Monday, August 31, 2015

I actually wrote this post quite some time ago, before I started my current healthy eating plan. Since I lost too much weight I am now trying to regain muscle mass.

*Not so* recently after gazing upon my reflection in the mirror, I realized my less than toned physique, which could be compared unfavourably with that of a five month pregnant woman, was the result of three of the seven deadly sins gluttony, greed, and sloth. While I may be able to show some restraint at the dinner table by taking smaller portions, my gluttony reveals itself when it comes to sweets, especially chocolate which I will devour in copious amounts. My greedy side comes to light when I am in the store and have to buy a large bar or box of chocolate simply because it is on sale. Without a regular exercise regime and a Zumba drop-out, I display sloth when I turn back from a walk because it is simply too windy. My own mother puts me to shame with her Jillian Michaels routine several times a week while I average one or two walks a week. I contemplate taking up running, but never do so.

Turning my gaze inward, I saw that the other four deadly sins were also present. Pride, envy, lust, and anger were in evidence in my daily life. Pride caused me to consider myself better than some others, while envy made me desire what others had. Anger made me impatient with those who got in my way, and lust caused me to view others as objects. Of the seven, envy has the biggest foothold in my life and causes the most damage. It makes me ungrateful for the blessings in my life, and jealous of others and their lives with their beautiful little families and their successes.

Now I wonder how I can change my inward attitudes and outward habits to transform not only my outward appearance, but also my heart.

Distorted Perceptions

This has been a season in my life of constant distortions. It is rather like I stepped inside of a fun house with all the crazy mirrors. You just can't get a clear view of yourself or others, and it is not fun!

Sometimes you trust people who you shouldn't. At other times you get angry at people for a small thing that shouldn't even be an issue. You allow yourself to be guided by people who take advantage of your vulnerability, which they can sense like blood in the water for a shark.

People who love you get very hurt by all the extremes in your spiraling emotions and you struggle to contain yourself, but don't always even manage to do that.

For some people it may be an amusing spectacle. My life as a reality show would be entertaining, if rather sad and disquieting.

Since April I have been in recovery. I never dreamed it could take this long or cause this much pain and anguish. The good news is that I am, in fact, recovering. I am taking all the steps I know how to do and will continue to work hard this fall at the process.

I now make plans tentatively, as I never know the day to day variables. Emotional rollercoasters are not really fun, but feeling things deeply does make you more compassionate and responsive to others. In the end, you need to discover where the illness ends and where you actually begin. I have a feeling I will never ever be the same; I do not desire to be.

They say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I have been forced to strengthen myself spiritually, physically, and psychologically. I am in the process of healing, and the walls are coming down. For this I am grateful to Christ, my family, church families, Christians I have met in the journey, kind strangers, angels, and my dear friends. Life is too rich to give up the battle, and the war is already won!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Sadness, Anger, and Self-Control: After My Jonah Day

Yesterday may have ended well, but I think it was my saddest, most gut-wrenching birthday ever. Life gets messy sometimes and the fall out from extreme emotions is huge.

Right now it is a lot of extreme emotions and only sometimes logic, coherence, order, decorum and self control. The big emotions are anger and sadness.

Forgiveness is a journey. Love is a destination that welcomes you in. Peace and joy are God’s forever promises. In the midst of trials, the sky may darken, but joy comes in the morning!

Jesus carried me last night, close to his chest, all the way up to the summit. Later we will return to the Valley,  but for now I am going to enjoy the breathtaking view!

Despite all my anger, I do have hope in Christ. I have the seal of the Holy Spirit, guaranteeing my inheritance. When this journey is over, I know my final destination. The new heavens and earth will be beyond anything I can ever imagine!

Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our LORD Jesus Christ!

Monday, August 24, 2015

The 23rd Psalm for Busy People translated from a Japanese version by Koki Mayashina

The Lord is my pacesetter
I shall not rush
He makes me to stop and rest
For quiet intervals;
He provides me with images of stillness
Which restore my serenity;
He leads me in the ways of efficiency
Through calmness of mind
And his guidance is Peace.
Even though I have a great many things
To accomplish each day,
I will not fret
For His presence is here:
His timelessness
His all importance
Keeps me in balance;
He prepares refreshment and renewal
In the midst of my activities,
By anointing my mind
With His oils of tranquility
My cup of joyous energy overflows;
Surely harmony and effectiveness
Shall be the fruit of my hours
And I shall walk in the pace of my Lord
And dwell in His house forever.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Friendship When Worlds Collide: A Poem

At the intersection of two points
When worlds collide
When you find a friend
Who sticks closer than a brother
You will find your way home
Even if your GPS is confused

Wrote this poem during a time of utter chaos in my life. Thankfully I have many friends and family members to light my way. My best friends know who they are: Thanks!

Monday, June 01, 2015

May 5, 2015 Story

In the Stillness... Revelation: Maine May 2014 - Along a carefree highway...

In the Stillness... Revelation: Maine May 2014 - Along a carefree highway...

Another day!

today is a new day with no mistakes in it yet!


Today I choose to follow you,
Today I choose to give my yes
 to you.
Today I choose to hear your voice and live!
Today l choose to follow you.

As for me and my house, we will serve you. As for me and my house, we will spend our lives on you!

Wonderful Counsellor, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, LORD of all. Willingly we follow.

Brian Doerkson's Lyrics and my prayer.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Slam Dunk

If there was one thing in the world that Joseph loved, it was basketball. If there was one thing he loved more, it was a girl named Rachael. Jospeh promised Rachael the moon and he believed he loved her enough to get it for her. Joseph always practiced basketball on his court out in the country. Surrounded by farm fields Joseph would practice as the sun would set and the moon was rising. He would often reach for the moon and pretend to slam dunk it. Rachael was always on his mind.

In the years that Joseph pursued Rachael, he had a part time job at Wendy's. He worked hard at his job, and on the court but he always worked overtime when it came to his promise to Rachael. Joseph's promises to Rachael included.

  1. He promised to one day build her a house on her Grandmother's property
  2. He promised to build her an ice castle every winter once they married
  3. He promised her the honeymoon of her dreams
  4. He promised to buy her a jet plane so they could travel the world
  5. He promised he would build their children a huge playground with underground tunnels and waterslides
  6. Of course he always promised her the moon

Rachael always turned Joseph away, telling him to be more realistic. She would get annoyed every time he offered her the moon. She called him a dreamer and told him he was trying to achieve the impossible. When it came to basketball she told him he wasn't even any good. Joseph was devastated!

Time passed and Joseph and Rachael parted ways. Joseph moved to Louisville where he got a scholarship playing basketball and eventually the made the Toronto Raptors. Rachael stayed home and started dating Joseph's arch rival, Calvin.

A year had passed and Calvin had secured a decent job. For their anniversary, he decided to take Rachael on a surprise date. There was a limo, roses, champagne, and of course game 7 tickets to the NBA finals in Toronto. Joseph did not see them during the game, but he ended up posting a 33 point night along with a 3 point buzzer beater that won them the NBA championship. For the first time, Rachael found Joseph attractive and appealing. She waved and tried to get his attention as he held the prize trophy over his head. Rachael hoped that maybe he still loved her.

After flexing for the cameras, Joseph did notice Rachael in the crowd, screaming his name. Joseph crossed the rose-petaled, Gatorade drenched floor, and said hello. With a big smile on his face he brought Rachael over and introduced her to his fiancee.... Jennifer Lopez :)

Of course in my version of this tale, Rachael and Joseph would end up together and J-Lo would not even feature, but compromises must be made in artistic collaberations.

Kahil Gibran on Love

Kahlil Gibran on Love 

When love beckons to you, follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams
as the north wind lays waste the garden.

For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.
Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,
So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.

Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.
He threshes you to make you naked.
He sifts you to free you from your husks.
He grinds you to whiteness.
He kneads you until you are pliant;
And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God's sacred feast.

All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life's heart.

But if in your fear you would seek only love's peace and love's pleasure,
Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love's threshing-floor,
Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.
Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.
Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;
For love is sufficient unto love.

When you love you should not say, "God is in my heart," but rather, "I am in the heart of God."
And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.

Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.
But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love's ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.

This has to be my favourite poem right now. I don't know much about the poet, but I will be reading more of his work, you can be sure.

Mother Goose

Mother GOOSE

My Mom
thinks me perfection
only slightly marred
by my depression

She wants me to mind
My "P's and Q's"
but I can't give her
Any clues!

She has no guile
Only a smile,
I only wish
She would kiss

Away my heart
And make me some dessert
Lemon meriangue
or Chocolate mousse

If only...
she wasn't
Such a goose!

I wrote this poem after being angry with my mother for most of one night. I think I forgave her?

Teddy and the Moon Walka Walka's

Ok. I definitely contributed to this story. Co creators Frank (N Stein) and Jesse. A volunteer drafted it and I made one last edit. More stories to come involving time travel, super heroes, and cheaters.... stay tuned.

Deep in the wilderness of Croatia there lived a bear named Teddy and his friend Beyonce. From a young age all Teddy wanted to do was dance. Beyonce used to sit for hours and watch him practice. Beyonce taught him a few simple moves. She always believed in him. She gave confidence and inspired him very much.

Teddy was known as a prankster. He would often sneak up on unsuspecting campers and scare them, then quickly bust into a dance, leaving some campers feeling better and laughing, and some just getting more scared. He would then disappear into the woods.

One day some people from Barnum and Bailey's circus captured Teddy and forced him to wear disco clothes and dance in their circus. Teddy went from an exuberant prankster, who was always happy, to feeling depressed, and wishing he could once again hang out at the many dumps and garbage bins of his youth, where the food was, to be frank, much better. He was so mortified that he no longer wanted to dance. After a few months in captivity Teddy seized an opportunity to escape. With his huge paws he managed to break free from his cage. On his way to freedom, he grabbed the cash box and headed home.

As soon as Teddy reached home he jumped into the lake and took a bath. Feeling refreshed, and dripping wet, he danced on the beach. Performing each move to perfection, Teddy danced every one of Michael Jackson's famous moves, but without the white glove. He thrust his hips, threw his arms upwards, and moon walked the beach. The Jackson five and disco music filled the air.

Pretty soon wild animals appeared from everywhere to watch Teddy dance. First some coyotes, then a few deer, next some robins. Finally some escaped lions, tigers and zebras appeared. Last of all potato bugs and cockroaches watched the famous moves of the skilled dancer with something approaching awe.

And, yes, Beyonce, was also there. The hit song Single Ladies found Beyonce and Teddy dancing together, as Sleazy Bear watched from the sidelines. Sleazy was a slightly forward bear, and endlessly whipped her hair in an attempt to draw Teddy's attention. This hair whipping was slightly tempting to a bear of Teddy's sensibilities; however Beyonce had him in raptures, unknown to him until this point.

In the years that followed Teddy and Beyonce taught the other bears how to dance. They formed a group called "Teddy and the Moon Walka Walkas" and hit the bigtime. They held a show in Maple Leaf Gardens that sold out in one day. With their progeny, they relaxed together in Florida, Bora Bora, and Hawaii, with resplendent homes at each extensive property. Teddy still visited the dumps too, but they happily lived in the beauty of their world, dancing for the rest of their days.

Monday, May 04, 2015


Joshua Blowing His Trumpet....

And the walls falling down!

As Rahab hangs her Scarlett Thread......

Joshua Blowing His Horn


I Will Change Your Name
By D.J. Butler

I will change your name
You shall no longer by called
Wounded, out cast Lonely or afraid
I will change your name

Your new name shall be
Confidence, joyfulness
Overcoming One

Faithfulness, friend of God
One who seeks My Face

Change is... important in life because without it you
          can't grow
... without it there would be no seaside castles
     nestled in the midst of gardens
... no secret hideaways bursting with life
... no glorious resurrections, no brightly coloured
     eggs hidden in secret
           dark corners
               beneath a sea shell...
            in some seaside resort
          as the sun rises
              on a beautiful new day....

All things bright and beautiful
All creatures great & small
All things wise & wonderful
The LORD God Made Them All!

After a long barren winter I am a garden bursting
in bloom .... a lily of the Valley
     Suzanne Allison
           I will become myself

              As I really Am!

Some Ponderings

100 More Aprons?

Awhile ago I ran out of disposable one time use aprons for my foot care job I have been doing for over a year, extremely part-time. I wondered if I should order any more. Proper nursing standards would indicate you should have a fresh one for each client. I had ordered them more than a year ago online from a place that sold them for food industry purposes and they weren't individually packed like the ones I had split with the two other nurses who were doing the course of studies with me back in the summer of 2013. I think there were probably a hundred of them, but I couldn't be sure, as I had never counted them. So when they were all gone I wondered if that meant I had done over one hundred visits.

I really didn't want to order any more somehow. Maybe it was realizing how little I had made there in black and white on my T4 and how much energy I had poured into the job. It could have been the fact I was paying half what I made on gas and other car expenses, and spending twice what I made in tools and supplies, or so it seemed. There was so much prep time preparing documents and tools, phoning clients, rescheduling appointments, and then there was the half hour or more it took to clean your tools at the end of the day, all that travel time, the extra documentation you did at home for no pay, the insurance you had to fork out due to the high risk of something going terribly wrong. The inconvenient truth was I could make twice as much with my other home care job for six hour shift that involved far less driving and ended when the visit was over and you signed off on your phone, instead of so much later in the day. One day seeing three clients in one day as well as attending a CPR class kept me busy until
11 pm before all the work was done.  Far more than I would like I have had to decline last minute shift opportunities for my other job in order to keep my foot care appointments I was committed to completing.

 Foot care in the home is not a very profitable business, for any one, and you have to be willing to take a loss in order to build up any kind of business. Unfortunately it felt like I was taking the brunt of the losses while my company struggled to collect the bills and clients came and went. Sometimes I have had to wrestle for over an hour to get a client's neglected feet into some semblance of proper order. At times I haven't known if my clients even have a firm grasp on their personal history, let alone their health conditions. Sometimes as I am wearing my mask, knowing they probably can't hear a word I am saying, struggling to give them some advice about caring for their feet they can't even manage to rub cream on by themselves any more, I wonder if I am really helping them as much as I would like to. Somehow the sensation test seems a little pointless when you are not sure they even understand your instructions.  And there are the feet that haunt you a little, because you know something is a little off, but you can't diagnose what exactly is wrong... As a nurse it is not really your job to diagnose, but when should you tell them to see a doctor?

 So I had kind of decided to quit. I could get into something like palliative care or some other area. Some other nurse could take over my clients. Then a nagging thought came to me that there were very few nurses who were sticking with this rather demanding, financially unrewarding work. Sure I did joke with one client I should be paying him as he patiently showed me some helpful tips for dealing with his chronic ingrown toenail. But I felt a little taken advantage of, a lowly foot care nurse, making a different rate than the other nurses, and seeing my bank account slowly descend rather than grow.

But a couple of days I ago I had a realization. I actually would do this job without any remuneration. Please don't tell my company. I love it! I love the clients I have gradually gotten to know, being a visitor in their homes whether in a cluttered dingy place smelling of cigarette smoke or a beautiful well appointed apartment.  I even love the satisfaction of cutting really really long toenails and realizing you have just made a difference to your client's mobility and health. Some of my clients have been palliative; I get to care for their feet and maybe help a little by my kindness as they are facing death. I have grown so much in my confidence that I no longer even dread the first visit, the unknowns of what I will face. One client in
Oakville I often complained lived too far away for me to be earning anything at all with the one hour visit, I miss the most, and wonder whether she is okay after her fall. I know many of my clients have few other options when they are housebound, rejected by other companies due to liability issues since they are diabetic or on blood thinners, and completely unable to care for their own feet any longer, ashamed at how long their toe nails have grown.

Yesterday, I came to a definite decision and emailed the person who had hired me that I had decided to stay. That I would make a complete reversal within the same day and today be ready to write my resignation letter is another story. Thankfully a very capable administrator talked me down and made a couple of important phone calls to clarify some issues that had made continuing seem an utter impossibility. In this season of my life, it may be time to order another hundred aprons.

Friday, April 03, 2015


This Good Friday, I attended a beautiful, meaningful service at the church where I grew up, professed my faith, and spent part of my young adulthood. I sat with my friend from childhood, her husband, and her parents who have always been a special part of our lives. It was good to be given some time, however brief, to reflect on just how much Christ suffered out of a love that is unfathomable, in order to pay for my redemption, healing, and wholeness. He has opened a way so I can become like him, the most amazing person who has ever walked on this planet. And now he is there right beside me, walking me through the valleys and to the fearsome heights. And today I realised that being here with him is really the safest place I can be, whatever may come.

When I am afraid, he says "fear not" and "I am with you." When I say "I cannot do it" he tells me "try, I will help you." Many times he reminds of the beauty he created, both inner and outer, when I was woven together in my mother's womb. He tells me that he has good plans for my life, though he does not promise a pain-free life without suffering or loss. He does promise that one day he will wipe every tear from my eyes, and he demonstrates that he values my tears so much that he stores them in a bottle. Especially in my childhood and youth, tears were frequent, even for small things, so I figure that bottle is probably holding quite a large volume by now.

Thinking of Christ as the Good Shepherd has always been a way to find a sense of peace for me. I picture myself in his arms, being carried, or I relax beside the peaceful stream, knowing I am cared for and watched over. My professor in university made a good point that sometimes we think of all the things we should or must do for the kingdom of God, but sometimes we just have to "be." To be God's child, to be his beloved, to be the lamb of the Good Shepherd who was willing to lay down his life for the sheep. On a day like today, when we remember the high cost of our redemption, the stripes which bring our healing, and the love that kept Jesus on the cross through the agony of being separated from his Father and the excruciating  physical pain as he struggled for each breath, we should realise that we can trust him in this time and moment as well whatever we may face. On the cross, Christ was not a victim, but a victor who has bought us back from the kingdom of darkness, and proclaimed our release and freedom from bondage. When he rose again on the third day, he gave those from whom he died a new resurrected life, and his victory over death and hell became gloriously real and tangible. On Good Friday, we remember that Easter is coming!

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