Saturday, June 22

Remembering the 90's ....

Well, I have been procrastinating on writing down these thoughts - but here goes.
I am wanting to write down some of the things from the 90's that stay in my heart!!  So here are some of them - and remember - I am not making you read my blog post!!  These years were hard years.  Very very hard years!

1990 - the year I turned 32. I started journalling this year ... it was haphazard - but journalling none the less!  Ashley began Kindergarten this year - my car rides into the city were pretty quiet every other day!!  This is the year we did our first invitation only craft sale/open house!  It was a great success!!  A few days later, Alvin and the kids and I took our first big trip - to Florida!!  Walt Disney World - Busch Gardens - it was an amazing time!!  That began my love for FLORIDA!  As my little grandson said tonight, Granny - I want to go with you again to your favorite Florida!!   This is really dumb - but I actually cried when I saw the castle!!

1991 -  I turned 33 this year. Sugar-N-Spice celebrated its 10th anniversary!!  We did another craft sale this time it took up most of my house and garage!

1992 - 34 years old in June.  My mom had her first heart attacks this year!  And began a downward spiral with her health.  this is the year that I first heard the audible voice of God.  This literally changed my life!  I thank God for that experience that morning!  It made me hunger and thirst for more of Him.  I have not ever heard it audibly OUT LOUD like it was that morning since that time.  I figure that God knew exactly what I needed and when. Another craft sale - each year it was getting better and bigger!

1993 -  This year was my 35th birthday. Some of our involvements were - being wife (we celebrated our 15th anniversary this year!)  Josh turned 11.  Ashley turned 8.  Alvin and I were deacons at McIvor Avenue M.B. Church.  I was running the daycare, and also formed a mom's prayer group - praying for our kids, their teachers, the school board, and the bus drivers.  We met weekly.  It was called MOMS IN TOUCH.  We did another craft sale - and once again, Alvin and I and the kids went back to Florida.  This time we combined it with a 3 night cruise into the Bahamas.  Josh was involved in hockey.  Ashley took skating for a while.  Both kids were in school in Anola.  It was a great experience.  Alvin continued on at the firehall - loving the crew he was working with.

1994 - I turned 36 this year.  my mom ended up in the hospital for a very long long time - we actually thought we were going to lose her - but God spared her for another two years.   Ashley started singing with Winnipeg Mennonite Children's Choir.  It was a huge commitment - but one that had so many adventures!  I got really really sick this December, with a bronchial infection that the doctor said was almost pneumonia.  I was so sick.  I still remember that time.  Joshua got baptized this year, at the age of 12.  Josh had given his heart to the Lord when he was just 5 years old.

1995 - 37!  I took a year off of work, unpaid, LA due to depression.  My mom ended up back in the hospital, and while in, fell and broke her hip.  At the same time, my sister Mary-Ann was diagnosed with Breast Cancer.  She was in the hospital for her surgery at the same time as my mom.  It was quite the year!  This summer Ashley went to Israel, Germany and London with Menn. Children's Choir.  She was just barely 10!  I began my year off on September 1st.  Ashley got baptized this year!  She was 10 years old.  Ashley also gave her heart to Jesus as a young girl!

1996 - this is the year - May 5th, that I kissed my mom good-bye!  She had been in the hospital for a week (Sunday to Sunday) and we surrounded her as she very quietly breathed her last and passed into the presence of God!! It was the week before Mother's Day.  I was only almost 38 years old.  Way too young to lose my mom!  She was the most amazing woman in my life!  Our Christmas without mom was so hard!  I returned to work in September of this year. This year I was diagnosed with low thyroid and also with fibromyalgia.  Not good.

1997 - I turned 39 this year. It was a year of change.  Our daycare got moved into a brand new facility that the School Division built for us, attached to the Riverbend School.  It was so nice.  My dad remarried in August of this year, and was married only 3 months to the day when he had a massive heart attack and died.  We became orphans. Once again we celebrated our second Christmas without a parent!  My dad passed away in November 2nd.  Later that month, Alvin and I and the kids went back to Florida - this time spending some time in Fort Meyers first, and the over to Kissimmee.  It was a good time, but hard.  We went just in time to see Christmas decor in Florida!  Alvin's mom and Dad lived with us from Father's Day until the end of September - while Alvin built their house right through the bush from us!  I loved having mom and dad k out there!! So did the kids.

1998:  This is the year I turned 40!  Not sure what all happened ... funny, it seems that there was so much stress, that I have eliminated the events!! lol.   Obviously I made it through!  Celebrated our 20th this year!

1999: 41!  hmmm.... so this is the year that my son turned 17 and began dating his future wife Leah.  I love Leah so much!  Ashley turned 14 this year.  More choir.  Both of the kids were attending MBCI.

These were the 90's .... hard years.  Painful years, and yet years where I saw the faithfulness of God on my life - and the life of my family.  They were years of travel with our kids - and I would not give that back for anything!!  I LOVE TO TRAVEL!!

Those were the days my friend, we thought they'd never end .... I think there is a song for this line!

Stay tuned ... the last decade is yet to come!!

Saturday, June 15

Recalling the 80's ... the saga continues!

So, the next fifth of my life - the late seventies and eighties!  At this point in my life - I was in my 20's to 30's.  A great time of life!!

1979:  21 years old!  Alvin and I bought our first house in Valley Gardens area of Winnipeg.  It was quite something to move into our own place and become home owners!! I was still working as an ECE at Care-A-Lot daycare.  I was a room Supervisor in charge of the TODDLERS.  We bought our first house for $48,000. Alvin did some renos on it!

1980: Turned 22 this year.  I was working as the camp registrar for Faith Bible Camp - it was an unpaid job! But, I loved being involved!  Don't remember a ton about this year - I think we were both just busy working.  I did resign this year from Care-A-Lot and worked part-time with Parks and Rec - City of Wpg.  I ran the Parent/Child Drop-In, as well as the Toy Lending Library.  My dad and I also began to dream about opening a daycare center in North Winnipeg.  He would supply the funding - and I would supply the Early Childhood Educator experience.

1981:  We opened the daycare - Sugar-N-Spice Kiddie Haven Inc. - 2400 Main Street.  The place is no longer there - but there used to be an old school.  We began privately - with three children - two being my nieces!  By fall - we were full and became an official non-profit, government funded daycare centre!  We also added a school-age program.

I turned 23 this summer, and found out that we were expecting! We were very excited.  It was before the days of knowing what the sex of the baby was, however I had strong feelings that the baby was a boy, and we only had one name picked out - one BOYS NAME!!

This fall - Alvin and I, Mary-Ann and Nelson and our two dogs went to BC - gold panning.  It was a great holiday - although having the two dogs was very interesting!!

1982:  Our firstborn, a SON - Joshua Gerald was born early - January 21st, 1982.  Becoming a mom was one of the most amazing things I have ever experienced!!  I turned 24 this June!

1983: Right after Josh's first birthday - we put the house up for sale - and we moved into a Seniors apartment - Sarina Apartment - on Henderson Hwy. at Springfield.  It was quite the time there - we stayed there from March to the beginning of August.  Alvin began building our home in Anola the end of March, and we moved in the 6th of August!  I turned 25 years old this year!!

1984: The year I turned 26.  I also found out that we were expecting another baby.  Once again, I had strong sense that I would be having a DAUGHTER and this time around, we had NO boys names - just a girls name!!  I was also working on getting my ECE III as the government was tightening up requirements regarding daycare directors.  So I was working at getting some courses in at night.  My sister Mary-Ann and Nelson moved into live with us for a while while they built their house right next door to us!!  I loved having them as neighbours!!

1985:  Once again, God gave us the delights of our hearts - this time, a daughter.  Ashley Marie came early as well.  She arrived half an hour after I got to the hospital!  I had just finished a course at RRC and she came shortly after - so I was able to put the courses on hold for a while!  Joshua was thrilled with getting a sister. I turned 27 this year!

1986 - this is the year I turned 28.  My parents resigned from the daycare - and I moved up from Assistant Director to Director, along with my sister-in-law Ruth as the assistant dir.  Both of the kids came to the daycare with me.  This is also the year - that Alvin began on the City of Winnipeg Fire Department!  He started in Sept, and graduated in November, the night of a snowstorm!!
He graduated at the top of his class!!  We were so surprised about that!!  Alvin and I started as deacons this year.  My dad and mom came and blessed us in this capacity!

1987 - 29 years old this year!!  We worked in the city and also attended church in the city.  Joshua began kindergarten this fall - and he went to school every other day - full days.
I continued to study - and at some points I had a couple correspondence courses going PLUS was taking some courses at Red River and also a couple at U of M.  It was a full time of my life!

1988 - the year Alvin and I both turned 30 and also had our 10th anniversary!  To celebrate our anniversary we went overnight to the Fort Garry Hotel! I was getting close to achieving my ECE III ...
it was a very crazy time of life - with kids and trying to get my designation for ECE.  I had until the next year.

The eighties were a time of big hair - lets see - it involved bad perms, some hair colouring, a lot of hair product and then there was stirrup pants, and panda sweatshirts and tights ...
What can I say - apparently I must have thought I was a babe!!  lol   The panda motif was prevalent in the 80's as Winnipeg Zoo hosted the panda's ... and it was literally panda mania!

Thursday, June 13

Next 10 years of my life ... part 2!

So let's see - seems like I need to finish my post birthday thoughts - for all they are worth!!

1969:  This is the summer that I turned 11.  I decided I wanted to be baptized, and after speaking with the elders, it was decided I would get baptized by Uncle Bill Orr at Missionary Camp at FBC.
I remember exactly what I was wearing that day!  It was such a momentous day for me.  The waves were big, and there was a wind, but I was baptized in the lake!!
This fall I went into Grade 6 at Beausejour Junior High.  It was either a walk, or a bus ride from our new house on Third and James.  My teacher was Mrs. Zielke.  We were in huts on the high school grounds.  It was quite something.  I began cheer leading this year - and loved it!  I was still best friends with Josie, and my cousin Debbie.

This is the first year that FBC took place on the mainland!  It was quite a change.  There was something special about the island all those years!

1970:  This is the year that I turned 12 and I was able to start working at camp as a waitress - not during kids camps but during the teen and youth camps and missionary camp.  I loved working at camp - it was really all I knew!!  My summers were spent here.

This is the year that we had a grade 6 grad in June!  I went to this grad with Paul - my neighbour and my childhood crush from down the street!!  The grad was at St. Mary's Hall.  My mom bought me a new peasant dress - it was a long one - and I just remember this evening being a mixture of fun and nerves.  Remember - I was raised in the day when it wasn't common for christian kids to go to dances or shows!!  But I had permission to go to the grade 6 dinner and dance - and it was good.

In fall, I went into Grade 7 and had Mr. Michelo as a teacher (not sure if I spelled his name right).  He was such a great teacher!  I loved going to the sockhops that happened at lunch hours.  I also still enjoyed cheer leading.  This actually was a passion of mine right up to the end of grade 10. (if you can imagine!!)

1971:  When I finished Grade 7 in summer, I went off to camp.  I was now 13 and able to be a junior counsellor at FBC.  I LOVED IT.  I will never forget the day though, that I found out we would be moving to Peterborough, Ontario. My dad had to close up the Polaris Plant in Beausejour, and then got a job with Arctic Cat, however they wanted him in Ontario for a year.  SO we went.
I was in my grade 8 year - and started it off in the High School... to be honest, I can not remember my teacher's name. My best friend Josie went into school in the city - to MBCI.  Deb and I still hung out.  I only attended school in Beausejour until the weekend of Thanksgiving when we left and headed to our new home in Peterborough, and our new school.

While most kids would find this hard - I actually recall this year with fond memories - except it was the year that I got into a little trouble - i.e. got caught smoking.  Most of my friends smoked.  I had a mixture of friends - and to begin with I hung with the cool kids - but then realized that well, I just didn't belong with them - and made some changes in friendships.  My closest friend at this time was Jeannette Lonsberry.  I started a cheer leading team - and it was a great year.

We went to a new brethren church in Peterboro and I got involved in youth.

That year at Christmas, my dad was involved in a car accident on the Trans Canada while we were returning to Beausejour for Christmas.  We spent our Christmas day between the hospital and the hotel.  It was a Christmas to be remembered.  My dad went home in a wheelchair, with a leg cast on.  Having only one real leg (my dad was a war amputee) meant that this caused quite a hassle!!

1972:  I turned 14 and finished Grade 8 with a "grad" and then I had to say good-bye to my new found friends!  I had several who I was so sad to leave behind.  My mom and brothers and I took the train back to Winnipeg and once there, we met my soon to be brother-in-law Greg.

I was a bridesmaid that summer, and worked at camp.  I went back to Peterboro with my dad, and got to visit with some friends for a week or so.  It was a good visit.

That year I returned to Beausejour High Shcool - and entered Grade 9 with Mrs. Donohue as my teacher.  The year does not stand out too much for me.
I continued to get involved in cheerleading, and school was okay :)

1973:  this was the year I turned 15.  I went into Grade 10.  Can't remember my teacher again.  But I really struggled with some things at school.  I did not fit into many things - as a Christian kid - I did not go to the parties.  Cheer leading took up slot of time - and it was fun.  It was during this year - that my parents told me if I wanted to go into school at MBCI, for grade 11, that they would send me.

My first niece Keri was born this year!!  Loved being an auntie.
I worked at camp all summer!

1974:  I turned 16!!  I got my beginners and I finished grade 10 and went to camp for the summer.  ALL SUMMER.
I was accepted into MBCI for Grade 11.  Good-bye Beausejour - Hello MBCI
Josie and I lived together in the WHITE HOUSE ...
This fall I took driving lessons with JOE VINE DRIVING SCHOOL :)  and passed first try at my license!
On the first day of school - I met Alvin, and well - the rest is history!
We began going steady (that is what we called it then) on November 21, 1974

1975:  continued dating ... went on our Quebec/Ontario tour in June.  My granny whom I loved with all my heart - she died in March of this year.  That broke my heart.  She was the only grandparent I knew.
That summer I worked the full camp season.  The school told us we could not live in the WHITE house so Josie and I, had to find other accommodations.  I lived with Mary-Ann and Nelson during the week and went home on the weekends.  I got a job at Smitty's in Garden City mall.  Alvin worked at Angelo's pizza.  We would put our tips together and share A&W root beer floats!!

1976:  TURNED 18!  Graduated High School.  Worked at camp all summer.  Went on one last family trip with my brothers and parents, in our Boler Trailer!!  Yep - all 5 of us!
Got a job working at Care-A-Lot daycare in October of this year.

My parents moved from Beausejour into the city - onto 42 Summerfield Way.
This is the year my niece Melissa was born.

1977: Turned 19.  I worked as an early childhood educator.  I also began getting my e.c.e certification.
I continued to attend church at Arlington Street Gospel Chapel, where I taught SS and went to youth.  I loved camp - and worked as the camp registrar for a few years.

1978:  Alvin proposed in January.  I was in Josie and Wayne's wedding in June.  We got married in September.  It was a great year!! I turned 20 and had been dating my sweet man for almost 4 years.
We moved into an apartment for the first year of our married life.  We began attending together at Alvin's church - McIvor Avenue M.B. Church.  I was accepted into membership there that year in the fall.  My dad gave me some of the wisest advice - he said "Whatever you do, go to church together - get involved together."  He blessed me over and over again.

Yep, the 70's were good too!!

Wednesday, June 12

post-birthday thoughts - the first ten years of life

One week ago, I celebrated my birthday!  I was treated to breakfast along with my daughters and niece (who "went to the washroom" and picked up the tab!!  Very sneaky Janice Mills!! lol)  I spent the day just puttering around doing really not a whole lot.  I dropped off a birthday cake to one of our pastors who shares a day, although he is younger by a little :)  I got treated to supper with my Sweet Man, and we went to one of our favorite little restaurants close by.  And to top it off, we had a great time around a campfire - just us adults since the kids were in bed, at J and L's.  It was complete with a song, cake and sparkler!! I love campfires!  (especially with my kids).  It was good to talk - just us six adults - as often with the hustle and bustle of our grandkids, we don't do alot of adult talking!! lol

So one week later, I have been reflecting a lot on my life!!  It has been an amazing life - but not one without many MANY times wherein I experienced God's faithfulness!! SO I decided to recall some of those things - going year by year - and choosing something that stands out!!

1958:  my birth - I came early - my dad was away on business when he got the call - "YOU HAVE A GIRL" I was born with PIXIE SHAPED EARS and A VEIL OVER MY FACE or what is also known as a CULL.  The doctor told my mom, that both of those things were "omens of good luck".  Apparently (if I have the story right) my mom was going to call me Dawn, but my sisters named me Joy.  I think I like Joy better!!

1959: what does a one year old remember?  LOL

1960: from the time I was born, I spent every summer at Faith Bible Camp, which Dad started after he became a believer of the Lord Jesus Christ.  I have a picture of me in a cute little dress, and in the arms of my mom.  I loved being at camp!!  To this day, I remember friends made there!

My dad was the one who would always rub my back, draw/tickle my back when I was going to sleep.  When he went away on business trips - my mom would - but she would not last the same length of time.  I think of this often when I am putting my grandson to sleep and he asks me to draw on his back!!

My dad travelled a lot.  He would send me little things from different places.  He would also send postcards, and sometimes a letter for me, written on motel stationary, and with stick figures so I could "read" it.  It was a lonely life for my dad.  He did talk about that part of life - being on the road. Every Sunday, my mom would get us kids ready for Dad's Sunday phone call.  It was a great time hearing his voice.

1961: right about this time of my life, I fell off the dock at the lake.  My dad said when I bobbed up to the surface, I was sputtering and he grabbed me by my overall straps.  I distinctly remember him taking me to my auntie Dot's and she helped to get me into some dry clothes.

I used to love sitting on my dad's knee - and feeling his strong arms around me, while he sung "choo - chums" song to me.  Not really a song, just a little ditty he would make up using the word choochums.
My kids enjoyed this too when I had children!

1962: 4 years old.  I had long hair which my mom would curls on Saturday nights.  I would have to sit on a pink painted tin high stool.  It was the most gruelling hour of my week!!  I also remember that it was my dad who would very carefully put all my hair together in a pony tail on the crown of my head.  To this day, having done my own daughters very long hair - I am still amazed at a man with big hands, could so gently put my hair up in a pony tail, and have it look immaculate!!  This always amazed me.  AND I didn't complain the way I sometimes did with my mom!!

1963: 5 Years OLD - this is the year  I started Kindergarten at Lansdowne School.  I walked to school.  Imagine a 5 year old crossing McPhillips!!  My teacher's name was Mrs. Marr.  Oh man, some of the things that I remember - were not so good.  One time she reamed me out, which to this day brings an awful feeling.  My mom had given me some liquorice allsorts to share with my friends at recess.  We were in the recess line, and I took them out of my pocket, to get ready to share them.  I can not remember what she told me (perhaps I was talking, I really can't remember) but she yelled at me across the room and centered me out.  I also remember her grabbing my friend by the ears and shaking him, because he had not put his plasticene away.  On a happier note - I was an angel in the Christmas pageant.  That was still when schools could celebrate the true meaning of Christmas!!  I also remember COCOA, a monkey puppet, who would come out of his house for music time!

Apparently this is also the year that we got a t.v. so that I could watch the Santa Claus Parade from the confines of our living room.  My sister told me that since I was sick, and could not go out to the parade downtown, that dad bought a t.v.  (black and white I may add).  She insinuated that I was spoiled!!

1964: 6 years old.  Grade 1 - I had Miss Campbell - and she was such a loving teacher!!  My best friend was Joanne Styles.  I also had friends named Billy (who I had a grade 1 crush on) and also Annamarie, and Kevin.  It was a good time of life - grade 1.  I remember that every spring for Easter - we would get new outfits - head to toe!!  I loved my off white sailor coat with blue sailor piping!!

It was also this year, that God blessed us with the arrival of my "chosen" brother Tim.  I remember that he was so sweet and pudgy and had bells on his little white baby boots.  He was a year old.  I loved him then, but oh man, this 55 year old loves her brother even more now!

1965:  7 years old. Grade 2. Miss Urano was my teacher - and I loved her too.  I remember that during these years we had a milkman delivering milk, and BEEP a new juice drink (full of sugar).  We also had Jeannies Bakery delivering all our birthday cakes!!  In those days, they were all square - so some people did not get chocolate flakes on their piece.  I also remember that my mom made my birthday cake once, with money in it!!  Yes - every piece got some waxpaper wrapped coins!!  (I did this for my kids once or twice - but the coins were always bigger it seemed than what I remembered!!)

I got to be a camper this year - even though I was just 7.  I will always remember the fishflies that would crunch as we walked to where outhouses were.  The smell of Pinesol to this day, takes me back to camping season!!

1966:  8 years old.  Grade 3.  My teacher was Miss Landi. This is the year, January 26th, that I gave my heart to Jesus.  I came home after Awana girls club at our church, and I knew that I wanted to ask Jesus to be my Saviour.  I had attended Arlington Street Gospel Chapel from birth - and lived in a godly home where Jesus was modeled and taught and I knew I neeeded to make Jesus my Lord.  So, my mom shared some scripture with me - I remember John 3:16 being one of them, and she led me to the Lord!!  I knew exactly what I was doing!  The faith of a child!

This was the year I got bit by a dog!!  He loved the pompoms on my mukluks!! This scared me a lot, and he did break the skin a little.

1967: I turned 9 this summer!! It was also this year that I had a birthday party that had 10 people, and only one boy showed up.  The girls were boy crazy and all wanted to sit by Billy.  (Kevin was sick and could not come).  I remember that even then (like now) I hated opening gifts in front of people!  Just something weird about that! I finished grade 3 and said good-bye to my friends. We were moving!  This summer we moved from 1190 Inkster Blvd, in the North End - to live at our non-winterized cottage on Lake Winnipeg.  We lived there till November when we moved into a little one room house (with 2 adult children and 2 young children and 2 Adult parents if you can imagine) and we lived here till our house was finished being built in Beausejour.

The move was all because my dad was the president of Polaris Industries - building snomobiles in Beausejour.  It was an exciting time, as dad took us to the races, and we also often followed the Polaris team as they raced from Winnipeg to St. Paul.  We got to know the team which included one woman.

I started my first year in Beausejour Elementary - Grade 4 - and my teacher was Mrs. Puchacz.  (I always thought this was such a funny sounding name).  It was here that I met my forever friend - Josie Dyck.   (now Schellenberg).  I was excelling at school and the principal and teachers talked about me skipping to grade 5 but I did not want to leave my friends.

This was a Centennial Year - and we were involved in many celebrations!

1968: I turned 10 this year!  Summer time was alwasy a highlight!! However, this was the last year spent on the island. I remember a huge storm we had - seeing the waves beating away on the bank of the island.  My dad had a huge responsibility, along with other of the men who would help drive the barge.  Many kids lives depended on safe travels across Lake Winnipeg.  The lake was wonderful but could whip up into a violent storm before you knew it. Most of the time I loved the boat rides.  My dad was the "captain" of the Pelican, which transported children/adults/luggage to Elk Island from the mainland.  I had great trust in my dad! I rode on the top roof of the Pelican - doing something only the big kids could do, but Dad let me since he was in charge!! He would help heist me up and open the windeow onto the flat portion of roof, and push me through.  I also had many rides in the motor boat.  I guess my dad and I were often together since Mom was cooking most times in the kitchen at camp.  To this day, if I go over to the Island, I love to stand in the overgrown area, look at the old concrete slab that used to be the shuffleboard, and remember!!

This fall - I went into Grade 5 and my teacher was sweet (but she seemed old then) Mrs. Dugard.  A more gentler teacher I never had!  She had control of the room though.

This is the year God blessed our family with my other brother Brian.  WHile he is only two years younger than me, he only joined our family through adoption at the age of 8 and a half.  He came full of fear, haveing been abandoned by his bio family and through foster hoomes.  We were excited to call him our brother, but it was a time of trying to figure out how to build relationship with him.

In Sept. of this year - my older sister Mary-Ann, married Nelson.  I was a junior bridesmaid!!  I wore hot pink satin and velvet - and got my hair done for the first time at a hair salon!! Oh the things you remember.

Thus ends the first ten years of my life - at least in some special recollections!!  The 60's were good years!!

Saturday, June 1

Learning to be a Martha - while being a Mary at heart!

I have been thinking alot lately, about Mary and her sister Martha.  Mary LOVED to sit at the feet of Jesus!  Martha spent her time in the kitchen - preparing the meal she would serve Jesus.  Martha struggled with Mary's neglect of helping her out in the kitchen.  Jesus gave Martha an answer, which perhaps sounded stern, but there is something very important in that answer.

I will admit that I love being a "Mary".  I love sitting at the feet of Jesus, so to speak.  I love the Word of God.  I love journalling about what I am thinking and learning and praying.  I am a contemplative person.  I refuel by being by myself (which is proving to be interesting being that I am the director of a ministry where on any given day, I could potentially have a house full of women!)

As I write this, the women who are here for their weekend retreat - have just finished their second session and are fellowshipping around the table over lunch.  I laughed when someone asked if I love cooking?  Does anyone love cooking when they are in their fifties.  At this age, we have literally cooked more meals than we care to remember!  So ... cooking?  Well, you see, that is where God is literally stretching me - and my cooking and everything else "kitchen" related, and making me into a "Martha" and me, I am so aware of the process, that it makes me smile.

Don't get me wrong - I think I am a good cook (at least that is what my kids friends have told me as they ate around our table).  I have learned how to cook without recipes, although when having a group, I do stick mostly to recipes. I have learned from the best (my mom) and well ... I think I learned alot from her - about being a Martha and a Mary.  I just realized as I typed that, my mom taught we way way WAY more than she ever knew she was teaching me!  My mom, had such a Mary heart - I often caught her having her QT with the Lord - head bowed, bible open.  My Mom was also the most amazing hostess.  Every Sunday she had me set the table for guests - who, we were never sure.  And she was the most amazing cook of Yorkshire puddings, roast beef and all the trimmings.  SO I learned alot from my mom, who was one of the most godly women I have ever in my life known.  (Thank you Lord for my mom!!)  So back to the cooking aspect of ministry.  The truth?  I can hardly wait till we are going strong, and we can actually hire someone to help me here so that I do not have to do the cooking, or all of it, and that I can spend time just caring for/talking with/hosting the women that come.  That is my hope ... and I think it will be a reality but in God's time.  In the meantime, He will continue to grow me and stretch me into a Martha to integrate with the Mary that He created me to be!!  All I can say is - thank you Lord - for your work in my life!!  I am here - hands open - do your will in me Lord.

Anyhow here is the scripture that I was thinking of today:

Luke 10:38-42

New International Version (NIV)

At the Home of Martha and Mary

38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worriedand upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[a] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”