Monday, August 6, 2007

The Best Friendships

We have been quite busy these days - and it seems as though two weeks have flown by since I last shared. We spent this past weekend with our friends CAMPING at Long Point. An adventure that both my husband and I have not experienced in many years. Despite sleeping on a mattress that did not have the "memory foam" stamp, we managed to make it through two nights of tent sleeping. It would be beneficial if a remote control device was invente that would open the door zippers of the tent so that we wouldn't have to bend down to the very bottom of the floor to get out!

We had a wonderful time with our friends sharing meals, playing "golf", swimming, chatting, visiting, sweeping sand from our shoes, swim suits, vehicles, coolers and anything else that sand would find home to. My favorite time was the volley ball games at the beach Saturday afternoon (and into the early evening) in the rain. It was especially rewarding watching the younger children displaying their talent as they wacked the ball around the sandy court (often knocking someone off their feet!). I wonder if my husband's position in the sand was one of those moments??!!

We shared in laughter, pranks and pure FUN with our awesome friends. There were quite a few moments that I smiled in awe of the 29 people who were strangers to eachother six years ago - have been brought together and now share an incredible bond of friendship, love and extended family.

On behalf of each of us - we thank you Louise for arranging this weekend. It was a blast!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Shadow of His Wings

A couple of weeks ago I had a great weekend with my cousin, her husband and their three young girls at our cottage. It had been quite a while since we were able to spend time together so it was quite a gift. Tonight I opened a picture of their youngest little girl holding the neighbour's puppy. She was so excited to pick up the puppy and wrap her arms around him. She held him tightly close to her and looked up at us with a look of excitement, love and pride. The poor little puppy wasn't as excited to be hugged and loved by our little one and he began to squirm his way out of her arms. In no time he fell out of her arms to the floor. Without broken paws, bruises or bangs he ran into the living room with his tail wagging. Our little girl quietly looked at him with worry and I am sure a bit of a hurt heart.

That memory had me thinking that Jesus must feel the same emotions when He sees us. He is so excited that He wants to pull us near and hug us close with His protective arms. Only too often we squirm out of His loving, protective arms, running away and often falling on our faces. The good news is that He is still standing there waiting to scoop us back up again, despite the number of times we struggle to squirm away.
I am thankful He never tires of picking us up. It is not He that drops us to our faces, it is our squirming that does. He loves us and covers us with abounding love and grace. I am confident that I can run to Him for protection and refuge in the most difficult of times. He will pour out His reassurance and love and provide a place of rest for us at all times.
Matthew 18:12 "What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep and one of them wanders away, will He not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if He finds it, I tell you the truth, He is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost."
Psalm 57:1 "Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, for in you my soul takes refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed."
Sometimes in the midst of trials or troubles, I have found myself running, flailing my arms and pacing in a place of confusion forgetting to seek refuge in His arms. This week if you find yourself facing trails or troubles, seek Him through prayer, worship and scripture. He promises to be there.

Night....... Cheri

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Part 3 - "The Beginning"

As you have probably gathered from my writing the past two days, I am truly in awe of the world around us - the incredible and magnificent miracles we are surrounded by. I seem to take more notice of the creations of nature when I am at the cottage. I look forward to my moments of ponder and reflection where time almost stands still for me in the "forgotten village" where our cottage is.

In the forgotten village, there are no interrputions of busy highway traffic, the rush of the world in my normal days in the city with the honking horns, barking dogs and squeeling car tires a place where it is not possible to hear the buzzing from the bees, dragon flies and other such insects. Sitting by the lake I am able to hear the buzz of the black fly as he furiously zooms about his business. I am able to hear the small still quiet of the day.

I find myself wondering things like;

How awesome it is that He formed so many rocks of so many varied textures and colours.

How interesting it is that He planted grass to grow in such diverse blade sizes, shapes, and colours. I wonder why He created so many types of birds, each with their own distinct colouring, size, chirp and cry? I continually ask, why did He create snakes?? (that's with a double question mark!) He created so many little creatures for our distinct pleasure, yet I am not sure why He thought we'd find pleasure with misquitos all summer, black flies in May and again, snakes slithering almost hidden in the grass.

I am grateful for the magnificent beauty, power and wonder of the lakes of water. I smile as I watch the blue dragon fly land on my toe as I ponder creation, but why is it that he never sits long enough for me to get his picture? I adore the little chipmunks that rush along the side of the cottage looking for food, stopping only for an instant to check me out.

After spending a couple hours pondering and writing, I lay back on the lawn chair, arms folded behind my head, I am met with blazing warm sun caressing my face and I know it is He who waved His hand so that a warm breeze of wind would gently brush over my face leaving the swishing sound of air in my ears.

Please be encouraged to continually bask in the glory of all He has created. Be aware of the most magnificent power and glory of our God, the creator of not only this beautifully forgotten village, but of our universe and all that is in it.

Oh, by the way, I hear the loud banging of dropping charcoal on metal and a sigh of relief.... looks like my husband has completed his venture.... dinner shall be served from the BBQ tonight.

Genesis 1:1-2 - Recap

And God said, "Let there be light", and there was light......."

And God said, "Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water...."

And God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky...."

And God said, "Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth..."

And God said, "Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground....."

Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea...."

Take time this week reading and pondering Genesis 1-2 - "The Beginning"

Night & God Bless,

Thursday, July 5, 2007

God's creation - Part 2

One morning last week, the Lord gave me this scripture:

Psalms 11:4 "The Lord is in His holy temple; the Lord is on His heavenly throne. He observes everyone on earth; His eyes examine them"

As I am watching this week I am reminded that He is watching, you and I.

Sharing more on my pondering of God's creation, I notice the BBQ builder's noises have become faint in comparison to the numerous singing birds I find myself almost singing with. One bird is peeping a good bye to one other as he flies off into the sky, the other bird chatting in excited tones as the bird up in the aged tree above me, chirps noisily in a much aggitated tone. As I stop to count how many birds are "voicing or singing", I see pieces of bark fallen at the foot of the tree. Must be the work of my "grand-doggies", I am certain the strong woodpecker above couldn't have pecked bark pieces that big!

If you listen extra attentively, you can actually hear the movemenets of the lake water as the gentle slow moving ripples wash up against the shore rocks. The wind is so still this morning that it could only the movement of the fish beneath the water and the landing force of the dragon flies that is actually moving the water.

Far in the distance I hear the growl of a lawn mower and above that the echoe of a man's laughter. The only one of two things that brings noise to this tiny village are the few times daily that the train rushes through. The bells whistle loudly as the train shakes up the sleeping village on demand. The other sound that wakes up this forgotten village is the crackling banging noise the lakeside campfires make on Saturday nights. Occasionally joined with loud music and happy voices.

Have you ever just stopped long enough to watch a fat colourful yellow bumble bee dance from one blade of grass to a bobble of purple clover flower? His little body buzzes like a dog's wagging tail. As I watch the bee, my eyes are drawn to the long wheat like blade of weeds that leans into the water poking through the rocks. The rocks of distinct colours of grey, black, sparkles and special rusty tones.

While I am writing, the one noise that can be heard is the constant rattling of leaves from behind me. I can see the flurry of movement as the culprit bird flutters from branch to branch.

Today I want to remind you that as we watch the world around us.... praise God for all He has created. Be reminded of all that is important. Mostly remember:

Psalms 11:4 "The Lord is in His holy temple; the Lord is on His heavenly throne. He observes everyone on earth His eyes examine them".

Part three tomorrow.....I hope you are encouraged by the story I am sharing of God's beautifuly created world.


Top of the tree

The top of the tree....

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

God's Creation

I often wonder about not necessarily what makes me tick, but WHY I TICK the way I do. Some of the things that have me pondering about often has me stuck on the thoughts for a long time.

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" Genesis 1:1

Our family has been blessed with the most beautiful small piece of land in the country by the lakeside. A little piece of heritage that has been passed down from the roots of my great-grandfather, Harry Hagen from Norway.
As I sit on the "queen's lounger" (long story which I may share one day), my breath is taken away by the view I am taking in from my reserved seating in the gold area by the lake. I have spent countless hours over the years pondering God's creation - the earth around me. In the next few days, I want to share the beauty that God has given me a glimpse of. The appreciation for His creation.

Our car hugs the twists, turns and curves of the country road as we slowly decend into a week of peace. A big turtle crawls on my side of the road and a rabbit jumps from the bushes just ahead. As we coast down and to the left a view of a marsh land appears, up and over a hill crossing the rail road tracks, anticipation mounts as we decline down the hill and the view of the lake appears out of no where. Down and around we go by the lakeside, our dog bolts up as he too whines with anticipation, his tail furiously wagging. The beginning of another adventure for us, my senses, hearing, smell and emotions highten.

This morning what do I see? A land so beautifully created by the master creator, God. So perfectly drawn and orchestrated for us, His children. I sit on green grass, each blade's colour and texture different. My eyes wander up as I marvel at the way He has designed the bark on the tree next to me. Different in colour, thickness and pattern to the tree at the back of the cottage. The bark is only the beginning of the tree. I notice the stature to which it stands, this tree only a small one carries to a height of maybe 25 feet. Some branches appear dead, not many leaves hanging from it's lifeless limbs. I wonder if this tree is just so tired, probably having stood in it's place for hundreds of years. Yet, as my eyes wonder further up the worn bark as I see the top with many extended branches, each bearing small beautiful greens.

As I am wondering about the many things in front of me this morning, I hear the noise my hubby is making as he puts together our BBQ. The first nosie started when he shared that the book included with the BBQ had everything in it, except instructions. (Yes I did come to his rescue and assist him as I picked up the manual flipping quickly through and miraculously finding a diagram and instructions that somehow was not thee when he picked up the book). His grunts and groans are now almost slient and the clearing of his throat are confirmation that he's well on his way to having the BBQ ready in time for lunch. (he's so adorable!)

The sounds of the BBQ builder are faint in comparison to the numerous signing birds. There is more than irritation of the regular 6:00 a.m. morning wake-up call of singing of birds.... stay tuned later this week for the rest of the story!!
May God take you on a journey today that opens your eyes to the incredible world He created... just for you!! Maybe this week you would be inspired to go back to Genesis...the beginning and marvel at all He has done.

God Bless,

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


As I get ready to flop in bed, I have reflected on my day spent with my youngest daughter. I am not sure she planned to spend the enitre day with me when she stopped in looking for my help with something, however as the events played out, we ended up sharing the day and evening and it was such a blessing to me.

We are both of the similar character which can be quite interesting as together we can be like the best of fireworks, brilliant white sparkles in the sky or red hot blasts of shooting stars. I being the mature one (??) have learned to be gentle and humble in my relationship with her. Reasoning as I often do, I determined that my many years of being "the boss" teaching her how to do things "the right way" (MY way) are worn out and it's been best for me to work on the humble, gentle motherly ways. I now usually listen and gently remind her that things turn out better when we are even just a little humble. Either I have learned to balance our personalities or she has given up fiercely debating with me!!

I am continually reminded of the slight failure of my attempts to "let go" and allow my girls to make it "their" way. I still find myself doing things that must send messages that they are still my "little" girls , which by the way is how we ended spending the enitre day together. I had decided she "needed me" to go with her on her drive into the country..."just in case I said"!

I remember my father sharing many years ago "no matter how old you are, you will always be my child. When you are 50 I will still be the father and you the child". I guess he was right, I am sure I will always look at my children and see them just that way despite how hard I try to see them as grown up 22 & 31 year olds! I did my best to train them, teach them the right way. We never stop teaching them and I thank God for the blessing of the four children He allowed me to teach, guide and love.

Now I will have to see what my other daughter needs me to share with her this week!!

"Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it" Proverbs 22:6

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Beautiful young woman

Tonight we celebrated the very special birthday of a incredibly special young woman. A little girl all grown up. A princess... a very special princess.

I watched her welcome the invited guests and watched as each of them hugged her with love and admiration. I cried when she cried with happy emotions when these people who love her so much blessed her with a very special gift. Her OWN guitar. I watched and listened as she sang and played for the first time her guitar to the crowd of family and friends... and many of us wiped tears away with the pink napkins.

My friend, God has His protective arms open wide with an extended hand as He ushers you into the next journey of yours... As you run the journey never forget God's promises for you.
Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TAYLAR...... We are so proud of the special young woman you have become!!!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Wings to Fly

The past two weeks have been incredibly busy. I think many of us have found this time a bit overwhelming...with school ending, children getting excited for summer, life simply gearing up for the season. This past week Gerald and I had the opportunity to slip away for our 1st Anniversary to our cottage which is north of Kingston.

Each morning started off with me sleeping in, Gerald bringing me my morning tea and then his time alone with God at the sandy shore of the lake. I'd look out the window as I watched my husband spending time completely alone with God. No interruption of telephones, street noises, doors slamming and just general distraction. It was so awesome to watch him. Then after I had enough of my own quite time lazily sipping my tea, I'd grab my Bible and plop myself next to his reserved spot on the water's edge. Soon his quiet time as he knew it would be gone as I'd share what I was reading and pondering.

I had a wonderful week of these mornings. I have much to share and will begin this week with the things God brought to me. For now I want to show you a picture of a little bird that I am amazed with... look at his newly created wings as he begins his journey in life - spreading his wings so he can fly as high and fast as he was created to do.

This reminds me of each one of us... God has given us strong incredible wings and He waits for each one of us to extend the wings to their fullest, to stretch out to the sky and reach for all He has given us - all while completely glorifying Him. Begin each day this week extending your wings...stretching and challenging yourself higher, wider and braver than you dare to!

As I have not yet completely unpacked, my Bible is not handy - but I have saved many scriptures for you this week... watch for the rest of the journey.

God Bless each of you,


Thursday, June 7, 2007

The valley of sunshine

I have spent the past few days feeling like I have had a good breath of incredibly crisp, fresh, winter air. The kind that wakes you up, takes your breath away and gives you a new energy. I am thankful that God never fails me, that at my every turn if I look, I will see Him. I am thankful for the grace He continually extends me. It's sort of reassuring to be reminded that we spend most of our time in the valley.. not on the mountain top. YES!! reassuring.

The valley has incredible meadows of lush green grass and lazy fields filled with dandilions and sunflowers. It is well worth being in the valley just to experience this beauty. To run barefoot through the soft grass with total abandonment. To lay by the streams that run through the valleys. To play hide and seek in the glorious bushes beside the streams. The hazards of being in the valley, like dragons, python snakes, crawling crayfish hiding out in the swampy bottoms of hills is a minor inconvenience compared to the sunflowers and sun drenched lush grassy gardens. O.K. I guess there are not real dragons in the valley - but honestly sometimes it feels as though there are - you know the kind of dragons that thrash their tails back and forth swishing everyone and everything out of their way.

Tonight I read through Psalms a bit and I want to share "As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God." As the deer needs water, so we need Him. He is the living water of our soul, our Father God.

Thank you God that you made the valleys more beautiful than the cold, snowy mountain tops!!


Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Dare to believe in His Dream for You......

This past weekend we went to the women of faith conference in Rochester, New York. We had a wonderful time as Christine our commander & pilot, and Cheri our co-pilot, safely got us to our destination with time to spare for some bargain shopping and lunch at our favorite fine dinning establishment the “Cracker Barrel.” The food was OK, but I loved the gift shop.

The conference was amazing. It was so nice to sit and relax and listen to God speak to us through the various speakers, singers, drama and comedy that caused my stomach to hurt from laughing so hard.

Sheila Walsh sang a few songs that really spoke to me. The first was “Somewhere over the rainbow” I love this song from the Wizard of Oz; it’s one of my favorite movies. Even though I have heard it many times, the words seemed to jump out at me; I know God was trying to speak to me through these songs,

“Somewhere over the rainbow”
Skies are blue
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true”

Somewhere along this journey I am on, I seem to have forgotten my dreams, I have let life’s distractions and difficulties get in the way of the dreams I dared to dream.

“His dream for you” I love the words to the chorus
“But His dream for you was meant for no one else
A dream that’s so much more that you dreamt for yourself.
His dream for you held in an open hand
Is waiting there until you dare to believe in His dream for you.”

God’s dream for me is far greater than I could ever dream for myself. The last song Sheila sang was "Find your wings". “I pray that God would fill your heart with dreams and that faith gives you the courage to dare to do great things I’m here for you whatever this life brings, so let my love give you roots and help you find your wings”

Do you remember when you were a child and you dreamed about what you where going to do when you grow up. I remember dreaming that I was going to be on Broadway. I loved to sing and spent many hours in my bedroom singing my heart out to my teddy bears. I would line them all up, I must say they were an excellent audience, very attentive, didn’t move an inch…seriously, I had such dreams of doing great things, traveling the world, having a family, a big house, great career.

Well I can tell you the Broadway thing never panned out, it had something to do with lack of talent…I can sing but not that good…. and I really can’t act at all.

I did travel around Europe with my 20lb nap-sack when I was 21, after I finished college.

At 25 I got married to my prince charming, had a great career and gave birth to two amazing children.

When I was 33 we moved to a big house on a ¾ acre lot. It seemed like all my dreams were coming true. I should have been so happy, it looked like I had it all, but I was far from happy, in fact I was empty, lonely, and sad. You see fulfilling my dreams did not make me happy, they were my dreams for me not God’s dreams for me. Life is not about me and what I want… The world would like to tell you otherwise, with all their self-help books, you can have it all, and you need to put yourself first…

Life is about a relationship with the creator of the universe, who by the way created us for that purpose. You see I was empty inside because the only person that could fill me was Jesus. He is the only way to a relationship with God. I needed the faith that gives you the courage to dare to do great things…to dare to believe in His dream for me.

My dreams have changed since I became a follower of Jesus Christ, they have become less materialistic. God has placed a desire in my heart to serve others, and help the needy. I want to live my life so that it brings glory and honor to God. To do great things for Him.

But as I stated earlier, I let life’s challenges get me off track and forget about the dreams God gave me. Sometimes they just seem too BIG, but God reminds me in His word that it’s not by my might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord Almighty. Zechariah 4:6 and nothing is impossible with God. Luke 1:37 Jesus said what is impossible with men is possible with God. Luke 18:27

Dare to believe in His dream for you and pray for the faith to have the courage to do great things. God gave us a dream to put together a ministry for women to come away and spend time At His Feet. God has done some amazing things through AHF Ministries. He has changed our lives as well as many other incredible women who learned how precious they are to Him, how loved they are and what it means to have an intimate relationship with their Heavenly Father through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. I could have never dreamed this myself…God’s dreams are far greater than mine.

What is God’s dream for you? I know that God has been speaking to me lately through His word about “what are you doing to take care of the poor”? He has given me the dream and desire to use my passion for cooking to help feed the poor. I am not sure how that looks at the moment but God does and He will reveal it in His time.

I pray that you spend time with the Lord, sitting at His Feet, listen to Him speak to you through His word, revealing His dreams for you.

Sweet Dreams my friends,

Sunday, June 3, 2007

We made it....

Well.. it has been a long day..a wonderful and long weekend. As I head off to bed I want to touch base and say hello. As most of you know, the chickettes from AHF Ministries piled in a van and headed to a conference in Rochester this weekend. What an incredible weekend in so many respects. I have lots to share...and shall do that in the upcoming days...but for tonight I want to leave you with a few words.... "what are the things you chose to do and chose not to do?" Start pondering...I have some things to share with you from my heart..... as soon as I can stay awake long enough to think straight.....

Christine... I thank you from the bottom of my heart for arranging this weekend for each of us, from the tickets to the smallest of detail that you took care of to the most amazing friendship and love you have shown each of us. Anita, Louise, Kimberley and Michelle... you Godly women, the most loyal, loving and wonderful friends. I am blessed to have been enabled to walk the journey with each of you!!

God Bless

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

She is loved

Today I headed downtown Toronto with my son as we both had appointments with our favourite doctor... "Doctor D". He's an awesome doctor... a man with compassion, personality, honesty and brains. Anyway, as we were putting our quarters in the parking machine to get our one hour parking voucher, a worn out, tired scruffy woman came to me and asked for money so she could take the T.T.C. (the Toronto streetcar). My initial thought was that she was looking for money for drugs or alcohol so I was kind yet firm sharing I had only enough money for parking. The woman looked at me with such lost eyes, eyes that didn't smile or dance. She continued talking in a quiet shallow voice that she needed to get to a shelter where she could eat, shower and sleep. My heart was tugging as I didn't have any more change, but I did have a couple of five dollar bills. I continued to share my dilemma with her - and she continued to look at me waiting for something more. It is then that she said, standing ever so still and humble, the words "no one loves me".

My heart sank at her words, being truly caught off guard. Joseph was watching the scene trying to sum it up as I continued to share with the woman that I didn't have any money to help. I politely moved ahead and went inside the doctor's office....all while she continued to watch me inside through the big front window. Just standing still, just staring, unlike any other person before who has asked me for money on the street. She didn't take her eyes off of me for a second. I didn't take my attention and thoughts away from her. I asked the doctor's secretary if she had seen this woman before as I shared the story and my wondering about giving her money. The secretary suggested that Joseph go to the local convenience store and buy her a streetcar ticket. Good idea, my son who had a gentle and kind heart went and bought two tickets, approached her directly himself and handed them to her. She put the tickets in her pocket however, she didn't leave...she continued looking directly at me with her lost blue eyes.

I eventually went back outside and gently shared that she had the tickets she needed to go to the shelter and that it would be o.k. she could go ahead.

I couldn't get thoughts of her out of my head most of the day. Her eyes were almost haunting. Do you know what.... I blew it today. I shared my money with her but what I didn't do was share that she was loved. I can't even remember what I said to her about being loved, but what I do know is I didn't share God's love with her. The love that she can have so freely and yet doesn't know. The unconditional love. I missed an opportunity because I was humanly trying to find a way to do something for her. Tonight as I get ready for bed I can't help but wonder where this beautiful creature is. I can't help but wonder if she's o.k. I can't help but wonder if her head is lying on a pillow gently crying. I pray the next person she speaks to will be the one who knows Jesus and be the one to take the opportunity to ensure she knows God loves her?

I am going to call her Lilly because she was a delicate lady, standing in a light green dress with blonde hair hanging down, her head slightly tilted as she watched me. I know Lilly could be anything but who she represented herself to me this morning, but I choose to believe she's the lost soul she showed me this morning - a soul desperately needing to know the love of Jesus. Needing to cling to the hope and love that He gives each one of us. I pray that when Lilly lays her head down tonight that somehow she will feel prayers and God's love.


Monday, May 28, 2007


Well... I was sharing with the girls tonight that I have been creatively "dry" these days. Can't seem to get words down on paper.... Maybe I have been tired, lazy, or pre-occupied, making excuses, but something has stopped me from the passion of writing. Maybe I have been taking life too seriously this past little while????

Well, tonight I have decided to share something that is totally NOT serious, totally silly - and yet truly funny to both Gerald and I actually. Not many know what life is REALLY like in our home goofy we REALLY are... we laugh like .. goofs. There is no other way to describe our behaviour sometimes and those little moments we share. Tonight I was working away in my office in the family room (in the basement) and I heard Gerald coming in the house from work. He did a few things by the front door and headed into the kitchen. I snuck up the stairs and waited behind the wall to jump out and scare him. This is something that WE BOTH do quite often....try to scare eachother (jumping out from behind walls, side of the bed, closets, bathrooms....).

Anyway, I stood behind the wall and waited. He somehow saw my shadow sneaking up the side of the stairs and he waited for me on the other side.....slowly walking forward - jumping out and "booing" me...before I could "boohhh" him.... The two of us laughed until we cried, gave eachother hugs and kisses and once the laughter and tears stopped.....we shared our day. You have to hear my husband laugh...he has a most fun, happy laugh...a contageous laugh. He makes me laugh just hearing him laugh. I am thankful for his gift of laughter.

Now I know that seems truly goofy and not a very remarkable thing to write about...however I was reflecting on it tonight when I came home after our meeting. I was thinking how blessed we are to laugh together so often over the silliest, goofiest moments.

I am sure you will share as well that there are times when our hearts may not feel joy....and there are times when we don't allow joy to fill our hearts.... Be reminded with me that we must see joy in all things and especially let the simplest of moments give us incredible joy. I am thankful that there are more times of joy in my life than not.

Psalms 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust Him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving".

I pray that you would be able to see and feel incredible joy in the most simplest of things this week.

God Bless,


Love is in the air!

Well my friends my sweet husband surprised me with an overnight stay in Niagara-on-the-Lake last weekend in a beautiful five star bed & breakfast for our 18th anniversary. We had so much fun; it was like a mini honeymoon all over again, without all my family this time....
Yes, you heard me correct, we spent our honeymoon 18 years ago with all my family back in England, with the exception of a few days in London on our own. We stayed with my mom's youngest brother who had three-year-old twins who loved to wake us up in the morning around 7am to cuddle and play in bed. I loved it because I don't get to see my family in England very often, but I don't think it was Lance's idea of a romantic honeymoon.

But I can tell you romance was in the air last weekend...We held hands everywhere we went, we laughed, talked, Lance patiently went into every little store with me and even pretended to enjoy that is true love. I must say it was nice to be pampered and wooed by my husband. I am the one who makes all the plans and organizes everything, so all I had to do this time was pack an over night bag and enjoy....

We get so busy with life, kids, and work that we often neglect the most important relationship apart from God, our marriage. I love spending time with my husband, but often he is the last person that I schedule time alone with. Over the last few years we have been so busy with church activities, kids activities, work that we have neglected our time alone, we have not made it a priority, we have not fit it into our schedule.

We meet once a week at the home of John & Lisa Rios. They are such dear friends who love the Lord and have a wonderful marriage ministry. God has used them to speak to Lance and I many times, and John last month asked us if we go out on dates. We said no, he asked why not and we had no good reason why not, just we are too busy. He explained how important it is once a week to spend that time alone, go on a date, even if it's just coffee or go on a nice walk. Since then Lance and I have been on a number of dates and really enjoyed spending time alone together.

When was the last time you went on a date with your husband? Just because you have been married for a number of years does not have to mean romance is the book Song of Songs chapter 4 in the bible and see what God has to say about marriage and romance...

I encourage you to make spending time with your husband a priority, they say spring is in the air.... well I say Love is in the air...and it's awesome....

Let me know how your date goes, I would love to hear from you.

In His precious Love,

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Tell about it all over town......

Today has been a crazy hectic day (I think I say that every day!). I am the night owl - much opposite to my husband. On my way to bed, I had to stop and take a moment to start sharing some of the other pages I didn't get to share over the retreat with each of you. YES - it is almost midnight.

A reminder from Saturday morning - each one of you have the ability to profoundly effect those around you starting from our families and extending to our neighbours, co-workers, and acquaintances – allow God to shine through you as you interact with those you meet daily.

In one of our Monday evening meetings Kimberley said something like "we are cracked-pots". To me that means despite who we are, we can shine God's light to others! I encourage each of you to join us and “be a cracked pot that the light shines through”. Anyway, it’s kind of good to be a cracked pot trust me – try it!

Luke 8:38 - This is the story of Jesus sending the demons out of a man…..

“The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away saying “Return home and tell how much God has done for you” So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.”

Note this man didn't just share it with one person, he shared it all over town! When God touches your life, don’t be afraid to share it - tell your neighbours, family and friends!


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I just spent the weekend with God and 0ver 90 incredible women and two very special brothers in Christ this weekend. I can’t remember the last time I had so much fun…who says Christian women are boring!

I don’t think I will ever forget almost setting the ballroom on fire during our Friday night session, but thanks to Guylaine’s quick thinking she saved the day by pouring water over the burning paper flower pot…

The highlight of the weekend for me was hearing some of the amazing testimonies from the women throughout the weekend. My heart skipped a beat when I heard a young lady (21) stand up and say that she learned that she was God’s Princess.

Saturday night we celebrated our first PJ party. There was non-stop laughter, dance and some very interesting outfits. We ended the evening with yummy hot chocolate in our very own AHF mugs with delicious cookies baked by our friend’s Montgomery & Kimberly Prior. Anita told us a beautiful bedtime story; I must say nobody tells a story like Anita. I left Sunday realizing that no idea for God is a silly idea and that He is calling me by name. He is calling each of you by name. Are you taking the time to be still, listen for His calling, spend time in His word, prayer, worship.

Be desperate for Jesus… There is such joy and freedom that comes when the only thing that you are desperate for each day is Jesus.
I miss you all already. Thank you for a wonderful weekend and I hope to see you in the fall.

God Bless,

Romans 15:13 - May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Thank you!

What a blessing to have spent yet another weekend with each of you. We thank you for your encouragement and support for each of us in this ministry. We continue to pray for each one of you that as you walk the journey you would continue to be obedient to whatever it is that He calls you to. Be reminded that each of you have the profound ability to encourage and change the lives of those around you. The lasting memory I will keep with me is the circle of woman holding hands as sisters in Christ, as we bonded during Sunday afternoon's worship of our Lord. Please continue to keep in contact with us and share the bumps and hills of your journey. Check our web site and individual blogs as we share our devotionals with you. Many blessings to each of you!

Cheri & Louise

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Friendships that I have introduced our site.. I thought I'd get a bit serious. With only days left leading up to our SPring 2007 retreat, I find myself in somewhat of a bizzare state. Working, writing newsletters, preparing session notes and oh yes, starting a small business, I am finding myself in a state of hazy daze! For the first time in my life I am actually making the "Kimberley" lists. I love it... add it to the list...take one off and add three more!

This is an exciting time as we prepare for the retreat. We are spending alot of time speaking to eachother via telephone, email and meetings. I think tonight I opened 10 emails and sent 20! It's a time where we can prepare with eachother, remind eachother, and mostly share with eachother. I am praying that as we too are preparing, so are the ladies that God is bringing. I pray for new friendships, rekindling of old friendships, but mostly that all of our friendships blossom.

Exodus 33:11 "The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend".

Our most important friendship is that which we share with Jesus. Friendships require nutruting and giving. Give Him your time. Walk, talk and pray with Him.


Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Well.. today is the day!! I declare publicly that I love leopard skin print. It's wild, totally rebellious and wacky. The side to leopard skin that not many people think about is the unique pattern and the incredibly tender soft texture to leopard skin. It probably defines me to a "t"... a little off the edge, very unique, somewhat wacky (side effect of hot flashes), yet somewhere beneath the pattern is a soft, warm fuzzy woman. I often feel as though I am standing on the edge of something incredible yet often trying to hang onto my balance so I don't teeter too far into the journey some crazy idea. Maybe that is part of my personality that keeps me from jumping on the back of a motorcycle driven by my friend Louise, who I envision as being a pink bundle of the most exquisite precious satin. Thence the theme for this blog, Leopard Skin & Satin!!