Friday, December 31, 2010

Promises Made - Promises Kept

Thirty-seven years ago today Ed made the following promise to me:

I stand in the presence of God and our families on this the eve of our lives together, ready to take you into my company and care, ready to take you as my wife.  I promise to love you, to be faithful to you and to seek daily to grow closer to you as together we experience life's joys and life's sorrows.  I'll be there to listen to your problems, to be understanding, to be a strength to you, to share and pray with you.  I promise my friendship with the prayer that it might continue to grow, that together we may serve God, help others and help each other.  I'll love you and cherish you and live harmoniously with you until separated by death. 

For thirty-seven years Ed has consistently kept his promise.  He is my greatest earthly treasure.  Thank you for loving me Ed.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Letter to Charlotte From Grandpa

Welcome, Charlotte Rose,

On November 20, 2010, you came into the world weighing 8 lbs 3 ounces. You are such a precious little bundle. Your parents wanted to give you a name as special as you are so they named you Charlotte Rose - a name that blends two families together. You are a delight to your parents and your grandparents who loved you before you were born, love you more now and look forward to growing more in love with you with each passing day. When you arrived I waited patiently to hold you. Finally my turn came. Carefully I took you into my arms. Of course, the chorus of babble continued from your various admirers surrounding us. Despite the distractions, while I held you I could feel your little lungs moving air in and out, in and out with a graceful life giving rhythm. What a wonder you are Charlotte Rose. In the beginning a miracle of sperm and egg, small enough to be gingerly balanced on the head of a pin, yet with your future body, intelligence and personality so carefully marked out in a complex chemical code. You are one of God's most precious miracles that had a beginning and has a spirit within you that will never end. For the time being, your spirit is locked up in a beautiful little body with soft velvety skin and a head adorned with fine silky hair. You will gradually unfold into the unique person you were planned to be. As I held you and marveled at your beauty I was drawn to another infant that came into the world many years ago – Jesus, the Savior of the world. He arrived to bring mercy to those who seek Him, salvation to those who obey, spiritual sight and hearing to the alert.
As I held you the majestic music of Handel's Messiah stirred my soul as I thought of God as the God of you, my sweet Charlotte and the God of forever. The closing lines to this great work says “ And He shall reign forever, and ever. Forever and ever, Forever and ever. Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!” It is my sincere longing and prayer that your forever will be lovingly linked to the Messiah's forever.
I'll Love You Forever,

Saturday, October 23, 2010

A Prayer for Children

We pray for children
Who sneak popsicles before supper,
Who erase holes in math workbooks,
Who can never find their shoes.

And we pray for those
Who stare at photographers from behind barbed wire,
Who can't bound down the street in a new pair of sneakers,
Who never "counted potatoes,"
Who are born in places we wouldn't be caught dead,
Who never go to the circus,
Who live in an X-rated world.

We pray for children
Who bring us sticky kisses and fistfuls of dandelions,
Who hug us in a hurry and forget their lunch money.

And we pray for those
Who never get dessert,
Who have no safe blanket to drag behind them,
Who watch their parents watch them die,
Who can't find any bread to steal,
Who don't have any rooms to clean up,
Whose pictures aren't on anybody's dresser,
Whose monsters are real.

We pray for children
Who spend all their allowance before Tuesday,
Who throw tantrums in the grocery store and pick at their food,
Who like ghost stories,
Who shove dirty clothes under the bed and never rinse out the tub,
Who get visits from the tooth fairy,
Who don't like to be kissed in front of the carpool,
Who squirm in church or temple and scream in the phone,
Whose tears we sometimes laugh at and whose smiles can make us cry.

And we pray for those
Whose nightmares come in the daytime,
Who will eat anything,
Who have never seen a dentist,
Who aren't spoiled by anybody,
Who go to bed hungry and cry themselves to sleep,
Who live and move, but have no being.

We pray for children who want to be carried and for those who must,
For those we never give up on and for those who don't get a second chance.
For those we smother ... and for those who will grab the hand of anybody kind enough to offer it.
We pray for children.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Indispensable Vegetable

Every spring the gardeners in our midst get itchy feet.  As soon as the ground thaws, they are out there with a pocket full of seeds letting the soil sift between their fingers.  They lovingly push the seeds into the ground with one hand and pull weeds out with the other hand.  Then they sit back and watch with anticipation to see what sprouts.  Some of these amateur agriculturists  have corn flourishing in their backyard, some potatoes and some beans but one vegetable that every true gardener sows is zucchini.  Zucchini is the vegetable of choice because zucchini gives one bragging rights.  Just a little more than a fortnight after the sowers amongst us tenderly drop their first zucchini seed in the ground, you can hear the boast begin.  “You should see my zucchini vine.  Just yesterday it sprouted and now it’s a jungle back there.  It’s already weaving its way all over my backyard.”  Not long after that you hear the same horticulturists crow, “I have zucchinis back there that are almost three feet long.”
    “If I do grow zucchinis what should I do with them?” you ask.  “Everyone knows that as a vegetable a zucchini is virtually useless.”  This is what you should do: While your zucchini is still ripening, scour the neighbourhood, watching for just the right person to present your prize vegetable to.  Find a neighbour who is a skinflint, a domestic goddess and someone who has a kind and generous spirit.  You must find a skinflint or your neighbour will quietly sneak out to her compost bin under the veil of darkness and unceremoniously dump your prize possession into that rotting debris.  You must find a domestic goddess or she will leave your zucchini to rot on the counter while she goes about her business and you must find a person with a kind and generous spirit or she will keep the wares for herself.  After you find just the right person wait until the hottest day in the summer, then present that unsuspecting neighbour with your prize zucchini.   While you rest under the shade of your oak tree engulfed in a good book, she will be bustling about her overheated kitchen turning out all sorts of delicacies: zucchini cake, zucchini muffins, zucchini bread, zucchini cookies. In the cool of the evening when you think to yourself, “My, it would be nice to have a wee something to wash down my tea,” she will come knocking on your door, laden down with all sorts of mouth-watering tidbits.  As you gorge yourself on the last savory morsel, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you deserve this tiny indulgence after all the work you did to grow that zucchini.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Flowers = Abundance,
Abundance of colour,
Abundance of scents,
Abundance of beauty.

Jesus said "I have come that you may have life and have it abundantly."

Abundance of joy,
Abundance of peace,
Abundance of love,
Abundance of grace and mercy,

When I drink in the beauty the surrounds me I am mindful of the beauty that abundantly flows through me when I bow down and say, "Not my will by Thine be done."

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Small Children: How They Empower Me

They light up when I come into the room.
They never notice that my hair looks like a rat’s nest.
Frumpy clothes don’t phase them.
They don’t cover their ears when I am over exuberant.
They don’t complain that I ramble on.
When I screech them a song they say “Again, pleeeease!.”
They wade through my clutter thinking me a kindred spirit.
Misspelled word are not within their radar.
They beg me to join them in their playground games even when I’m a klutz.
My beliefs and opinions are never too radical or offensive to them .
They are quick to forgive me when I hurt them.
They love me unconditionally.
God give me the grace to be as accepting of their quirks and idiosyncracies as they are of mine.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Bringing Up Mother

My children have dedicated their lives to bringing up their mother to be a credit to them. As I waddled my way through pregnancy and delivery they taught me that dignity is a luxury that is highly over-rated. During their infancy they taught me to love sacrificially. My babies and toddlers taught me to be still and to live in the moment. When they were little they showed me that looking at the world with a sense of wonder could help me find my way as I travel through life. During their childhood I learned patience. As teens they tried to cultivate in me a sense of style and sophistication that could be paraded in the public domain with no embarrassment to them. Instead I learned humility. As young adults they are teaching me to let go. Children - how could we ever grow up without them.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Scrubbing and Cleaning Can Wait

Scrubbing and cleaning can wait till tomorrow
For babies grow up we’ve learned to our sorrow.
So settle down cobwebs, dust go to sleep,
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.

My wise mother-in-law made me a cross stitched sampler when my first baby was born with this poem on it. It hung by my rocking chair and was a constant reminder that there was nothing I needed to accomplish that was nearly as important as time spent savoring the people God had entrusted me with. I think I might just hang it back up.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A Letter From Grandpa

Dear A.,
It is 11:23 a.m. January 21, 2010; twelve short hours after your birth. A few minutes after you were born Grandpa and Grandma gazed with amazement upon you; a miracle, conceived in love, nurtured by your mom and dad and skillfully delivered by the hospital staff. We are thankful for your safe arrival and for a gracious God who makes provision for such a miracle as you. Today is the beginning of life for your precious soul with intelligence and emotion to expedience each day to its fullest; both its joys and its sorrows, and a spirit to guide you now and into eternity. May God grant us all, as your family and community, with love and the wisdom to provide you with the nurturing necessary to propel you into a long spirit guided useful life - a life of love and service to God and kindness and compassion for others so that you may soar and become everything God destined you to be with His grace.
Warmly, always with love,

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Our Precious Boy

It was ten o'clock at night when we I was jarred out of my stuper by a call from the hospital. "They are doing a C-section," our son said. "If you get here by 11:00 they will let you see the baby for a few minutes." (A few minutes turned into almost two glorious hours.) Mom is doing better than expected. Baby weighs 7 lb. 5 oz. Dad is glowing. Grandpa marveled, "How can anyone so beautiful be formed by two cells coming together?" Me, I'm a happy, exhausted grandmother. Nanna and Pappa G. are sad that they couldn't be here but thanks to modern technology, saw pictures of their grandchild as soon as we saw him.
Here he is. Isn't he amazing? Thank you to all of you who have been praying for his safe arrival over the last several months.