Sunday, July 28

For such a time as this...

I love these two!
My sister, and my niece

Today I wept.
It was unexpected.
I was just asked if I would say grace.
But I was not just saying grace for food that I had prepared and put on the table
I was also asking for God's grace on my sister and niece, who I have the pleasure of hosting
"For such a time as this"
Those words, from the book of Esther, have been running through my mind often lately
God knows
He knows the times
So here I was this morning, asking God for his peace
His grace
His healing
His tender mercies
over my sister, my niece and their families.

For such a time as this.
I believe that when God called 13 years ago
and spoke His vision for women's retreat ministry to me
entrusting it to me, and to us ...
He knew.
He knew that the ministry would spring out of utter despair and sorrow
when we lost Jay
it is NO surprise in retrospect
that it was in those days that God spoke ...
and that he gave more plan, more details to our kids

For such a time as this ...
I believe that when God spoke this vision to my heart
He also knew that there would be a branch to the ministry
that back in 2000, I would NOT want to hear
O GOD please don't speak to me about starting a ministry that would provide a place
for peace
for healing
for retreat
for renewal
for quietness and solitude
for those walking the journey of intense grief.
O GOD please no.

Back in 2004, one of my friends with prophetic gifting, spoke into my life.
She told me of the dream God had given to her
But back in 2012 she told me a part that was missing
A part that she said she saw, but could not share
She said "Joy, in the dream, the grief on your face - was so intense"
She told me that after I had shared with her that I felt our journey in grief, would also be something that would be a part of who comes here.
O Lord ... for such a time as this.

Back at the end of January, I was showing someone the bedrooms
And I shared with them why we called the one room RESTORE
And I said - that anyone can stay in this room, but we felt it would have a ministry of its own.
I think my words were this:  "Who knows, but perhaps women from all ages/all walks of life will find this room a place of solace, whether they have lost a baby, or a child, or a grown adult child.'
Within a couple weeks, we stood around my niece's bedside, as she was taken off of life support and into the arms of the Almighty One.
And I immediately thought about my sister.

So it was this morning, as I prepared breakfast for Heather and Melissa (mom and daughter/sister and niece) I prayed ...
I have prayed for their stay here.
It has been a deep plunge into grief, and well, life has a way of making us so busy
that we don't get a chance to step out of life, into a place where we can just be with God -
They invited me to have breakfast with them, and to say grace.
And I did
but there were some long pauses in an otherwise short prayer.

O Lord - you are the healer of broken hearts - of shattered pieces.
I know that
You are the redeemer of ashes - for joy
I know that
Your mercies are new every morning
I know that
You are faithful.  You are Sovereign.  You are in control.
I know that, even though at times, my head and my heart fought over this!

It is very special to be able to offer this space, for my sister and niece
For such a time as this.
I have thought about my niece Keri alot today
And well - I know she is experiencing the fullness, and the wholeness, and joy that we can't describe
But O Lord, how we miss her.
O Lord ... how we wish we could have given her one more hug
One more I love you
One more little bit of teasing as her uncles loved to do
One more compliment

I know that we will be together again - all of us - grandparents, parents, our grandson Jay, my niece Keri ...
I know that with God - time is measured much different
And while it feels like forever - it is merely a breath.

So, in such a time as this,
I praise you for being the God of all comfort - of all healing - of abounding love and grace
And I thank you that your mercies are new every morning
O Lord - may that be what my sister and my niece feel today ...
and tomorrow
and the next days after

And may the pieces of their hearts, and my brother in law, and nephew through marriage, and their family - may those pieces come together in a way that only YOU can do GOD
because THEY NEED YOU to do that.  WE NEED YOU!!

Lamentations 3:23

The Message (MSG)
22-24 God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out,
    his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.
They’re created new every morning.
    How great your faithfulness!
I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over).
    He’s all I’ve got left.

Thursday, July 25

thoughts from yesterday ...

It has happened every year since our little firstborn grandson's birth.  The days leading up to his birthday are hard ones.  They are a reminder that we will celebrate Jay's birthday without Jay.  They are a reminder that our lives stopped that day, and new lives began.  Yes, with remnants of the old us, but new lives with changed people.

When our little grandson was born - we prayed... and prayed.... and prayed.  Minutes passed ... more minutes, and then it became very real.  Jay was with Jesus, not with his mommy and daddy, or with us. Even writing that, the "feeling" grips my heart and the cold feeling washes over my being.  I will never forget that day.

I realize now, that people did not know how to enter into the deepest pain of our lives.  And now, five years later, I get it.  Let's face it, losing a baby is not something we ever want to be able to be used to ... I still think it should never happen.  I still want to know WHY GOD?  However, I also have come to see that losing babies, happens more than I ever knew.  I am very aware of pain of loss in many young couples arms.

Since that day - 5 years ago yesterday - I have come to forgive the hurtful and insensitive things that were said to us.  And I have just said, "O Lord, they have never encountered this, and hopefully they never will."  Since that day, I have wept so many tears, that I am sure God has many bottles stored with them.  Since that day, I am convinced that He has wept with us too.  Since that day I have taken many flowers and laid them on the little gravesite.  Since that day we have also encountered joy in the grandsons that Josh and Leah have also had, and their births have brought much joy.  MUCH MUCH MUCH joy.

I have seen that God redeems the broken pieces of our hearts.  And he puts them together.
I have been able to forgive those who I felt stepped on the pieces as they lay shattered around us.
I have been able to pray for others who have gone through such heart ache.
The prayers for my kids - I can't describe that.
Honestly, there is NOTHING like the pain of seeing your kids in such deep pain, and not knowing how to help.  There is no way to help - besides a bit of practical help, other than that ... oh man, I prayed.

Since that day - I have also seen how God redeemed the ashes for joy, and has brought new mercies.
It was during that time - God said to get the ball rolling on the ministry.  What I thought was "bad timing" on His part (not now God, don't you see that we are mourning?) but soon realized He was also speaking to our kids about the ministry too ... and the reason we built how we built, and where we built and all of that ... is because of how God laid it on the broken hearts of our kids, and they shared that with us.  So, in this ministry Women Refreshed at the Well ... I see how something beautiful did come from the greatest sorrow we have ever experienced.

5 Years ago - I made phone calls to important people in our lives.  Family, and a few close friends.
Our friends wept with us.  Our friends asked us to come over to just cry, or talk, or sit in silence.
One pair of those who were there for us were Al and Jan - and we will never forget those phone calls.  The reassurance of people praying.  The reassurance of their broken hearts for us.  Within minutes - Al had gotten a prayer chain - stretching all over the world - praying on our behalf.  Family prayed.  Friends prayed.  Strangers prayed.

So it was good, that this week - from Monday to yesterday, we were hanging out with Al and Jan at their cottage.  We got to talk about those phone calls ... and they let us talk again, about remembering our Jay.  One friend on facebook put it this way when I put something about missing Jay, on my status. She said this:  you will never forget...and that's a precious thing. Jay is so blessed to be born into your loving family. I love that although his time with you was short, he left such an imprint on your hearts

You see - yes - we only got to know Jay as he was growing inside his Mom ... but we dreamt about him  - what he would be - who he would be - how we would grandparent.  And then we got to hold him, and let the tears fall from us, onto his little blanket.  His imprint on our hearts is huge ... and always will be.

I sometimes imagine how he is in Heaven.  Alvin dreamed about Jay just after we had his little burial service.  I imagine the joy of his great grandparents - all of them - and I believe they knew exactly who he was, and I think they are spending their time with him.  Sometimes I have asked the Lord to tell my little grandson just how much I miss him.  I realize that once I am in heaven - all the "WHY GOD?" questions that I have here - will no longer be a question I will care to ask.   I know that one day - we will be together - and what a day that will be!  

Till then I will thank God for the time we could hold our little grandson ...
I will thank him for walking/carrying us through the hardest times, and for continuing to bring healing and joy again.

Yes, it was a short time, but the imprint on our hearts is huge!
We will never be "through it" or "over it"  (why do people say things like that?  "Are you over it yet?)
No ... losing Jay is part of our story - a story that God knew about, and knows about still.

And our hearts continue to get stronger where the breaks were.
And we will always remember.

And, I continue to thank God for the dvd Jer put together for us.
Jay Benjamin Klassen

Sunday, July 21

weathered. worn. wrinkled.

my hands

hands that love my grandkids 

these were my hands when I was months old
not weathered
or worn
and certainly not wrinkled

hands with a story
I thank God for that!

I look at the hands 
oh the story they could tell
the places they have been
the things they have done
the hands that have been clasped in them
the tears that they have wiped
the ticklish spots they have tickled

oh the story they could tell
the things they have made
crafts they have created
baking they have baked and delivered to others
knitting they have done (purl one, knit one)
counted cross stitches they have stitched

of the story they could tell
of mission trips
and holidays
with family and with friends
of folded laundry
and ironed clothes (before everything was wash and wear)

oh the story they could tell
of hugs around children’s necks
and applying bandaids on scraped knees
of turning pages of story books
and tickling backs of sleepy children

of ring around the rosie
and skipping rope
of playing tic tac toe
and helping little hands write their names
of smoothing hair
and touching an arm for assurance
of holding hands while crossing the street
or just because holding the hand of someone you love - feels so good
of caressing the love of your life
and gentle touch on the little loves of your life
and all the touches in between, given to children who have blessed you

oh the story they could tell

of turning the pages of Curious George
but also turning the pages of her favorite book - the Bible
of writing letters
and penning poems
of journalling and blogging
hands that have given direction to children
have picked loved ones up when they need a hand
hands that have made a cup of coffee
and opened the door to entertain friends both old and new

oh the story they could tell
stories of her hands being used
to love
to care
to help
to guide
to work
to teach
to craft
to have fun
and to serve

touching the hands of another
who has the whole world ahead of them
O the stories their hands will tell.

I look at the hands
and I see the hands of my mom
who has been with Jesus for many years now
I remember her hands
and realize that her hands helped me become who I am today

but I realize that the hands I see
and wrinkled


O Lord, please make these hands to be an instrument of your peace and your love.  
May you give me strength to serve you with my hands.  
Please Lord, give me the strength to use them for your honor and glory.  
Help me to bless others with my hands.  
O Lord, may you use my hands to bless my husband, my kids, my grandkids, 
my family and friends - both old and yet to meet.  
Thank you for the stories my weathered, worn and wrinkled hands tell.  
To you O Lord, I give praise, and thanksgiving and glory!  

Wednesday, July 17


got up - ow, the squatting down in the garden - pulling weeds = some stiff legs
going to go out and get in the hot tub  - seems the water is a little murky - tested = chlorine is very low
so, I come back in - darn - where is my other shoe!!  And how come I am missing one of each pair that is at the back door.
looked everywhere = confused first thing in the morning
oh dear - seems I wore one of each upstairs when I first got out of bed = laughing at myself!! 
(how does one wear one of each shoe and NOT know??)  = early morning lol
boiled water - french press = good cup of coffee
good chair - quiet space to think, and journal and blog = happy person
decision to pull some weeds - visit by friend who is heading up our garden plan = smiles all around
Maxine comes with not only garden tools but also her parents who are awesome gardeners = gardening begins (after a quick lunch at Half Moon :)
pulling weeds - hot sun - hot black soil - some swet beads rolling down forehead = a sense of accomplishment
cold ice water - cold watermelon - good conversation = sweet afternoon
moving wooden pegs - the sound of buzzing - being chased by wasps = 1 sting (not happy)
the waterfall is pegged out - hugs all around - and thank-you's = garden has begun
potatoes in baking - meat is barbecuing - and supper is shared with some of our kids = I am happy
hugs and cuddles with grand baby - a short visit and a wave good-bye = bedtime for Mattie
clean up the kitchen - and spend a quiet evening at home = we love being together

repeat tomorrow - slightly different but all the more thankful that God gives us such snipets in each day!!

also posted at

Friday, July 12

.... ah Michael - are you still home?

Yesterday, after Alvin kissed me good-bye, and left for work, I did as I usually did (unless there are retreaters here and then I am usually up at 6) ... but yesterday I set the alarm for another almost two hours (Alvin gets up for work at 5:45) and I laid down.  Then I heard it.
It is hard to describe in writing - but it was like someone was scratching a plastic cup.  At first, I thought it was my old alarm clock, having a little struggle turing the numbers as each minute passed by.  No, didn't seem to be that.  It would be a little intermittent, but I had soon decided that it was likely a mouse in my nightstand drawer. (Okay, in Anola, we had the occasional country mouse in our house!)  And sometimes they were in the strangest places - checking it out, nibbling here and there until we caught them efficiently on a sticky trap!  (sorry, I do not want any mouse activists protesting on my blog now!! lol)  Micky and Minnie Mouse ... they are cute.  Little mice with long tails in your house - NOT so cute!  ANYHOW back to yesterday morning.

I by this time, was sitting on my bed - listening.  I tested Alvin and said - "I think there is a mouse in my nightstand drawer" to which he texted back.  "Open the drawer"  to which I then replied "I can't" ... and his next text was "just do it."

SO I texted my favorite son-in-law Michael (ya, I only have one s.i.l ) and asked him if he was home?
He texted back - yes did I need something.  I told him I thought I may have a mouse, and next thing I knew he was over and downstairs to my aid!!  

Well - not to draw this out any longer.  I opened the drawer - and he shook it a bit - nothing.
But then we heard it again ...
I moved some tissue paper off the top of my stand, and took the plastic cup in my hand and then I noticed it, AND heard the sound.  There in the bottom of the cup was a bug - a beetle of some sort (not sure if a mouse would have been nicer lol) and we realized it was HIM making the noise, trying to get up the sides and out. (which you have to wonder how he got up the sides and IN - wouldn't he get out the same way.)

So I laughed sheepishly.  Michael laughed and went home.  Later my daughter called and asked if I could come help her cause there was a mouse in her drawer!! LOL

It seems really stupid doesn't it.  That a grown woman - would be held hostage by the fear that there was a MOUSE potentially, and sitting on her bed with her feet up!! Unbelievable!!  But there I was.
I realize that I am easily held hostage by my fears.  Fear of heights (hate roller coasters).  Fear of water (my feet have to touch all the time, and since I almost drowned once, I am not a lover of swimming in the water).  Fear of trying new foods (I am kind of a plain jane eater).  What is it that keeps us fearful of situations/circumstances/new experiences?  

13 years ago - God called me to something.  He laid the vision for the ministry on my heart.  He spelled it out - what He was thinking - and seemed to be entrusting his vision for retreat ministry to ME.
At the same time - I was reading in Exodus - where Moses was called to lead the people out of bondage.  Moses - he sounded fearful to me - "God - maybe you could ask my brother Aaron?  He is much more eloquent than I am " ...
Later, God used a few scriptures to continue his call to me - 
One of them was this one, and seriously when God gives you this verse - You just have to trust and obey!

Joshua 1:9

New International Version (NIV)
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged,for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

You see - God doesn't call the equipped, but equips the called!  He knows what he is calling us out of - or in to.  We don't always see the whole picture.  We may just hear a little "nibbling" and have a whole other story concocted in our imagination - and become fearful.  But God - he just says "trust me" "be strong and courageous"  "don't fear"  "I am right here with you!"

When I look backwards at the call to ministry - 13 years ago - I stand in awe! 
Honestly, the call I received - hearing God speak - it was so clear - and was the beginning of many many MANY conversations with God - conversations that literally changed my life, along with that of my husbands and my kids. 
Sure - several times I was very fearful.  "God? you really want me to quit my job of 25 years?"  "God?  Now what?  I am done this work - so here I am ... waiting."  "God? You are asking me to do that?  I need you to confirm please Lord."  "God, you have called me in so distinctly - please call me out when the time comes - just as clearly."  "God - do you really think I can do this?"  
Those are just a smidgen of my thoughts/my remarks to Jesus - my Lord and God.  And in return - He gave peace during the waiting times.  He gave courage.  He gave trust especially when I could not see the steps ahead.  He gave strength when I felt weak.  He gave me assurance when I was anxious.
He gave me encouragement when others were doubting what we were doing.  


Today, I am still on this journey - the one where my seatbelt is still fastened and I am still sitting on the edge of my seat.  We are opened, and the ministry is going - and I am not sure who will come - or how many - or how often or ??
But thing is, I am really quite good with how God is bringing them in.  And, in the midst of all I am learning, and doing, and being stretched in ... there is peace, and strenght and encouragement and no fear!! 

oh, except for the mouse  or, ah, the beetle. (oh I am so embarrassed!)
I thank God for giving me a son-in-law that runs to my aid
(it helps that they are living in our yard while they build their house -
so he didn't have to run as far!!)

O Lord, thank you - for all you give me ...
family who run to my aid
experiences that stretch me
but most of all - your strength, your courage given to this 55 year old granny who wimps out at the sound of a mouse in the drawer.
Gotta love it!!  Ah, country living.  (and a great sense of humour to go along with it!)

Tuesday, July 9

Yay Jesus!

I grew up with a song that my mom used to sing to me, and I think we may have sang it in Sunday School although I am not positive.  I know I have blogged about this song before (or am pretty sure I have).  The thing is - it has never left me!  I love it although it is an "oldie" (like this granny!)  I began singing it to our little E. when he was a baby.  I remember singing it to R. too.  And now I am singing it to little M.

It seems to have the same effect on all the kids when they were little.  It would stop them from wiggling or fretting, or crying.  They would stop and look at me and listen.  Mattie is no different, although I noticed something very obvious when I sing it to her.  At first I thought I was just imagining it, but then I mentioned it to Ashley.  And then we tried a few rounds and laughed when our "imagination" proved to be true.

You see, it goes like this:
The birds upon the treetops sing their songs
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!

But then I always add something.
I go "Yay Jesus" and clap my hands and put them in their air
(it is not a part of the song originally lol)

Well a little while ago, I realized that Mattie knows exactly when to start getting excited and actually says "Yay" and like I said at first I was thinking I was imagining it, but NO!!
Mattie gets excited right at the time when it is TIME to say YAY JESUS!!

It is so simple.
So sweet.
But so exciting.

As Grandparents, we pray for our sweet grandchildren, that when they are old enough to understand, that they would give their heart to Jesus Christ too.  I watch them loving Jesus already in very simple ways, and stand amazed at how their hearts are already turned toward Him.  Jesus said that a little child will lead them.  I think if we all got excited so simply by the name of Jesus - oh my heart - our lives would be turned upside down.  Jesus makes my heart stand in awe - and I thank Him for all that He has done for me, and my family and my extended family and beyond.  I do not take for granted that I was raised in a christian home.  I do not take for granted the legacy of faith passed down - from Grandparents (my side being THOMAS an Alvin's side - KLASSEN) and down to our parents (Dolly & Geri Thomas/ John & Olga Klassen) and then to us (Alvin and I) and down to our kids and our grandkids.  Great Is YOUR faithfulness!!


ps. I also posted today on one of my other blogs

Wednesday, July 3

2000 .... and the years following! The saga continues!

Well, I had the best of plans - to sit and recall the years of my life, and as a result - the goodness of our God!!  But well, time has a way of going by and I did not finish - so I think tonight is the night.  Let's start with 2000!!

2000 - this is the year I turned 42.  This was also the year that God began to entrust HIS vision to me - for Women Refreshed at the Well.  (for more info, go to and read the earliest posts).  Joshua graduated from MBCI this year!! The class of 2000.  Leah also graduated and was becoming more and more a part of our family.

2001 - my 43th year.  I knew God was calling me out of the daycare of which I was the Founder and Exec. Director.  He made the time very clear, and I resigned and worked my last day on Dec. 31st, 2001.  My friend told me to "fasten my seatbelt cause you are in for a ride" and I did, and have not looked back.  It was the right time to leave early childhood education - a 25 year chapter that was closed and not re-read.  Sugar-N-Spice Kiddie Haven Inc - daycare - continues to operate.  Josh began fire college in Brandon.

2002 - turning 44 - what would this year hold?  My church (McIvor MB) called me into ministry.  Me ... what a surprise - what a call.  It began with an interim position while they searched for someone with seminary.  My son graduated from Fire College in June.

2003 - what?  now I am 45!!  This was the year for celebration.  I was still working at McIvor and God made it very clear I needed to apply, so I did.  Ashley graduated from MBCI.  Josh and Leah got married.  This was all in the same week!!  It was a wonderful month of celebration.  Josh and Leah bought their first house - a very old fixer upper!  Ashley went to CMU's OUTTATOWN in fall.  I applied for the permanent pastoral position - in obedience to what God was saying to me. The retreat vision continued to perk on the back element!  We got remarried this year - in a backyard Hawaiian themed party.  About 150 came!! It was our 25th.  Our kids put on a great party for us.

2004 - I am now 46.  We went on our first mission trip to the Dominican Republic.  We got to meet our little sponsored child through World Vision.  What a meeting!!  I was "ruined for the ordinary" by God during this trip!  In May, I was asked to accept a position to ministry as the permanent Pastor of Church Ministry.  (ask me sometime about how God gave me the exact number that the vote would be!!)
I will admit that I think God knew I needed that exact number.  He gave it to me almost a year before the vote took place, but I had told my family about it.  I think I needed that because if truth be told, some of my relatives thought I was doing the wrong thing by accepting a position in leadership, being a woman.  I am NOT a rah, rah - go women go - when it comes to women in leadership.  HOWEVER I COULD NOT ARGUE WITH GOD.  There is way more to this story - but I would love to tell you sometime.  This is the year that Ashley came home from OUTTATOWN and then had her jaw surgery.  She taught me so much about being courageous during the 6 weeks she was wired completely shut!

2005 - turning 47 - I loved working in pastoral ministry.  Absolutely loved it.  Alvin and I took the kids to Florida - which is my favorite place.  First time Leah was on a family trip with us!! It was great fun.  Disney and all.  We bought a house on Mulvey so that Ashley and her friends could live in it while she was going to CMU for Music Therapy.  In June I ended up in the hospital - and was out of commission for a couple weeks!!

2006 - now I am 48. We went on our second mission trip to the D.R.  This time our kids joined us, and my mother's heart was overflowing!!  What a wonderful experience.  We also got to visit Berlin one more time!  Our mission trip was in January and in March I ended back up in emergency with the same thing as 2005.  I actually had a near death experience during this time, which I do not take lightly ... God obviously was not done with me yet!  I had a complete hysterectomy in May.  As I was getting better, my father-in-law was dying.  I loved Dad K.  He passed away July 1st - entered into his heavenly home as the fireworks were going off in the background! Josh and Leah lived with us in Anola from June to the end of Sept while they built their barn/loft.

2007 - turning 49 - Alvin fell off the second floor while building Josh and Leah's house. He had rotator cuff surgery in November - and we were so thankful for a sister-in-law who could pull some strings and get him into the best surgeon around.  It was during the end of this year, that I felt like God was changing things up in my heart - and "gently removing" me perhaps, from ministry.  Time would tell.

2008 - turning 50!  This was the year for celebration!  Alvin and I both turned 50.  We did a trip along with a few others,  to Thailand to serve alongside of our friends Dave and Louise Sinclair-Peters and Team2000.  It was so amazing to be there!!  In March we took our kids to Cuba - and it was such an amazing and beautiful time.  Michael came with us, and had our permission to propose to Ashley.  A wedding was set for September.  Our kids threw us a big party to celebrate everything.  It was also our 30th anniversary in September. After our anniversary - we celebrated Ashley and Michael's wedding! A great day.  One of the greatest joys of that year was we were becoming grandparents for the very first time - and we knew he would be a grandson.  However, our hearts were shattered, when Jay was born silently.  It is still so painful to think back almost 5 years to that day.  How we went from great joy and excitement to the deepest of sorrows.  It was a year where I walked the "dark night of the soul" often.  However during this deepest sorrow, God spoke to me, and also to Josh and Leah about the ministry - and we knew we needed to get going on it.  God is Sovereign - this became my mantra.  This Christmas was the hardest one we have ever gone through.  We spent the day as our little family.

2009 - I turned 51 in the midst of still trying to "feel" again after Jay's silent birth.  We bought land on Henderson Hwy and began to meet with our architect to design the ministry house.  I took an unpaid 3 months off.  (unfortunately I was hoping for my sabbatical, but it wasn't to be).  This year is a painful year to recall, on top of last 6 months of the past year).  The time spent in my pastoral ministry was coming to a close, as God made it very clear my time was done.  I resigned in June, and worked till Sept.  We had a prayer event at the new land - and began to clean and purge stuff in our Anola house, so we could put it up for sale in spring.  This fall I went to sit under the tutorage of Dr. Larry Crabb, with NewWay ministries - at School of Spiritual Direction class no. 33  WOW.  After I resigned, I spent days walking in our back 40.  The most exciting thing was hearing that Leah and Josh were expecting in.  Of course our hearts were mixed with excitement and also fear.  We welcomed December little Everett John on Dec. 18th - and our Christmas was one of great joy.

2010 - the year I turned 52 was a year of change.  We sold our house.  Moved into transitional living in the top of the kid's barn.  Mom K. got sick, and I spent day after day after day with her - and watched as she got closer to heaven with each day.  She passed away in October, just two weeks after coming home from the hospital.  I did her service and then we left with our kids and grandson Everett - for Los Cabos, Mexico.  It was such a wonderful time away, after a very stressful time.  We built our barn, and began the house in October.  I started working for Canadian Blood Services as a Donor Services Rep.
This is also the year that we knew we needed to find a new church - one of the hardest decisions we ever made.

2011 - we continued to build.  I turned 53.  We moved into Mom's condo, as we had not sold it yet.  God sold it for us (honestly, ask me ... only God!!) and then we moved into our loft to live while we worked on the house.  I loved working at CBS.  I made friends whom I love to this day!  We found out that Leah and Josh were expecting again.  It was a full year of working, and family, and more working!! We started a new care group in our new church and felt such peace at Eastview.  We thank God for that.

2012 - 54 years old this year!!  We began the year celebrating our grandson Roger's birth!  And then we found out in March that Ashley and Michael were expecting too!!  Both kids would be born in the same year - just different ends of it.  We went away as a family - and it was such a wonderful time!! We went to my favourite place - and rented a 7 room house, complete with pool and hot tub!  It was such a great time!!  Florida - I think I could live there!!  Ash and Michael had their little girl in November and I was able to be in the room with them until Dr called an emergency c-section.   This year is the year we formally joined Eastview.  We have been so blessed by our friends there, and our new care group.  We also thank God for the friends we love and have in our life - so many - and we do not take those relationships for granted.  Alvin and I moved into our house !!

2013 ... Joy's saga continues!!  I thank God for all he has in store for me.  I cling to Jeremiah 29: 11-13
For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord .....
This year began with sorrow, as I was at the bedside of my friend Audrey - who went to be with Jesus in January, and within three weeks, when my niece Keri also went to be with Jesus.
I realize there is such a fine line between joy and sorrow.  I also know that God has it all in his hands.
I know God is faithful - no matter what.  I also know that our life here - is truly "but a vapour" so we need to be ready.

I don't take life for granted.  We do not know what the day holds - no matter how hard we think we have it planned.  However we do know who holds the day!!   I gave my life to Jesus Christ as a youngster - and I thank Him for growing my faith.  I love the Lord Jesus Christ with all my heart - and want to be a vessel through which He pours out onto people.  I am not religious.  I am a woman madly in love with her Lord - and her Saviour.  It is about relationship.  I am not perfect (ask my family) BUT I know that I am forgiven, covered by grace and washed clean through the blood of Jesus!  I also know that Jesus speaks, and I thank Him for the ways He is changing me!!  I hope that through my life - others will smell the fragrance of Jesus!! I want to be a woman that can influence the world for Jesus!! I want to be a woman who leaves a legacy of faith for my kids and grandkids.  I want to live all out - embracing each day for all it is.  My life - It is all about him.  ALL ABOUT HIM!!  Great is your faithfulness O God my Saviour!!  Thank you Jesus.