Monday, April 30, 2007
Sunday, April 29, 2007
he might make me chuckle)
Friday, April 27, 2007
1. If, and only if, you are tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think
Thursday, April 26, 2007
The blush of embarrassment
The tenderness of her voice
The connection when she smiles
The passion in her anger
The gift of her forgiveness
The loyalty of her friendship
The warmth of her embrace
The protection of her children
The devotion to her spouse
The strength of her character
The sadness of her tears
The freedom in her dance
The joy in her laughter
The sharing of her gifts
The lines on her face
The passion in her worship
The power of her prayers
The wisdom of her counsel
The committment as she serves
The depth of her love
The pursuit of her dreams
The wonder of her strength
The greatness of her God
This is the Beauty of a Woman
Monday, April 23, 2007
women. The two women...the two mothers that form the foundation of one baby/young man's life.
This is a true story. I only take credit for "penning" this story, because as you read, you will soon see that someone far greater than I, "Authored" every detail...from beginning to the yet unknown end.
We have no idea sometimes that our decisions...some of our toughest ones...are so pivotol in the fulfilling of every detail of God's plans for our lives, and the lives of countless others.
I know both of these women personally, and love and respect them both for the tough decisions they have made and how they affect our lives today.
Two Mothers? That could be argued, but as I see it, neither would hold the intimate place of Love in his heart, had it not been for the other. So yes the baby has two mothers.
It was 1965 in Perth NB, and a young woman, Ethelda, discovers that she is carrying a child…. Not a child she’d planned for at this time.
There were thoughts and even plans of marrying the father…but time proved that this was not the wisest of decisions. She makes the heart wrenching choice to find this child a home, but not just any home. Although she finds herself unwed, and pregnant, she does love the Lord with all of her heart, and hopes to find a home with two Christian parents, who will raise this child to truly love the Lord.
Ethelda and her mom move to another town during the last months of pregnancy. They stay with a Pastor and his wife, all the while working out the details of a quiet adoption with Hope and George.
Eventually the baby boy is born.
Too soon for one mother, not soon enough for the other; the day comes for the baby to leave the hospital. This place of transition, where he was born from the womb of one mother, Ethelda, and carried to the arms and heart of another…Hope, who will love him and teach him to love the Lord. Hope and George are presented with their new son, Mark Anthony. The Pastor and his wife, who housed and cared for Ethelda, while she carried this baby, are now carrying the newborn to the parents who will become his family.
Mark grows up happy and healthy; over time the story begins to unfold of his adoption.
Mark is now 23 years old and newly married himself. He and his bride, Jen, establish their first home together in an apartment building in Fredericton, NB. They quickly meet and become friends with the weekend superintendents Glen and Lisa. Over the next year, through other sources, Mark begins to discover more and more of the story of his adoption….only to find out that his now good friend Glen was his first cousin by blood!
Mark kind of knew that was God, but after all, Fredericton, and the home of his two moms growing up were not that far apart…and not that big.
The years pass, Mark and Jen move back and forth to Ottawa a few times. Eventually they find themselves in a place they never imagined…marriage crisis.
Mark meets a young man from the church , Steve, who helps with the move, and becomes a close family friend…like family! Eventually Steve marries a dear American girl. Mark is the best man at Steve’s wedding…and within the year Steve and his bride Jen are making plans to move to the US.
A few more years pass, and Steve’s brother Scott becomes a good friend to Mark. They got to know each other through church and eventually Scott moves to Oshawa.
It’s now 2005, and Mark has celebrated his 40’th birthday…he is in close contact with both of his mothers at this point, and has worked through much of the emotion and detail surrounding his adoption.
Hope has not been up for a Christmas in 8 years, though she used to come often. Mark gets the idea to fly her up for Christmas. They have a lovely time, and towards the end of the visit, Hope gives Mark the adoption papers and 3 letters written to her from Ethelda while she was carrying Mark.
Mark and Hope spend the last day of their visit calling around Belleville, looking for a Bill and Myrtle Stapley. They are the Pastor and his wife that cared for Ethelda, and carried Mark to the waiting arms of Hope. Hope had heard that they were in Belleville.
About 7am the next day, Mark says good bye to his mom at the airport in Toronto. As he leaves, He talks to God. He is feeling a little like he has been in the wilderness over the past 40 years, and is looking for a divine moment like some of his mentors. Mark meets his friend Scott for breakfast in Oshawa on the way home. Since Scott grew up in Belleville with the same Church affiliation as the Stapleys, Mark decides to see if he has heard of them. The conversation went something like this.
M: “Have you ever heard of a Pastor Bill Stapley?’
S: “You mean William and Myrtle?”
S: “Why do you want to know about them?”
M: “She carried me from the hospital to my mom”
S: “…. They are my aunt and uncle!”
Scott proceeds to get Myrtle on the phone, unfortunately, William died 2 years prior. Myrtle lives in Oshawa, and was so glad to speak to Mark…she said he’d made her day!
Mark found out later through Jen and Steve, that Myrtle and Bill were at their wedding …when Mark stood as best man.
So maybe Mark had been in a bit of a wilderness, but don’t be fooled into thinking he was wandering…there was a cloud by day and a fire by night, that took him exactly where he was supposed to be at just the right time for every divine appointment that God had planned for him since he was knit together in his mother’s womb! He was being led every step of the way.
When I hear this story, all I can think of is that song…”How can I say there is no God…?”
Only He could have woven together the threads that have become this beautiful tapestry…and that was just the first 40…now comes the Promised Land years!
Most of us never have the privilege of seeing it so vividly tied together, yet God is still weaving a beautiful Tapestry through each one of us. Have you noticed that in the most difficult, even traumatic seasons of Mark’s life…God was orchestrating an incredible outcome?
Have you noticed that in any colorful work of art, it takes the dark colors along side the bright and beautiful colors to create the beauty of contrast…to make the colors come alive?
In my own life, and in Mark’s life, I look back and see things I would never want to relive….
Yet, I can honestly say, I am truly thankful for even these. They are a part of our tapestry…and they make it far more beautiful and alive…
Cheryl has begun another 21 day reformation, though I have not decided to officially join this one; the title has caught my attention, and confirmed some things on my heart. I have some posts brewing in my spirit...like a wonderful pot of hot tea....
Posts about mothers and women. All kinds of mothers...and all kinds of women. I have been thinking about waiting until a little closer to Mother's Day to begin, but when I looked at the time frame of this latest Reformation...ending on or just before Mother's Day, I decided that this is confirming what is already on my heart.
Starting with an amazing story that I "penned"....but did not "author" in Dec. 2005. Tomorrow I will post "A Baby With Two Mothers"...
On Mother's Day, I will post about my mom...a woman whose life, was so full of life....
between those two posts, well, we will have to see.
So enjoy a hot cup of something comforting....like TEA......
Keep checking in as I begin a journey of discovery and revelation...into these wonderfully created creatures we call "Women".
Thursday, April 19, 2007
I am not advocating fighting as a way to resolve issues. Thankfully, not one of my children has ever been in a fist fight, (they were a "way of life" where I grew up). Having said that, I have instructed each of my children growing up, that we would back them 100% should they ever be in a fight out of self defence or because they were sticking up for another child. They have been taught to try every other means of resolution, from getting help, to walking away; BUT if they were "backed into a corner", they were to fight with all they had. They were shocked at these instructions...(as may be some readers), but they were not to be intimidated to a place of allowing someone else...child or adult...to hurt them.
They would react that they would get suspended. We agreed that that was likely to be the case, and that although we would talk to teachers...we might not be able to do anything about that.
As a very little girl, I think I was pretty confident. I was born a "Down East City Girl", had a lot of friends was the "life of the party" and was only in one fight that I remember, at least up to Grade 2.
There was a grade 4 bully at our bus stop. He terrorized a number of the girls...verbally and physically. This went on for ages, my older sister was one of the prime targets.
My parents tried to have it stopped...at that time the school would only do something if the issue was on school property.
We would try to anticipate where he would get off the bus, and get off a stop or two earlier or later. He was smart enough to catch on to us...and would eventually come at my sister again. Once, he even held her face down in a ditch full of water.
Well, that did it for me. Some where along the way, I determined that this had to end, and that if this bully picked on any of the girls the next morning; (He never actually did anything to me during this whole time), I was going to give him "what for".
Sure enough, as we arrived at the bus stop the next morning, there he was mouthing off and intimidating some girl. I don't even remember being scared...he was quite a bit bigger than me, I walked right up to him and punched him as hard as my little 7 year old fist could, right in the stomach. I think I shocked him...I certainly couldn't have hurt him THAT much.
That was the end of the bus stop torment for all of the girls. From that day forward, that particular bully was very nice to my sister and I.
Actually, the next week, we got invitations to his birthday party....
As an adult, I think back to that incident, and wonder how much sooner the torment might have stopped if any of us had simply stood up to this bully sooner.
I think it is often the same with the enemy of our souls. I have watched, listened and come into agreement with his lies, and "bullying tactics", on more than one occasion over the years. I have allowed him to take his "punches " at me, and felt I had no recourse.
I have allowed him to dictate, who I was, and how much I was worth.
I'd say, looking back, he was pretty successful at bullying me into the corners he wanted me bound up in.
That was until my Heavenly Father taught me a valuable lesson...the purpose of my Ephesians 6 armor. He made it very clear to me that all but one piece of the armor that He requires me to stand in are for defensive purposes. I am not to go looking for battles with the enemy..but my Father gave me one amazing offensive weapon...the very same one Jesus used when He was face to face with the devil in the wilderness... I have the VERY sword that Jesus used to defeat the enemy that would try to destroy Him and His purposes. He left it to me, His heir...(and to all others who would choose to wield this mighty weapon). I don't have to allow myself to be bullied anymore, I can fight back with all of the power and might and AUTHORITY of the word of God.
Guess what? If, I find myself having to fight in self defence, or to go into battle on behalf of someone else who is being bullied by this enemy...MY HEAVENLY FATHER WILL BACK ME 110%!!!
Now all I have to do is to remember to stand up to him the first time he throws out an accusation...and not put up with the bullying for a while first.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
She's tried to hire me twice!
I had bought ankle socks for the girls...with discounts, just over a dollar a pair; I remembered that their larges fit me too...so went back for more...and to see if the 50% sale had started...it will be soon.
Anyway, Jianna fell in love with these very soft...very cozy flip flop slippers. they were $9.50 so I said "not today".
My manager friend said..."oh they are on sale today"...$5.50 + my VERY FREQUENT shopper discount of 10%...UNDER $5.00...Now I couldn't say "NO".
So, we picked a pair for each of the girls and rang it up. Then my manager FRIEND told Jianna that she had bought herself a pair....HHEEEYYYY....
Yep!! I am the very proud owner of very cozy BRIGHT PINK flip flop slippers...From Children's Place. After all I couldn't have found lady's slippers that cheap!
As I mentioned in my profile....SIMPLE PLEASURES.....
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Food is not truly a comfort....but I personally believe God helped us create things like Chocolate, cake and pumpkin muffins for times like this...you can be distracted at least briefly by the "yummyness"...
The praise report, is that with all of our prayers....my friend crashed and slept last night. She has not slept more than a couple of hours for a number of nights. I haven't heard about any dreams yet...but she knows about (and called to encourage me) when I was doing the dream teaching...so the door is wide open!
Thank you all for agreeing with me, remember her when you can...the funeral is not until Friday I believe. God is good, and always faithful.
Monday, April 16, 2007
Today, she is in mourning...Her Grandmother passed away this weekend. This wasn't just any grandmother.
This was the kind of grandmother who had to feed you every time you walked in the door...even if you were exploding from just having eaten.
This was the kind of Grandmother that you forced yourself to eat anyway, because it meant so much to her.
In later years, this was the kind of Grandmother, you popped in on instead of calling ahead, because if she knew you were coming, she would prepare food...and was really to weak to stand and do these things.
This Grandma had 4 sons...no daughters, and one granddaughter...my friend.
That made my friend very special to this Grandma.
It also made My friend's daughter very special to this Grandma.
This is the kind of Grandma who could hardly get a breath the last night my friend visited her in the hospital...but someone had brought Banana Bread...and she insisted my friend eat...one last time.
As my friend cried, and reminisced, and told me stories about her Grandma...it reminded me of another Grandma...
I never had the privilege of growing up so close to my own grandparents....but my children's grandma...my mom, was this kind of Grandma.
As this is my friend's first experience with grief...I related some of what I'd learned.
It has me thinking about mom...
Once again, there is sadness with that....eight years later, my friend's mourning makes the scar a little raw again.
For Mother's Day I will post about my mom...for now, I am so thankful for eternal life.
I am thankful that the mourning does pass.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
I do, on the other hand, have some photos that are far more beautiful than the feet of my dear, yet "humor challenged" husband.
Though, as you have seen, I have very little control over this man I married; I would like you all to take note that Mr. Piers has joined us in "Blogger Land"....though he was merciless in his ribbing me from the beginning of this venture.
He is listed in my Blogger Friends as "Our Destiny"....check him out. When He is not goofing around, tormenting ladies (I know where Michael gets it from), he really is rather talented....who'd have known?!!?!?
Saturday, April 14, 2007
After much thought, I have decided, against the better wishes of my wife, to post a guest blog ... it seems from reading certain comments that I need to understand the fine art of flattery ... well they say imitation is the best form of flattery ... so here it goes. Feast your eyes on these beauties!!!!!
It is Saturday night...6:15...Jonathan is watching a movie, and the "three smaller people" are outside...terrorizing one another.
Mark and I sit in our...OOOPPSS!!! HIS...office, on separate computers....blogging! Reading each other's comments, responding to each other's comments....this is funny ...but a little scary!
Anyone out there play Settler's or something...we really need to have people in I think!
I know I could whisk him away to Starbucks...it just doesn't provide the thrill for me that it does for him...
For now, we blog...
Friday, April 13, 2007
The beauty of plum blossoms are not just due to their color or that it is the only flower blossoming in the winter. It is also because each gentle petal has grown through the cruelty of the winter storm, and represents the essence of the process of growth.
Plum blossoms, plum blossoms grow everywhere.
The colder it is the more they bloom,
Plum blossoms persevering symbolize our glorious China.
Plum blossoms bloom everywhere, where there is earth they grow,
Fearless of ice and snow, wind and rain; it is our national flower.
" When Literacy is loved
Monday, April 9, 2007
" 0 to 60 in under 10 years!!!"
Saturday, April 7, 2007
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
Tuesday, April 3, 2007
This is one of those character building days you bring me...
I know it is to make me more like you, and I know, as with all of the mountains that have come my way...I will be thankful for this day.......one day....
For now...You know this all ready, but I feel like crap.
Today, I can only hope to release this back to you, through my words and my tears...I need you.
It really has been a culmination I guess....a difficult weekend, some stinging remarks, some robbing of joys, the embarrassment of being at a check out, while my debit was in my son's wallet, the tears of a dissapointed little girl, Some newly discovered, yet very old, very painful truths, a little boy coming home sick, forgetting to pick up another little girl, being hit by a young driver who was more concerned about his friends than watching, not being able to just curl up and cry and sleep after all of that...having to brave the world again, only to have some creepy guy hand me his business card...Do I look like I buy video games?
God, I don't understand today, and I don't understand why it was all in one day...I have the rest of the week to still get through...
I am not sure of a lot of things at this very moment...but I will take solace in what I do know:
I have proven you always faithful...
I have felt you heal me in my body and my heart repeatedly....
I know you never change....
I know you are coming through, even as I grieve this day...
I know I will feel better...
I know you have given me a wonderful friend that cares enough to call, and check on me...
I know that you understand what I can't right now....
I know I can trust you with all of this...
I know I will smile again...
I know your mercies are new every morning....and it will soon be morning...
I know you give me strength that I do not have...
I know, as my friend Holly has declared...IT WILL ONLY GET BETTER!
For, now.....help me.