought I would share this writing with you - if you wish to read it!  As we go into the Long weekend - may you find the time to just be ... and to be able to rest, renew and relax!  Enjoy "be-ing" ...

With Him

Lord? Are you there?

Yes my child ~ but where have you been?  
I've missed you
It's been a few days since you and I 
have really spent some quality time together.

Father, please forgive me.
I haven't intended to be neglectful
I love you Lord
But my life just got full ... 
I've been running with all kinds of things that occupy my life
I have been so tired and ...

My child, I don't need to hear your excuses, its okay
I am just so glad we are communing again
I long to walk with you
There is so much I have to give you
SO much I want to tell you

Ah, here I am Father
It feels so good to be here

Just rest in my presence dear
Quiet yourself
Lay your head against me, and just "be"
Don't let your head run with schedules, or lists, or plans
Just enjoy my presence, and our time together

Lord, I can feel your arms around me
I can't see you, but I feel like I am wrapped tightly in your embrace
Yes my child, just like a parent holds their child

And Lord, your shoulders are so big...
Big enough to carry all your cares and concerns, 
and still have room for you to lean your head on

There is something I feel as I rest against you ~
It feels like the beating of your heart

Can you feel it my child?
Yes Lord, I can.

It  is my heart and it beats with a passion for you my child.
Feel it ... let it become one beat with yours
Know that my ways, I want to be your ways too.
It beats with love.
Love that is everlasting and overflowing
It pulses with grace ~ that is abundant and full
Don't rush away my child
Just rest here
Rest in my love
Just "be"
Renew your spirit and refresh your weary soul
And then Joy ~ go out and share me with others around you

oh and one more thing...
hurry back to me
I am missing you already.
I love you

written in the summer of 2002
but resonating strongly in the summer of 2011!

Wednesday, July 27

reliving the "old" days

So last week Alvin told me that Tim (my youngest brother aka the "baby brother") said we should take his brand spankin new Victory motorcycle out and go cruisin'.  On Saturday, Jody followed up to make sure we were taking Tim up on the offer.  (Tim was out of town on a golf tournament).  So, we decided that we would take it out Sunday afternoon.  We spoke with friends ahead of time, and in the end, went cruising with Wayne and Jo (on their bike) and Willy and Betty (in their little convertible).

Now first of all - I have to tell you this just isn't ANY motorcycle.  It is a brand new - shiny black/chrom Victory cycle by Polaris.  I had to laugh because well, if any of you know my little brother when he was just old enough to talk, he has always been a dedicated, true Polaris fan!  I think it all started because Dad sold Polaris (was head of the Polaris plant that was built in Beausejour and ran for about 5 years or so).  When Tim was little (knee-high to a grasshopper) he would not let my mom cover him with a yellow blanket because "those were Ski-doo colors!!" and when my dad phone home once, Tim was overheard saying "And Daddy, I didn't say ski-doo once!"  SO needless to say - it is just in this guys genes!!  ANYHOW... his long awaited dream came true and he is the very proud owner of this beautiful bike!  The one that he let us take (and it was HIS suggestion).... and since we used to have a motorcycle - Alvin still has an active license for driving, and we were very excited about the adventure.  So, the four of us on bikes, followed the little red convertible through twists and turns, over beautiful country.

We rode, we stopped for ice-cream, we rode, we stopped for supper, and we rode some more!  By the time we brought it back - I will admit, my butt and back were sore. I know I am out of shape - but really? I didn't know I would feel it so much after riding a motorcycle!! And that is WITH a nice seat and back rest!

For a couple years I have been telling Alvin that we should buy a bike.  And then well, I thought we should buy a convertible.  I think for us, (or for me especially) a convertible would be a better choice!
I would hate to think I am too old and out of shape for motorcycling ... but I think (I feel) I am.

Thanks Tim and Jo for lending and encouraging us to borrow Tim's bike!
Love you guys!

Sunday, July 24

Remembering our little Jay Benjamin Klassen ~ born three years ago today

 I would love to share with you again, the beautiful pictures taken by our family friend Jeremy.
You can still watch the dvd which he lovingly put together, and has kept on the internet.
The song still speaks deeply into my being. 
 Check out

 (this label was one that I sewed on, and wrote a little message on for our little grandson Jay.  The message was written on a piece of my grad dress.  I wanted a "little piece of Granny" to be with our little guy no matter where he went with his blanket.  Jay was lovingly wrapped up in the blanket that I made with so much love.)

Our little Grandson ~ Jay Benjamin Klassen
July 24th, 2008

Dear Little One
how much we miss you
not a day goes by
that we don't think of you
and our hearts don't ache to hug you

Jay Benjamin Klassen
what a sweet boy you would be
if you had stayed here with us
but what an amazing boy
you are
in the presence of Jesus
the One who created you
and the One who took you home to be with Him
before you were even born

We still don't understand
and yet we trust
We still weep
but not as those who have no hope
We still imagine
what you would look like
how fast you would run
the sound of your voice
the way you would hug your mommy and daddy
and how you would play with your little brother Everett

We wish you were here
the depth of our pain is still greatly felt,
daily we continue on in our journey of grieving
and God is carrying us 
We know that for sure.

Poppa and I speak your name often
We watch other little children
and wonder aloud at what you would be doing...
I wonder how many dandelions you would bring
 in a bouquet for your mommy.
I wonder how many tools you would take of your daddy's.
I wonder how many pushes Poppa would have given you on a swing
I wonder how many times I would have whispered in your ear
"Jay, Granny loves you!"
Or how many time I would cuddle and sing to you!

I imagine the treasures that your mommy would find in your pockets

And the bottom line is
Poppa and Granny miss you so terribly much
We will always miss you
but one day
we will see you again
And then sweet Grandson
We will hug you tightly when we see you in Heaven.

But for today
I know you are with Jesus
and with your great grandparents
I know that you are having the time of your life there
And that makes me imagine
and smile
But I still miss you
so terribly

Jay Benjamin
I love you sweet one!
Jesus - please tell him just how much!


Saturday, July 23

James calling...

Oh my goodness.  What is happening to me?  Am I really losing it?  (okay, don't all say yes at this point!)  I am thinking that life has just become a little "full" .

This morning I did have the alarm set.  Alvin came home from work as the alarm was going off.  I kept snoozing.  The wind coming in through the bedroom window was absolutely wonderfully cool.  It was a nice break after the hot humid weather we have been having.

All of a sudden I hear my phone ringing.  By the time I got to it - it had stopped ringing.  I looked at the number displayed and thought it was one more of those telemarketer calls.  But thought I would check the voicemail "just in case."  That is when I heard James' voice.  James.  My boss.  He left a message just wondering if I was okay, as I was on the schedule for today but wasn't it.

Well - 15 minutes later... I was in at work.  15 minutes!  To change, and to leave.  All the way wondering what the heck happened and WHY I forgot?  I have changed a few shifts lately, including a Saturday shift in August.  (perhaps that mixed me up)  Thing is - it was on my daytimer... I just for some reason had not checked and had actually told someone that I "didn't work until Monday".

Oh Joy...  :(

When I got into work - everyone that knew I was MIA was relieved to see me.  Rose, my co-worker texted and called.  She was concerned.  One of my co-workers told our charge nurse "that was unlike Joy".  Oh, you bet it is.

You see, yesterday I was talking with Rose, Debbie and Lesley and made the comment "I have never been sick or late since I started".  And then ... this morning happened!

You have heard of the saying PRIDE COMES BEFORE A FALL?
hmmm..... experienced it first hand today.  Thankfully my boss said not to worry ~ "it happens".
I hope that it doesn't happen again!

Friday, July 22

the birds upon the treetop

When I was a little girl (53 now, so that means many moons ago!!) I used to sing a song called "The Birds Upon the Treetop" or (Birdies in the Treetop) and while it is just a short short chorus - it has stuck with me.  I first found myself singing it when my grandson was born and I would hold him.  It just came out, this old song.  Thing is, I found that if he was a little bit restless, he would settle right down when I sang this little tune.

As he has grown I have continued to sing it again, and again, and again.  Yesterday I was in the park with him, and I am sure I pushed him in the swing for half an hour straight.  He was looking at everything as he swung in the little bucket swing.  He pointed to the moon.  He sees each plane that flies even before we do.  He loves to watch the birds and turns toward the sound of them.  He just swung and swung, and I said "Should Granny sing" and he smiled and shook his head "yes".
 So, I sang the song:

The birds upon the treetop sing their song
The angels chant their chorus all day long
The flowers in the garden blend their hue
So why shouldn't I 
Why shouldn't you
Praise Him too.

He swung, I sang.  We called birds (that's what we call it when he makes little screams) and listened for them.  We pointed to the planes, and looked at the moon!  That was part of yesterday.

Today, I came to watch him while Leah did some errands and met a girlfriend for lunch.  (working only part-time has its perks for me!)  And we played, and we read books, and we sang.  It was so funny because as I sang it, he went into this little "quiet spell" and just listened.  I loved it when it sounds like he is trying to sing along with me.  After lunch, we got ready for his nap.  He ran and got his blankie, and we picked a book (which he laughed through as each new page was turned) and then I sang to him my favorite song (yep, the birdies one...) He cuddled up against me, and hunkered in close and quiet.  I sang it three times, told him "time for sleep time, Granny loves you" and laid him down in his crib. Once again this little song did its little trick.

It is funny how, in this day and age with all kinds of music - and with all the actions and wild lyrics, the one that settles is just pure and simple.  Just me and my little grandson praising Him too!!

Pure and simple delight!

Wednesday, July 20


Not sure what is with me ~ whether it is the heat (which we pay to have in winter!) or what (still struggling with fatigue due to low iron) BUT whatever it is - I am finding that lately - I am NOT in a routine or a "disciplined" lifestyle and so a few things go by the wayside including (I hate to say) my time with the Lord.  Why is it - the things I LOVE to do - I struggle to do!  O Father, forgive me!

I have decided to get back into the Psalms.  I used to use the Psalms daily - and sometimes I would go "ah, yes, this one is for me" and my heart would truly sing!  Other times the Psalms were used as my "lament" when my heart was heavy and tears were many.  And then other times, I would read the Psalm and wonder what in the world it meant for me today!

So - I am getting back into them, and I will also be using some of Beth Moore's study called STEPPING UP ~ a journey through the Psalms of Ascent.

I want to share something she writes.  I read this and it was like an "aha" moment - and resonated deeply within my heart.  (My heart which I feel is parched like our gardens are in this intense heat wave we are experiencing).  Thing is - I know the one who can quench the thirst and fill me to overflowing.  O dear Jesus ... I need you.

Here is what Beth Moore says in her intro of her stepping up manual.
"I expect nothing less than a new level of intimacy with God through these pages.  I ask  you to settle for nothing less as well.  The more we bare our souls to God, the safer we'll feel with Him and the closer we'll draw to Him.  If we'll let Him, God will turn each of us into true worshipers, fully released to celebrate Him, reverence Him, laugh with Him, cry with Him, and even make our complaints to Him.  God is our hiding place.  Our shelter through the storm.  Let's find Him in a way we've not yet known."

Oh Lord Jesus ... yes.  I say YES Lord - I want to love you more fully, get to know you more intimately, and ask you to refill, refuel and renew me!

Wednesday, July 13

Exit Stage Left

When I was young (some days it seems like a LONG time ago!) I used to watch cartoons with Snagglepuss in them.  He used to always say - EXIT STAGE LEFT (or maybe it was stage right?)  Whatever.... I had an "aha" moment the other day.

I was leaving for work, bright and early on Friday morning, and I had this moment where God used some thing that I do every day - to speak into my life!  God is SO like that!!

I walked down the hall - took the elevator down to the parking floor - and got out of the elevator at "P" ... and it was so weird, every time I get to the parking level - I want to walk out and turn right!  EVERY TIME!!  I think it is because when I go up to the condo - that is what I do.  I get out and turn right since the  condo is down the hall to the right!

Anyhow, when I realized that the other morning (my inclination to go right all the time) it made me think of when we went with the kids to Florida in 2005.  Josh decided that since he read that everyone normally goes right at the theme parks - we went left!  And of course - we did encounter less traffic, and shorter lines (although at times it did feel like a salmon going upstream!).

This made me think about our lives and how we somehow want to keep repeating our same mistakes - or we want to keep on turning right when we know we should be heading the other way.  Somehow it is just easier to do the same thing over and over - by rote! (even if sometimes it is not the BEST thing to do!)  Why is it that we are such creatures of habit!  We like to pick the easy way - instead of the road less travelled.

Sometimes following Jesus Christ seems like it is hard - but eventually, as we make His Way OUR way - it will feel more and more like the ONLY way, which is what it really is!  I can hardly wait for that moment when there is nothing else I want more - each step of my day, than constantly turning to follow HIM ~ no matter where the crowd is going!  He said "I am the way, the truth and the life - no one comes to the Father except through me!"

Wherever He goes - I want to follow!!  Exit - Stage "JESUS"

Tuesday, July 5

sitting at the Bean

I am back at the "bean".  MOUNTAIN BEAN that is.  I was here this morning with my good pal Kim, and it was good to sit outside under the umbrella, with enough sunshine on us to make us enjoy it.  A good cup of coffee and two hours later, and we hugged good-bye and went on our way.  However, now I have a little time to kill - I still need to walk, but wanted to stop for a quick iced tea and a little time to write.

Writing seems to take time lately.  I don't want to be someone who just blogs for the sake of blogging.  I also sometimes wonder what my kids will do with my journals when I am gone!  HOWEVER I have found that lately my writing has been decreased.  I bemoaned that to my husband yesterday "I have not been writing in my journal as much lately."  To which he said, "I noticed".  Knowing that he HAS NEVER read my journal (although I have sometimes read entries TO him) I wondered how he knew this.  He said that he notices that my journal has sat in the same place for days.  Which he then assumed meant that I had not written in it for days.  And well - he is right.

Normally I am into my 3rd journal by July... and I am just nearing the end of my first.  This isn't that big of a deal, however I know that I journal MORE when I spend more time with the Lord ... and I will say that has been lacking too.

It seems that as much as I hate to admit that I like routine - I really do.  And in the past year I have realized how little routine I have in my life.  When I look back to when I finished pastoring and began walking in my journey, I stepped out of "routine" and into a new routine which meant alot of walking in the back forty as I called our acreage in Anola.  It meant alot of talking with the Lord - alot of reading my Bible, alot of just "snuggling" up to him and resting in his presence.  It meant that I could go out on my deck with my coffee, bible, journal and a few cups later wrap up my QT with the LORD and feel refreshed, rejuvenated and refueled!

But my life had a major change in it - and looking backwards, I see that the first change was never quite worked through when another one came and another, and other.

I spent July packing and moving.  August 1st we woke up in our kids loft - our new home. HUGE HUGE CHANGE after living 27 years in our Anola home!  Less than two weeks later Mom K went into the hospital and I spent a good portion of almost every day over the next 10 weeks in her room at Seven Oaks Hospital.  I would not trade that time for anything - and I was so glad I was able to do it HOWEVER I really had not even learned how to adapt to life in the loft ...  Then two weeks with Mom at home before she went "home" t be with Jesus.  ANOTHER HUGE CHANGE ~ adapting to life without our last parent here! A few months later we moved again ... this time into Mom's condo (March to present and likely till August 31st when the new owner takes possession).  We moved into Mom's condo with laundry baskets (how optimistic !!) and our possessions have morphed into her space.  On top of that, we had another terribly hard and HUGE change ~ we changed churches after being at McIvor for 32 years.  That was so hard.  You just don't leave "family" on a whim.  It is something we wish we never had to do - ever ... and yet the blessings have come from that.  (we thank God for our invitation into a care group at Eastview!)

Then ... Toss a couple holidays (Mexico with our family and Alaska with our friends) and a new job (Nov 16 till now) and sometimes I understand why there is no routine!  Thing is... I don't feel good about it.  Like I said in my resignation at McIvor - I do fly by the seat of my pants often but I do still like my "ducks in a row" and honestly there is not a single duck lined up in my life right now!  Okay, may-be one ....

I am only working part time so you figure I would be able to get into routine...
You figure I would get my QT into a pattern because I LOVE spending that time with the LORD...
You would figure I would get my exercise time down pat ...
You would figure I would have LOTS of time to journal ...

Looking backwards there are alot of things I still can't believe have happened. My breath still gets taken away when I think of the biggest loss in our life, our little grandson.  I still want to ask God "why" ... but find that I don't do the asking as often.  I see how even in the out of routine life - God has carried me, walked me, held me through the change.  And boy is there change.  For the most part - it is "inside me" and you may not be able to "see" it unless you are close to me ... but I am a different woman.

While I sit at the bean - I remember the times I sat here - often 5 times in a week - often having my early morning QT outside around their patio table.  Precious times.  Journal filling times!
I really want those back.  I don't like the unsettled feeling I get from having an undisciplined no-routine routine!!  Thing is - I know the Lord wants me to spend more time again.  So ... what is taking me?

Good question!
Perhaps as I sit and drink this iced tea, I can ponder that question AND perhaps I will close this computer and pull out my journal and bible beside me!

May you have the chance to sit - and think.  
To ponder and pray. 
To read and reflect!  
BUT most of all 
To sit and snuggle on the lap of God!!  

Friday, July 1

5 years since Dad K went "home"

It hardly seems like 5 years.
5 years since I had surgery.
5 years since Dad Klassen breathed his last breath this side of Heaven!
I remember as I was recovering during the month of May and June ...
Dad was getting worse, and losing his fight with the deadly "C"
Actually the 3rd cancer
First there was the big football sized mass they removed from his abdomen
Then there was the tumor they shaved off his kidney
And then ... the one that took him quickly and mercilessly.
The cancerous tumours in his liver.

I remember those days.
The last day that dad came over and sat around the fire.
June 5th.
My birthday.
Dad and Mom actually drove over the little stone's throw distance to our place
And he gingerly sat around the campfire.
That was the last day he ventured out
Until the day he was taken by transfer car into emergency ... and then admitted into Riverview.
And that was where he passed away.

I will never forget that day - Neil, Mom and I spent the late afternoon and evening with him - 
and while the fireworks were going off at the Forks,
dad was breathing his last breaths
and then he entered glory.
Absent from the body but together with the Lord.

It has been 5 years.
Sometimes it seems like yesterday
Sometimes it seems like forever.
We miss him so much.
He was wise, loving, gentle but firm.
He was knowledgeable and very giving.
He loved us and we loved him.
We had no doubt how much!

Dad - John H. Klassen
We miss you so much.