Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas to one and all:

Take Joy

I wanted to keep this very simple as I have encountered someone just in the past week who was facing the prospect of being homeless over Christmas. I had met with him in the cafeteria of St. Peter's Abby just before I went to take many spectacular pictures outdoors. Carl called the following evening to ask me about a place to stay. I was not able to give him anything solid in the way of a place as we are leaving for a few days over Christmas. I did try to make a couple of suggestions and passed him, I believe, to the best possible resource in the community. I have no idea if contact was made. All I am able to do at this time is pray. I feel confident that is all required of me at this time.
Also the funeral of a dear friend of the pastor that will be doing the Christmas Eve service at our country Church tonight was held just this morning.
I have encountered a number of people who suffer from loneliness or trauma over the past months.

I give thanks for the many rich blessings granted to me, for the many angels around me.

Angels be with you at this Christmas time and through the coming years.
Wendy XO

Thursday, December 20, 2007

welcome winter:
On this official first day of winter I cannot help but reflect on winters past as our daughter was growing and we held "welcome winter" parties. I got the idea from a book I read that was written by missionaries who wrote of Christmas celebrations in countries to which they had been missionaries. Certainly the commercial aspect was de-emphasized. Just a couple of things I remember them suggesting were the ideas of no toys that were violent in nature and no toys that were requiring batteries. Wow - practically impossible these days. For younger children it makes much better sense. I still go with the idea of letting them use their own imaginations.
The idea that really caught my attention was that of trying to spread out Christmas and the entire season and not making it into a one day celebration. Saint Nicolas day is celebrated in Humboldt typically with a visit and treat bags for the children. This year there was actually a parade. I have no idea how that turned out because the day was bitterly cold. Our very spoiled (I mean privileged) daughter received a gift from St. Nik for many years. I actually had something for her this year too but she happened to be in a really terrible mood after school so I chose to have St. Nik not visit this year. After all she is 16 years old. She was quite perturbed when I pointed out that it was St. Nik day and he had not left her anything.
The authours also wrote about celebrating the twelve days of Christmas referring to the days beginning on December 25, and after Christmas leading to Epiphany. One year we gave our daughter, Cat, little gifts for each of the 12 days of Christmas. We also for many years did advent candles, not in a wreath but in a basket.
The welcome winter party was suggested for the first day of winter, December 20. Because it is the shortest day of the year candles were recommended. We had great celebrations on these occasions. If the weather was decently warm we had the festivities outside. If it was very dreadfully cold or stormy we met inside. We had babies some years together with other ages . Games and popcorn were typical. Apple cider was frequently prepared. Seems to me one year we had about 30 people. Sigh. These days I shy from inviting one or two people at any time. But that's another story.
I nearly forgot to draw your attention also to this story written by my poet friend Tom Sketching. It fits so aptly with what I am trying to say: Christmas in the Yucatan.

In my tendency to look for time to be still and contemplate during this advent season, I took a little excursion yesterday to St. Pete's at Muenster. I was going to visit a friend but also took the opportunity to walk in the beautiful grounds. The trees are fabulous and the angels must have been with me because I'd planned the day about a week previously. Yesterday happened to be a most glorious sun drenched day while we have been blessed with much cloud and fog otherwise. It was also probably one of the most warm days in the past six- eight weeks. And so I snapped away. Especially peaceful moments came when the chickadees and a nuthatch or two came very close by. It is a favourite visiting place for many folk that love nature and the critters. The birds frequently are fed by the visitors. While I had run out of time to bring food along for them, I certainly encountered the birds. I was not really able to get photos however. They preferred to sit on my hat, the camera or the tripod. One seemed to want to give me a kiss. God was truly speaking to me yesterday.
Please enjoy some of the beauty I encountered while you watch this slideshow. Please click on "original view" in top right side.

Angels be with you,
Wendy

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Let angels light the way:

Let angels

As Christmas is drawing ever nearer I am tending to slow down, procrastinate, even more. I have the Christmas cards nearly done. As I have chosen to make many of them I need the extra pictures to be picked up and I need a new colour ink cartridge to print the backs of the cards.
I have a difficult letter to write also - one that I am required to do every year for the past fifteen.
I am having somewhat of an extra difficult time dealing with life as I am having very little time to be creative. I do have a whack of photos to show you, post, create another slideshow from, but alas I need to finish some of these other projects first. I also have a journal page started, but I must stay away from it as it is only one more way to procrastinate from that which needs doing.

And so I will pray for the angels to light the way, guide me, as I try to do those few things which I make myself do, for Christmas. I will also continue to take time for myself, to be still, listen for the voice of God as I treat myself with a massage, a time with Naomi, some time with my immediate family in a traditional overnight stay at the Travelodge, time for more photos and tea with a friend.

And so for you dear friends, may you let angels light the way at this time of advent, this time just before the equinox.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Waiting and watching, watching and waiting for the newborn King. As I prepare for the glorious birthday - the baby Jesus - I look about me at all the beauty, the preparations for His coming. I can't help but rejoice.
Please enjoy my Christmas dreams slide show. Remember to click on "original view" on the top right side.
Many of the pictures are from our local florist, gift shop, and greenhouse called Misty Gardens. It is one of my favourite places to visit in Humboldt.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Between concerts:

bring a torch Jeannette Isabella

And just a few flat canvases on which I slapped a bit of paint. I hope to have a tiny bit more time for creating this week, between Christmas preparations that is. Yikes.


touched with a gentle



Thursday, December 6, 2007

BRRRR.
It's been cold. It's been cloudy. It's been snowing.

It's time to come in?

I, well, I have been dragging my feet. I could be doing this and I could be doing that, but, sigh. I haven't been doing much of anything. I suppose if I took inventory I could think of a few things, but once again the grey skies would desire to pull me down.

That's alright. I love Christmas. I love creating.

Christmas in the air

Now that I've got my table and floors all spread out with supplies, I guess I'll trip over it if I try to go anywhere : ) And, I remember. I found the book in which I had done some gluing. It was under a stack of other books to weight it down. I had forgotten what was there. I lifted the books - tah-dah. YES! I can make a very unique - umm - surprise.

I'm still dreaming on, and investigating etsy. In the meantime I discovered this afternoon I've been blogged. That was very cool. My art on top of the writing seems to be catching. First one of my pages was chosen for the button of the flickr "journal junk" group. On the weekend I was asked if the same button could go on the new "journal junk" blog. Whoo-hoo. And now this new avenue. I love it. Thanks Isabella.

The weekend may not allow much time for creating as our St. Peter's Chorus concerts are tomorrow night and Sunday afternoon. This takes time and energy but is something I definitely love to do. Here are a couple of the numbers we'll be singing. We don't do them quite so well, but do very fine, considering.
Hosanna
Prayer of the children:



For now I must remember, remember to take time:

advent preparations

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Another wonderful day and special reason to love life. Today is Greg's and my 25th wedding anniversary. The top picture is from last Saturday. The ones of Greg on the motorbike are from just before I met him.

You were “in pursuit”.

You were being teased, pushed.
You didn’t care.

I - well, I was quite naïve (I think).
I was in this little black number.
It had a lace back.
Naïve.
But I was basking in the attention.
Enjoying your being “pushed”.

Who was naïve?


Another Christmas party, another time with my friend.
Only thing - I was hardly with my friend. You
seemed “dark”, somewhat threatening, though dirty blond
and blue eyed. I had been overprotected, mostly unaware
of the world about me. Perhaps this was the time
for some excitement, a bit of “life on the edge”. Pursuit,
magnetism – it happened that night. I was thrilled.
I was the centre of attention.
The “little black number” probably helped. Though not
so long, my legs were, I guess, quite slim. I had overheard
some young lads another time commenting on my ankles.
Yes, my feet are narrow.
The magic – people noted for years after, that we liked
to hold hands. Future Christmas parties brought teasing,
we were usually the first ones to leave.
Restaurant appearances with friends, there was always
the question of whether we wanted a table to ourselves.
Our friends could sense the passion. Sometimes
we opted for the solitude of a table in a far off corner.

These scanned photos are from 25 years ago, our wedding.

If anyone were to ask how we've lasted through these years my first response, in one word, would be prayer. When I think about the challenges we've been through, the happy times, the difficult times, the exciting times, the boring times, the agreeable times and the not so, prayer has been always with us. I guess what helped me to realize this is when I paused to think of my father's words from Saturday when a group of us had gathered together to celebrate this special occasion. Greg's oldest brother, Nik, had said a few words to commemorate the event. He'd asked if there was anyone else wishing to speak. No one said anything. A bit later my father spoke up. I tensed. Dad has been struggling with memory difficulties in the past few years. In the past summer there was a space of time when I, youngest, was being not appreciated by my wonderful, learned father. It was a short lapse. Yet most of us wondered what my dad would say on this day. He had very kind words. He had wise words. His true self shone through. I felt all that love glowing within, the love which had always been there.
About prayer - I am told of the time when Dad was traveling with a pastor friend. He's had many wise, spiritual, knowledgeable friends, whose company helped him to be the scholar he was, even though he only had a grade eight education in the formal sense. On this particular occasion he was expressing concern of who his daughter might marry someday. When I hear this story I am reminded of all the many people who have included me, my family, my challenges in prayer. I am quite certain that were it not for the faith, the hope, which I hold and have been surrounded with all my life, I would not have been able to celebrate this wonderful marriage, this wonderful life. So if you have ever prayed for me and mine, I want to thank you. If you have ever sent angels or been an angel, as so many have, I want to thank you.



The above photo is from December 5, 1982. It was taken before we departed for our honeymoon in Hawaii.
On this day, Greg and I will not be doing anything terribly celebratory. We will continue to glow, however, in the light of our love. Know we would not be here without prayer. Prayer has been that which made our love grow, before we had even met and will continue through the coming years.

Angels be with you,
Wendy XO
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