Sunday, October 31, 2010

Gems From George MacDonald

My Sunday sermon. :-) A friend recommended some books by George MacDonald and I have been googling. Did you know that I have a lot of growing to do? :-) I wanted to share some of the truths I have been thinking about. I hope they'll be a blessing. :-)

"Whose work is it but your own to open your eyes? But indeed the business of the universe is to make such a fool out of you that you will know yourself for one, and begin to be wise." 
 George MacDonald (Lilith)

"The world is full of resurrections. Every night that folds us up in darkness is a death; and those of you that have been out early, and have seen the first of the dawn, will know it--the day rises out of the night like a being that has burst its tomb and escaped into life. "
— George MacDonald

"To try to be brave is to be brave." 
 George MacDonald

"Then the Old Man of the Earth stooped over the floor of the cave, raised a huge stone from it, and left it leaning. It disclosed a great hole that went plumb-down. 
That is the way," he said. 
But there are no stairs." 
You must throw yourself in. There is no other way." 
 George MacDonald (The Golden Key)

"There is no water in oxygen, no water in hydrogen: it comes bubbling fresh from the imagination of the living God, rushing from under the great white throne of the glacier. The very thought of it makes one gasp with an elemental joy no metaphysician can analyse. The water itself, that dances, and sings, and slakes the wonderful thirst--symbol and picture of that draught for which the woman of Samaria made her prayer to Jesus--this lovely thing itself, whose very wetness is a delight to every inch of the human body in its embrace--this live thing which, if I might, I would have running through my room, yea, babbling along my table--this water is its own self its own truth, and is therein a truth of God."
— George MacDonald

"The best thing you can do for your fellow, next to rousing his conscience, is — not to give him things to think about, but to wake things up that are in him; or say, to make him think things for himself." 
 George MacDonald (A Dish Of Orts)

"We are and remain such creeping Christians, because we look at ourselves and not at Christ; because we gaze at the marks of our own soiled feet, and the trail of our own defiled garments.... Each, putting his foot in the footprint of the Master, and so defacing it, turns to examine how far his neighbor’s footprint corresponds with that which he still calls the Master’s, although it is but his own."
— George MacDonald (Unspoken Sermons: Series I, II, III)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Fiddle and Banjo -- CD Release Party

...let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee. Psalm 5:11b

I had the best Friday and Saturday I've had in a long time. :-) I don't remember if I've mentioned Karrnnel Sawitsky before but I do know I've mentioned Daniel Koulack. These two phenomenal musicians recently recorded an album entitled "Fiddle and Banjo". It was given that name because those two instruments make up 99% of the music on said album. ;-) Does that sound boring and uncreative? I beg to differ.

I appreciate Karrnnel's music for it's vitality and uniqueness. He appeals to many audiences and ages... not just the typical fiddle/folk crowd. His style ranges to all genres and all tempos and moods; so colorful and rich. I wish I could find the words to tell you exactly how his music is so alive. I cannot, however. So, you'll just have to check it out for yourself. 

Daniel Koulack... what can I say about Daniel?? :-) He is probably the gentlest man I've ever known and wisdom is a language he frequently speaks. I wish everyone could meet him. I feel so blessed to call him a friend. And Daniel isn't just an awesome person... he's a wonderful musician. As with all musicians, his music is a reflection of himself. It's beautiful and quirky folksy and very Daniel-ish. :-) It has a Eastern European Jewish Canadianized flavor. If you don't know what that sounds like... well, again, I advise some serious googling to find out. :-)
Both of these men have been playing for most of their lives and both, to quote Michele, are 'super musicians'. So, imagine them doing music together. Imagine them live, in a CD release party. :-) And that's why yesterday was the best Friday in a long time. ;-) :-) No pictures. Sorry. :-P Eventually, I am buying a camera and then, you will be deluged with pictures. ( You'll actually beg for me to stop. ;-)) 

An interesting twist to the evening was that CBC Radio recorded the concert live. We got to 'work' at our cheering and applause and were complimented for our efforts. It was a happy time. ;-)

The best memory... well, it would have to be the jam after the concert. So much fun!! It's amazing sitting in a room with so many awesome musicians. Nathan Baker, Gillian Maher, Tahnis Cunningham, Daniel Koulack, Ray Bell, Karlie, Karrnnel, Samantha and others, whose names slip my mind. So many people there I know from camp... Buzz was there. That mention is for people who know him. :-P Especially my sisters.

So, I got to sleep at about 3:30 or 4 am. Michele's daughter put us (Michele, Jesse and myself) up for the night. (Had the basement all to myself! :-)) Appreciate the hospitality so much. People are kind and don't even realize it. :-) Well, my head is not working at it's best and I should watch a movie so I can review tomorrow. What shall it be? Robin Hood? Or Hook? Or maybe... :-)

Friday, October 29, 2010

One forgives to the degree that one loves. 
Francois de La Rochefoucauld

Prayer Request -- Praise the Lord!

From my relative's mother -- "Keith's surgery went well and they hope to have him up on crutches tomorrow. A few more days and he will get to come to a home (to his parents, in Battle Ground or his, in eastern Washington) we all don't know. Not sure what he is up for, or wants. 5 hours is a long ride. Please continue to pray for him and his family."

Thank you so much for all of the prayers you sent up for this man and his family. They feel so blessed and thankful. 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Worry... Worry Not...

This summer, some of my friends (fellow counselors) and I were having a conversation about life. One of them said something that still makes me stop short and look around.

"Live with no regrets."

My favorite thing to do is worry. Worry about things I've done or might do. Worry about the bad example I've been or the mixed message I might be sending. Worry saps my joy. Worry pins me down and slaps me across the face. Why do I worry? There is no good reason. Faith leaves no room for it. If the peace in my heart is intact and joy is bubbling out of me, I'd say it's a good sign. There are no regrets in that. :-)

So, I haven't subscribed completely to her life philosophy but it has definitely garnered some thoughts.

Prayer Request


 (From Margaret) How did this happen? Keith is standing on a 10ft wall of a framed house.A bundle of 27 trusses was placed on the walls.The trusses are ready to fall over.He yelled at the guys and trys to stop the trusses from falling over on Joey.Keith was pinned on this stomach on top of the wall.To get to him they had to take the trusses off of him 1by1.Keith's main concern is that Joey got out in time! He did!


Keith is scheduled for surgery with in the hour.His leg is detached and needs to be pinned to his hip.That should give him some relief of the mass pain he experiencing.Thanks again for your prayers and encouragement!

You're prayers are appreciated!

A relative of the family was in a serious accident yesterday -- he was crushed by a stack of trusses at his work. My uncle posted this update a few minutes ago:

"Update on my cousin Keith Wharton So far he has 2 lumbar vertebrae fractures,severely broken pelvis and interalbleeding. He's having a hard time breathing.The doc's will stand Keith up today for more x rays.Please continue praying for the mass pain he is in. Thanks! Keith's last action on the job may have saved one of his guys life. Keith wouldn't have it any other way! That's the kind of man he is!"

Please hold them up in prayer today!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Letter To My Companion of War and an Update

Dear Frosting Bag,

I admit to not understanding what goes on in those creamy depths of swirling audacity. Whatever goes on in there is far beyond my mental capacity. All I know are the moments of grief and horror and those of utter bliss. What I really don't understand is why you're so nice to me sometimes. Yes, there are moments when I actually adore you! You send smooth, perfect streams of whipped cream frosting through your tip... and because of the perfect, decadent shells, the cake takes an aura of splendidness.

Then there are those moments, when you hate me. Were we arch enemies in another life? I know with a certainty that I have never done anything to deserve such mistreatment. You spit at me. Literally spit in my face. I don't mind it so much on my arm. But my face?? Come on. And then there's the moments when you decide to explode and shoot whipped topping onto the cabinets. Do you think I really have time for that? Oh! And what about the time you decided stuttering was fun and all my shells turned into epileptic lizards? That was the time I looked up and saw a customer watching us with great interest.

I really would appreciate some more kindness from you. On the positive side, there have been some minutes that I thought we were getting over a mutual dislike for each other! So, there is hope. Just no more spitting, ok? No more rude noises. No more making me live up to Gillian's new name for me (Queen of Blushers). I need you, you need me. Just saying.

May you live a long and happy life.

So I went to sleep last night with the wind pounding against the house. The snow was just scouring the walls, windows and roof... more like sleet than snow, actually. And when I woke up this morning, the wind was still howling but no snow. :-) Because I have to go to Regina again on Friday, I can't work that day. So Donna asked me to come in today to finish up the Blizzard cakes.

I rushed through my morning preparations and donned my winter wear (scarves and coat and leggings and gloved and etc and etc) and rushed outside. About five steps later, I stopped rushing and stared at the ground. All ice. It wasn't terribly cold, which was nice in a way. But it was also very, very bad since it made the ice very, very slick. Picture this in your head: powerful, howling wind + slippery ice everywhere + me. Imagine the wind blowing in my face. Imagine me not being terribly coordinated. Imagine me being blown backwards across the street. Awesome picture, eh? That's what I thought. After I got back home.

But I made it there, all in one piece. Happy and proud of my accomplishment. Donna met me at the door with these words, "I called to let you know that you didn't need to brave the storm but you had already left." Lol!. ;-)

8 Blizzard Cakes; 4 flavors. Oreo - Smartie - Cookie Dough - Reese's Cup. Did you know that a drizzle of chocolate topping makes any cake look beautiful? I love the stuff. It's so much fun to watch it drip over the sides of the cake and splash onto the tray and roll down my arm... hey! it's chocolate. :-) I love the entire process of making Blizzard cakes. (Sorry, I'm not allowed to tell you.) I can't wait for the time when I actually get to eat one. ;-) :-) :-)

When I was finished (12:30 give or take) Donna drove me home in time for my dinner and lesson prep and a little house cleaning. My first student arrived at 3:30 as usual and the lessons commenced.

Had a bit of a disappointment the other day. One of my adult students decided she hadn't learned enough in four weeks to commit until May. I completely understand and I'm ok with it. But I can't help but feel that I could have done better some way. But Michele says she goes through the same feelings when someone doesn't want to take lessons from her. She says if I had video taped the lessons from the past four weeks, I probably wouldn't be able to pinpoint anything I should have done better. I can only do my best... and seriously, I wouldn't want this woman to feel obligated to continue taking lessons. Wasting time and money is not what I want my students to do. I want them to keep coming because they're learning and enjoying themselves. :-)

The good news is that nearly everyone else has committed until the end of May. So, you folks in Carlyle, you're stuck with me. ;-) At least until I'm 25. Lol.

I am so tired. :-) That wind certainly takes it out of a person. And we still have theater practice tonight. For once, I'm not looking forward to it. Well, I take that back. I am but I'm not. I hope I don't fall asleep during the middle of it...

Anyways. I should close this up. As my beloved brother Stirling says, "Bonjour"... wait a minute. That's not goodbye. Just a second. :googles:

Au revior. ;-)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


If instead of a gem, or even a flower, we should cast the gift of a loving thought into the heart of a friend, that would be giving as the angels give.
              -- George MacDonald


"The walls we build around us to keep sadness out also keep out the joy." -- Jim Rohn

Pain. Suffering. Emotional upheaval. Rejection. Hatred. Bitterness.

Probably the only human beings who haven't experienced these things are the youngest among us. We have all felt the pain of our flaws and the flaws of others. It's a fact of life.

I mentioned walls in an earlier post. Walls are created by us to guard our hearts from pain or evil... in fact, to guard from anything that might hurt us. For some, walls work so well that they become a way of life. They keep us sane and comfortable... happy... content.

But there is a danger. With those unhealthy walls protecting me, I find that I lie to those around me. To God. Lol... I lie to myself! Which is stupid, but sadly true. If we put up enough walls, we do not experience love. Love makes us drop our walls and speak the truth of our hearts. Love leaves us vulnerable and bare. It puts us in danger. Love makes us fearful and angry because we feel so foolish at times.  Love is giving away all of the supports, even when our world feels like it's crashing down. Love leaves no room for selfishness. Love is standing strong and firm when everyone else is running away. Love cleanses our hearts and leaves them whole.

“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at it's destination full of hope.” -- Maya Angelou

I have walls. In fact, I'm actually fairly barricaded right now. Lol. I had a fortress set up around my heart that was impenetrable. But something happened to me the other day. I made a difficult decision that I have felt alternately horrified and thankful for. Some of my walls came down. Yeah, it hurt. Yeah, I'm still shaking. (What have I done?! :-)) But I cannot stop feeling so very glad about it.

I have finally been honest with myself. I have finally thrown the towel in and myself on God. I have realized that there are no limits to Him, love, strength, me (the new creature!).. no limits to joy even when the happiness feels a bit stretched. ;-)

I read in the Bible last night about the miracle Jesus performed with the fish and bread. Think of the analogy: we can be an overflowing vessel. Compassion and love need never run out. There can be plenty of compassion and understanding (love!) in us for the neighbor, that friend who is so needy, an irritating younger sibling, cleaning the bathroom, speaking with thoughtfulness and wisdom when I'd just love to blow it off and leave...

Even these few downed walls, now laying in pieces at my feet, have shocked me. I feel a sense of peace and happiness; a faith that I had long forgotten. I have been praying for faith and God has been gently steering me down paths I never would have had the courage or strength to walk without His guidance and help.

This post is not complete but it is a part of what I know to be truth. Perhaps later I will understand better. The more I learn about God the more I realize how much I don't know. But I hope that you will take courage and have a look at your own heart. It's surprising sometimes. :-) If you have thoughts to add to this, please feel free to share!

But be thou in the fear of the LORD, all the day long. For surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cut off. -- Proverbs 23

Be joyful in hope. 

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Sleepy Beauty Whereabouts Solved!

2:30 am

Me: "Where is Sleeping Beauty?" 

Lydia: "Right hereeee..." 

(Pictures later.)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Bounce in My Step

The past few years have been interesting... especially regarding my health. As most of you know, I've been doing so much better the past few months. This summer, I had to work, teach kids and be around amazingly energetic people 24/7. I kept up. It was wonderful. :-)

As most of you know, this fall I had a bout of bronchitis and I'm just getting over the tail end of it. I feel amazing again!! I have energy. I can teach kids all afternoon and still feel patient enough to smile at them when the lesson is finished. (Btw, YES patience and good health work hand in hand a lot of the time...) ;-) I can work at DQ for 7 hours and have a bounce in my step on my way home. I can go to theater practice for three hours and have fun chatting up a storm with Michele at midnight while we're eating our snack. (You get absolutely famished after theater. Believe me.)

So, I appreciate all of the prayers and I just wanted to write an update about how I was doing since I have posted requests of prayer in the past. :-)

Today, we're off to Regina to do some shopping and to see my sisters, Ellie and Lydia. We're also going to the symphony. ;-) I am so excited. :-D

Friday, October 22, 2010

On Astute Employers And The Benefits Thereof

P.S. Just in case you think I'm some kind of hard worker or something, I actually didn't do any of the things I listed at the bottom of this post. :-P I made pizza and watched a movie instead. ;-)

Another fascinating day at DQ! I decorated 4 10" and 8 8" cakes, plus three logs (one of which ended up taking the role of catastrophe). I worked from 9 until 3:30 with only a short break in between.

I work with some interesting, beautiful people:

Donna (my employer): This woman reminds me so much of my mom in many ways and... in other ways, she's very much unlike my mother. She's gentle, sweet and kind. She's very firm about the way things should be done. She loves color. And the best and scariest thing about her is how astute she is.

I had just finished putting the different colors of icing gels on a cake when she popped into my little nook. She looked at the cake. Looked at me. Smiled. Looked back at the cake. Then she said, "When I met you, I could just tell you were a vibrant person. Rich and vivid colors make up your personality. But this... [indicates my creation] well, it's so dark. Looking at this, I am seeing some of your internal insecurity issues. Try to be a little brighter on the next one." Then she smiled at me again and walked away... leaving me slightly speechless. She was so right.

For the rest of the day, I analyzed myself by which color I pulled out of the box. Lol! ;-) I would catch myself using lots of purples. Purple is a beautiful color... and it is my battle/struggle color. When I found myself with the purple gel bag in my hand, I would put it back and pick up green. Green is my victory/peace color. Didn't catch myself all the time, though. Donna would still call to me, "Bright colors!!"

Ok. You probably didn't want to read all that, but it's fascinating to me, so ya'll have to put up with it. Hehe.

Another interesting person: Roberto. He's an amazing worker. Very short. Has the most contagious laugh I've ever heard. Donna's daughter informed me that when we're in the same vicinity of the kitchen, I need to speak English to him because he needs to learn it better. I tried. :-P He just laughed. Shortly afterwards, the funniest thing happened. He dropped some newly cleaned trays on the floor and abruptly, there was a blue haze over the sink. Strange how they learn some English so quickly... :-P ;-)

And then, there's Garth.. Donna's hubby. The guy is hysterical. I wasn't in the most cheerful of moods today (you may have gathered that) but he walked in and in five seconds, had me giggling. He's sarcastic. And he makes fun of Fr. Banga, whom he adores. He caught a glance of a cake I had gelled a clown on (I was quite pleased with it, actually... if that says anything about the quality of artwork ;-)) and excitedly exclaimed, "Ohhh, a squirrel!" :-P

I'm still learning the names of the girls... I know there's Robin... Grace... Jane... Richele... not sure of the others. I would like to get to know them better. I am sure they would be so much fun to be around and learn from. Grace especially makes sure to give me a hug on her way past. I appreciate this. :-)

Other than work, I've been doing a lot of studying... praying... making decisions... teaching... lesson prep... Thinking about walls. Walls around our hearts. Not just walls to keep us safe from others but walls to keep us safe from ourselves. Walls that are positive. Walls that are negative. More on that later, I hope.

Off to clean a bathroom and practice the piano... and study the driver's ed. I also want to watch Ponyo this evening so I can give Jesse back his movies.. so much to do! Pray for me. :-) I need it.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Thought of tonight:

I want God's will above all else because my life is nothing without Him.

Regardless of what life holds for me, I will be happy. Because I am His and His love is mine.

There are moments when I am afraid of the future, but then I realize I have nothing to fear. He loves me.

Ok. So that's three thoughts. ;-)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Things Unseen

I believe in God like I believe in the sun rise. Not because I can see it, but because I can see all that it touches.
-- C. S. Lewis

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Joys of Now

Yesterday morning somewhere between 5:00 and 7:30 (at which time my alarm clock rang) I had this interesting discovery:

I have been so caught up in trying to change people's lives for the better that I have forgotten about simply enjoying people for who they are. They all have their special qualities; all give me thoughts to think; humorous moments to laugh about; memories to treasure...

So around 9 am yesterday morning, I went into DQ, not knowing what the day was going to hold. I was nervous  but I realized that God had been in those thoughts I had been thinking earlier. I decided to do my best, yes! however, I was going to make very sure I enjoyed myself thoroughly in the process. Regardless of what happened.

My job at DQ is creating ice-cream cakes. I would like to reassure you that my first cakes are nothing to be excited over. ;-) (I did one that I was really pleased with, which made me happy, but I know all creations after yesterday will be much more to my liking... experience :-)) But it was a good day, none-the-less. One of the most beautiful things was that DQ has hired natives of the Philippines. They are amazing people. They appreciate the work. Their joy is expressed in their diligence. Or maybe it was in the fact that they smiled most of the time.

When they were working within speaking distance, we chatted up a storm. They come from such different backgrounds than I do. And their minds work so differently than the typical western culture young people. All of them have left loved ones behind and you can see how lonely they are sometimes. But they all love Canada... except for the winters. This is amusing because when I asked Jane why she came to Canada, she said it was because she wanted to see the snow. I guess she didn't realize the pretty white stuff comes with cold. She said if she was to move back to the Philippines, that would be the reason.

So I spent the entire day just concentrating on my job, enjoying the people around me and talking to God. My job is in this little nook in which I was left to myself over 50% of the time so I had lots of time to think and pray. (Cake decorating only takes one part of my brain. ;-)) I was so uplifted and encouraged... resting in the love of my Savior.

It's interesting that after spending a day in much prayer, negativity fights hard for a place in my mind. I was almost asleep last night and suddenly, I was panicking over some things I did/said in the past two or three days. Things that may have come across wrong. Things that I had no clue about. Things that were not of my intention to say/do... and just as suddenly, "Don't worry about it." The past is the past. Now is what exists. All I can do is pray that God will bring the sunshine of Truth into the lives that are connected with mine.

Because my focus is Him. My focus is others. Right now.

(At camp, there was this adorable little gal ... her name is Hannah.)

Things We Say Wrong

For all the homeschoolers who read my blog..

Monday, October 18, 2010

Can You Believe I Forgot to Title This Blog Post?? ;)

So, the last performance went well and the audience cheered as usual. What is it about making people laugh ... and cry, as the case may be... that is so happy? :-) All I know is that it is so fulfilling when I hear people laugh about something I think is hilarious. And I love it when a beautiful moment comes and they are so silent you could hear a pin drop.

Did you know that improvisations can be painfully awkward or terribly funny? ;-)

But the show has ended. It seems like the time has simply flown by... what happened to the days when I was so mixed up that I didn't know where to stand or half the words to the songs (the half is debatable... Lol!) or the names of the other cast members? On Wednesday, it is supposed to begin all over again. The Dickens festival in Carlyle always includes a Christmas play and I fully intend to be part of it. :-)

But what else is happening today? Well, my job at Dairy Queen begins. Another answer to prayer. I have been counseled by people I trust to find a second job. This will accomplish several things: earn extra income for those rainy days, meet new people and gain working experience. I have a semi-busy, unpredictable schedule between teaching, friends and theater but I thought I'd give it a go... especially when Fr. Banga got this job at DQ for me. Lol. I do love him. ;-) 

Anyways, will definitely write more later. :-) 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Keep Smiling Through

Everyone in our production is amazing. I can't talk about them enough... they are so talented and obviously experienced. And yet, they are so very kind and understanding. It makes drama so much more reachable for me. My nerves are calmed because I know they will love me in spite of any mistakes I make. Even if I do really well, their opinion of me stays the same. I am Naomi. I stay Naomi. I love them. :-)

 Last night was an interesting night. I got nervous about an hour before we even went to the theater, then it passed and I was ok until right before we walked on stage. Even then, I wasn't nearly as nervous as I had been the first night. Lane kept telling me, "you need to panic... Panic before we start so you'll get over it.." but I never really did. I tried. Lol. I honestly did. :-)

My solo is towards the beginning of the first act which I am not crazy about because I'm never quite over my nerves before it comes time for me to sing. Nerves make my voice squeaky! But I'm finding that I can work with what I get, squeaky or smooth and still make it sound plausible. Just as long as I remember my words... Someone commented last night that they could see I was not nearly as frightened last night as I was the night before. This was true. Hehe. I really hope that today will be even better.

Michele's daughter Gillian came up from Regina to help with the stage make-up. When we got home, I was intending to hit bed pretty quick but the hunger pains set in when Michele mentioned she had pizza in the freezer... it turns out that Gillian and I have a favorite food in common. Hehehe.... ;-) So we talked and giggled and munched on deliciously beautiful pizza (we did cook it, FYI) until about 2:20am. And then, we got on FB and made sure all of our friends were as having as great of a time as we were (most of mine were... sleeping is among the best of good times. Lol).

I'm sure I woke up about 9:30 or so this morning but lazily drifted in and out of consciousness until 11. Only in my sickest days did I get up that late. But it's kind of fun and I must say, in between dozings, God and I got some good conversations in. :-) I think the best time to pray is right after we wake up because we've had time to process what has happened the day before... it's not so clouded as it was a few hours ago.

So that is a brief look into my life today. Now, I'd best get something to eat, my hair done and get ready to go to the theater. :-) The performance is at 2 pm today instead of at 7 pm. Your prayers are appreciated. :-)

Speaking of praying for people, some friends of mine have a little guy who needs a lot of prayer right now. (Some serious health issues.) Please lift them up today. :-)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

One Down... Two to Go :) :)

The show went very well! My corny jokes, the solo and the dancing were all completed without a hitch. :-) Everyone else did marvelously well too. Amazing what a difference an audience makes! Thank you so much for the prayers. :-)

Tomorrow is another day and another performance. Try to spend another restful day at home.

I am so exhausted. Lol. But when I got home, I immediately dug in the fridge for something to eat... ham sandwich on toast.

Happy. :-)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Tonight "We'll Meet Again"

After a over a month of practices, the first night of the show will be upon us in just a few hours. I feel incredibly excited and just a little more nervous. :-) It has been quite a journey to this point. Each practice was very intense and my character kept getting stuff piled on it! I never intended to land a solo like "White Cliffs of Dover" and I never thought I would be standing joyously on stage telling really, really corny jokes. But I will be tonight, Lord willing... and I am so thankful for all that has happened.

I began typing this post with the intention of asking you to pray I would not make mistakes this evening. But I realized that I was asking for reasons involving pride issues. Lol. So I will ask that if you feel led, please pray I will bless all those whose lives I touch... please pray also that I will glorify God, for I am His.

As I laugh at myself, may the rest of the world laugh with me. :-)

From the Queen of Randomness

I made one of my students giggle uncontrollably today.

This evening, I got to visit with one of my favorite peoples -- Kristy Wempe.

Tomorrow is show time. Just a little nervous.

Phoned my mother. She has a cough. :-(

I've had three students commit for piano lessons until the end of May. This makes me very happy!

Some people are so inspiring. You ache for them but you cheer as they walk on... with a smile.

I hope that I will be done with my braces the end of the year.

Monday I begin my new job at the local DQ. Details later.

Just found out some friends are expecting their first child in May. Talk about excited!

The first step in the acquisition of wisdom is silence, the second listening, the third memory, the fourth practice, the fifth teaching others. -- Solomon Ibn Gabriol

Did you know that all the struggles, the uncertainties and learning to trust when all seems hopeless is good for us? Recently I've come to realize anew how much God loves me. :-) It never gets old.

And on the topic of what is good for me... I have some of the most wonderful people in my life.

I made cheese bread for supper this evening.

Did you know put on British accents can change into just about anything? It's hysterical...

My bed calls me. Lol.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Chattering Feet

Yesterday, we went through the play twice. This is the first time everyone was in uniform. Wow. It made such a difference for me. I really felt like a true 40's honey with sober realities. Actually, come to think of it, maybe that wasn't so much the uniform as the nylons! (I used to hate them... now they're semi-ok. ;-))

It was interesting to watch the other performers do their songs and lines. They were so changed. Being in costume made them slip into character so much more easily. I realized how much I am blessed to be working with and learning from these seasoned veterans of the stage... 

The really interesting part came right away when I sat down to sing my solo. 
Observation #1: I get nervous for no reason. 
Observation #2: I should practice my song more.
Observation #3: It's interesting how your entire body can tremble and it doesn't effect your voice box. (I was shaking so badly, my feet were chattering on the floor.)
Observation #4: People can be so kind. 

The pianist played the opening bars of the song, I opened my mouth to sing... and promptly forgot all the words. We started over and I got two measures into it and for the life of  me couldn't remember this one line... Ironically it was, "I remember well...." No kidding. Lol!

At first I was feeling quite dreadful about it, but not for long. Firstly, I wasn't the only one to forget my words. Secondly, I wasn't the only one who got lost on my solo. The pianist skipped a page and we had to start the chorus again. She apologized but I assured her that she just made me feel better. :-) 

The second practice went much better. I practiced in between the two and when the time came, remembered all the words. I noticed that everyone else remembered their lines well and things went so much more smoothly! Except for that one part, in which someone improvised and caught me off guard... ;-) It was quite amusing. I shall tell you about it later. After the show. ;-) 

There are short-cuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them. --Vicki Baum

I found this quote and thought it interesting. Polka and I suddenly clicked yesterday and I finally realized how much fun it could be. ;-) When I am playing the piano, I feel such a joy... and that is what I suddenly felt. Like there were wings on my feet. :-) 

Teaching went well today! I was really happy with the progress of all of my students. One I was worried about because I didn't seem to be making any progress with her. Finally today I had a glimpse of her thought processes and I believe things will go on much better than they have been. :-)  

Anyway, I am really tired and tomorrow is going to be another big day so I will bid thee adieu and wish pleasant dreams to all.

Monday, October 11, 2010


(My sister Cilla and I are pals. February 2009)

I am thankful to be loved
I am thankful to love
I am thankful to be lovable. (Depending on the day. :-))

Thanksgiving is here, once again. I remember blogging past thanksgivings with lists of things to be thankful for and I could do that again. I could. But as I asked a friend the other day, "is there any real originality left in the world?" ;-)

So I thought I would post the top three things I was incredibly grateful for... and as it turns out, they're all about love. Love begins and ends all things; so do I.

My life has taken some interesting turns the past few months. I am being forced to examine my beliefs, my life, my friends, my relationships... ultimately, myself. What do I want from life? My goals? Where do I feel God is leading me? Yesterday, as I was (finally!) admitting something to myself that I had known for a very long time, I was frightened. It seemed like without that one thing to hold on to, especially right now, I would waver and fall. But I realized that I was being forced to turn to God alone for comfort and courage and strength. This is where I should have been all along.

I am thankful for realizations like these. I am thankful for being buffeted by the winds of life and grasping at the only thing I can. He is my rock and fortress, my comfort in time of trouble. He loves me.

What has been happening in my life lately?

Teaching. This you know. But you know not how wonderful it has been! I have ten students and I feel like I'm  seeing progress in almost all of them. Not just in piano playing but confidence in themselves and our relationship as a teacher/student/friend. It is so exciting watching them realize something about music. :-) The more I teach, the more passionate I am. These are the moments I cannot wait for the future to teach me how to be the best piano teacher in the world. ;-)

Michele's kids made it home for Thanksgiving and we have been having a blast. :-) Firstly, we played this amazing game: The Settlers of Catan. Before which I was warned to not mind being annihilated because that was most likely going to be my fate. However, these people took pity on me and between all their brains, I managed to come in third. I think. It's a very complicated game but I liked it...

Yesterday evening, we volunteered at The Happy Nun. Michele and Brie waitressed tables; Gillian and I washed dishes; Aaron and Will did bar/sound/buffing glasses. This restaurant is the most amazing place in the entire world. I kid you not. Owned and run by Don and Shannon  Shakotko, who are friends and amazing people all around. :-) If you're ever in Forget, you simply must check them out. Anyways, we were there until midnight and I didn't get into bed until around 2 am this morning.

Well, I would write more but voice in the kitchen indicate that everyone has shown their face but me. :-) So I will prepare myself for visuals (you probably wouldn't want to lay eyes on me about now... let's just say my appearance indicates a good sleep ;-)). Lol.

Two practices at the theater today as well as my third celebration of the Canadian Thanksgiving. :-) Life is busy as well as good! Thanks for the thoughts and prayers.

P.S. :-)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

"...I believe in pink.

I believe that laughing is the best
I believe in staying strong when
     everything seems to be going wrong.
I believe that the happiest girls
                     are the prettiest girls.
I believe that tomorrow is another day,
  & most importantly,
           I believe in miracles.
                     Audrey Hepburn

Friday, October 8, 2010

Love Check: All Apply Here

All you need in the world is love and laughter. That's all anybody needs. To have love in one hand and laughter in the other. 

I laugh. A lot. Mostly at people.

This morning I laughed, in two separate instances, at two friends, right in their faces. What was so funny that I had to burst into uncontrollable giggles?

I felt rather guilty afterwards but then, I realized something. Do you know what the most wonderful feeling in the world is? When I laugh at myself and realize that God is laughing with me. When God laughs, I know it's because He loves me. It is the same reason I laugh at those closest to me... Love.

So the moral of this blog post is this: If I don't laugh at you, I don't love you. ;-)

"Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning" (Psalm 30:5).

I believe that laughter is a language of God and that we can all live happily ever laughter. 


"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use."                          Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)

I just finished watching the movie Angels and Demons. Over the course of the film, they mentioned Galileo several times and it has brought back to me some of what I have read about this man. I need to read more before I have an opinion about him and his work... but at this moment, I felt a need to express my gratitude for all who have stood up to the majority for the sake of truth. They have changed the course of history but most importantly, shown others the path of life. May there be giants in every age.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Healer of Hearts

Sister Lucille asked me to play for the service they are conducting at the home today.. of course I said yes. :-) But half of the songs I really didn't know so I was practicing this morning. There are some really nice melodies and the words are always great... I was singing along and suddenly, the second verse of this song really grabbed my attention... the wording is interesting.

God broke my heart, but He healed me. Bitterness and hate do not feel comfortable in it any longer. My new heart is for "love alone".

Here I Am, Lord
(Dan Schutte)

I, the Lord of sea and sky,
I have heard my people cry.
All who dwell in dark and sin
My hand will save.
I who made the stars of night,
I will make their darkness bright.
Who will bear My light to them?
Whom shall I send?

I, the Lord of snow and rain, 
I have borne My people's pain.
I have wept for love of them.
They turn away.
I will break their hearts of stone,
give them hearts for love alone. 
I will speak My word to them.
Whom shall I send?

I, the Lord of wind and flame, 
I will tend the poor and lame.
I will set a feast for them.
My hand will save.
Finest bread I will provide
Till their hearts are satisfied.
I will give My life to them.
Whom shall I send?

Here I am, Lord,
Is it I, Lord?
I have heard You calling in the night.
I will go Lord,
If You lead me.
I will hold Your people in my heart. 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Naomi Dolls Up... among other subjects

Michele and I were talking...

Wait a minute. Did I...? Yes. I did. My last post began in a similar fashion. ;-) Have you begun to suspect that we talk a lot? :-)

Well, the lady has been a teacher for many years... and a good one. After listening and watching me teach one of my students, she gave me some advice that I am intending to follow to the best of my ability:

1: Dress up. Don't stay in my bunny hug and paint bespattered skirt, even if they are comfy and warm. (There *is* a heater in my studio which I can use...)

2: Make a solid lesson plan to follow for the half hour.

3: Get the student on the piano bench and playing. Less 'chit-chat the better'.

4: A grown-up spending a half hour of solid one on one time with a child will never be forgotten. "People almost always remember who their piano teacher was" for that reason.

5: Reward practice time; reward children for every fifteen minutes they practice, etc. (I'm still not sure what to do for my older students...)

6: Make my studio professional looking. Customize it. Make a special place for me and my student.

Not one of my students but a friend from camp. The one. The only. THOMAS!!!

One other thing I would love to do but I'm not sure how this is going to work out, is to get all of my students together and create a performance they can all do together. Each person has their own special part in it. But we shall see. For now, my heart is beating a little strangely over all I must accomplish this morning... and still have energy for this afternoon. ;-)

7: Pray for my students individually and ask for wisdom regarding how to teach them.

Cheers, my dears. May your day today be as enjoyable as mine...

Sunday, October 3, 2010

No Hermits Allowed

It is important to dream. It is important to have goals. 

Yes, two very blunt statements. What brought that on, you ask. And furthermore, what do goals and dreams have with the banishment of hermits? In time.. in time. Patience. Horses should be held in until 3/4 of the way through the post. ;-) (If you have no idea of what that last statement means, ask my sister Lydia.)

I was talking to Michele and my friend Jesse and they made me realize some things about myself. The first thing that I found out was that I have always been afraid to dream for fear of not being strong enough to realize it. Or maybe it was because I wondered if my dreams were from the selfishness in my heart. 

That realization brought me to another,  my lack of faith. God places desires into our hearts. He does not place them there to make us miserable.

For instance, one of my dreams is to get married to a wonderful man and have children someday. God gave me this desire so...

What can I do to prepare myself for this time? 

1: I can learn to be content with my single status until the time comes for it to change. To be joyful in the now... this moment, not waiting for tomorrow or next year. 

2: I can learn how to become efficient with money. How to become thrifty and wise in the spending of funds. (Note: *not* a miser. Just thrifty. ;-))

3: Behave in a way to all that will glorify God and make my future husband appreciate that I'm saving myself for him. And, show my children what a true lady acts like. 

4: Become closer to God so I can teach my children about Him and be the mother I should be. 

5: Learn how to support myself (both from the home and otherwise) so I am not completely dependent on the man I marry. (Note: Unless God worked a miracle in my heart, I would not marry a man who could/would not support me.)

6: Through this all, realizing that if God wants me to wait many years or just months, I can trust that He doeth all things well. 

Some days, I am completely overwhelmed with these six things. Honestly. So I step back and close my eyes to all of them except the first one. My relationship with God takes first place over anything else. Resting in Him and learning from Him is like getting my battery recharged.  

I certainly don't have it all figured out. I'm still in the deciphering stage. Lol. But things are coming clearer and I am feeling more fulfilled and at peace. I am happy. I am no longer a hermit in a crowd waiting for life to catch up to me. (Well, maybe just a little bit of a hermit. It's kind of a fun status to hold. ;-) j/k) My newly created goals have brought me out of my shell and given me new purpose.

What are some of your goals? You don't have to answer that question out loud. But ask yourself. Especially you girls. What do you feel God wants for you? Are you preparing for it? Don't fall into the lie that girls are good for nothing but marriage and kids. Maybe God wants you to serve somewhere else. Remember Ruth and Priscilla... read Proverbs 31 again with open eyes. Deborah is almost painfully awesome for me. None of them simply sat at home and waited for life to come find them. No, some of them went and found it while others kept busy until it did find them. But none of them were unproductive.

And guys... yes, I mean you and you and you. :-) What are you doing to grow up? We need you to be men. What does God want from your life?

There is no need for us to be adrift. It isn't necessary. It isn't biblical. We need to have dreams. We need to have goals. 

Some of my other goals:
Driver's licence.
Being the best piano teacher.
Being the best pianist that my abilities will allow.
The best, most loyal, supportive friend to all my friends.
Being someone people can trust.
Keeping my eyes on God and drawing closer to Him.
Write a book. Or two. 
Compose music.
Always being involved in theater.
Being responsible in every aspect of my life.
Making time for all the children who cross my path.

I would love to read about your goals and how you are preparing... if you would like to share. :-) I am all ears!! 

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Looking Back...

 ...when ads were works of art

I appreciate her hair. 
The cat...
P.S. She has a ring on her finger; possibly the wrong hand... ;-) 
Regardless, hubbys *do* bring their wives chocolate.

Friday, October 1, 2010

A Little Nonsense

They say when you have nothing to say, you shouldn't say it. But I'm going to anyhow. ;-)

1: I am enjoying being lazy today.

2: I am also enjoying Natural Bakery Canadian Rye Bread. I think it's the best bread ever. Soooo delicious.

3: Michele whisked the rest of my cookies out of the house this afternoon to give to people. It's a good thing too because I had cravings for chocolate this morning and to be alone in the house with *it* sitting on the counter is not wise.

4: This morning, I found out what I needed to begin the process for acquiring my driver's license.

5: I spelled "acquired" correctly first try. So happy. :-)

6: I watched 3 Hayao Miyazaki films this afternoon: My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki's Delivery Service and Porco Rosso. Courtesy of my friend Jesse. So thankful to have had a chance to encounter these tales and learn from them. For those of you who are interested in the details of story making, watch this man's films. These are great stories.

7: I should go eat supper.

8: I had a blueberry smoothie with my ham sandwich at dinner. It settled wonderfully.

9: I feel good right now.

10: I am anxious to get completely better so I can dig into the Nutella in the cupboard. ;-)

11: I am fulfilled at this moment. There is Someone who can satisfy all your longings and overflow your heart with joy.

12: I love making lists... especially ones that are partly serious and partly nonsensical!