Tuesday, December 31, 2013

my favourite things/ the old year

this life so blessed
this year so deep and wide
filled to overflowing
with gratefulness


a new grandbaby
a wedding
a new son
three more grandbabas
such blessed and happy children
hearts overflowing

a house that love built
a son
a carpenter son

building a home to bless

God has given contented hearts
Godliness with contentment is great joy

I see this
and my smile is very broad

Grace has been given so abundantly
This God gift
I stand in awe

this old year

my favourite things

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

my favourite things/ Autumn colours scattered

the Autumn colours
lay scattered all around

a dusting of snow gives covering
to its once brilliance

I lay mulling over this
Cat Ole stretched out
across me
warm and caught up in this season of rest
garden put away
tools in the shed
food in the cellar
sawmill under shelter
home fires burning

it is a black and white world out there again
except for the earthy subtleties one must search for
the lichens and mosses
and softly muted branches growing
close to the ground
a few rosehips
for the
sojourning grouse
through the
coming winter

but there emblazoned
bright in the window
shines all the stained glass

the morning light fixating it
bold and glorious
against this
and white

they have always hung there in the window

now that the summer glory around them has faded
I see their glory

I am praying for life today

we are a window 

we see out at the world
the world looks in

there is the Spring and Summer glory
and the Autumn brilliance
and as Autumn slips into Winter
our life begins to fade
God is the stained glass that becomes emblazoned

we sing Amazing grace
we remember hope
we have faith in the unseen future
of life beyond these muted fadings of life
of a glory that outshines
all others

Love comes to us all
and takes us Home

in its season

when He is ready

Our life will be taken up with His
and shine in all its brilliance
because at that moment
we will see Him as He is
and we will become like Him
a stained glass
emblazoned pure
with His enduring Love
and grace shining
brilliant and beautiful
against our old
and fading

When He has tried us
we shall come forth as Gold

our rest will be complete
Cat Ole stretched out across me
Autumn colours scattered

my favourite things

Friday, November 8, 2013

my favourite things/ sighs wrapped with ribbons

I miss these days
young ones sprawled everywhere
laughter spilling over
hugs a plenty

there will be four
little ones
and with Bethany's...


God knows what my sighs say
and He gives patience
and holds this love
wanting to spill out
holds it
makes it ready
takes my antsiness
and squiggles
and helps me wait

I am  not very good at this waiting
I see too plainly
the fun we can have

even this keeps me smiling
as I wait

Wyatt will be seeing his first Christmas tree soon
seeing all the joy
knowing all the love
little St Nicky will be spending his second Christmas
where love is
it will be wrapped in each heart
around their tree

I want to be there
to see all the ribbons
and hearts opened
and love pouring out

Beth said
if you make the gingerbread cookies now
and send them
they will be yummy and stale by Christmas

love in a box

I want to see the ribbons pulled
and smiles leaking out

God knows my sighs
and holds these happy tears
these waiting and longing tears
these missing you tears

He holds them all

When the Love box is opened
the tears come out all smiles
and laughter

wrapped with ribbons

my favourite things

Thursday, October 17, 2013

my favourite things/ to know you

To know you 
dear Kieran
to love you dear boy

If I hadn't prayed with my little girl
on those nights Bosnia was at war
when she would awake and sob
so afraid it would come here
and that she might die before she married and had children
I told her...

It is not here dear Shoshi
the war is a long ways off
but there are children there
in Bosnia
who need us to pray for them
they may not live to be married
they may not live to have children
let's pray for them...

she had no more nightmares of her own
but she would wake
and pray for the children
in other lands

who might not grow old
because of war
or sickness
or poverty

she wanted an orphanage
she wanted the God in her heart
to take her to a land where she was needed
to find the children that might
need her heart of God love

Because of this great yearning
we all came to Africa
Because of this spark of hope
to be a difference for someone
we ventured a far off

We came to see Shoshi's Africa
South Africa
The Love of Christ Ministries
Thea Jarvis
her marvelous family


every day was a gift of life for him
a heart not strong enough to raise a growing boy

but he grew

not strong
but still
he grew

and when a boy makes 14
you think well why not 16
or 20
or forever

on his mama's birthday
he said how he would be home after school
to make a birthday tea
with a smile off to school he went

I don't like calls home

he has collapsed
they told Thea
and when she got there
Kieran had already
taken angel flight home
to the arms of Jesus

It doesn't seem right
this not growing old

I would not have known this boy
would not have known my love for him

if there had not been a war in Bosnia

if I had not prayed with one little girl
full of fear and tears

Love wanders over the miles
it has no distance that will keep it away
it penetrates fearful hearts
and broken spirits

it always finds a way to capture
a needy heart
to heal a broken one

This Jesus who holds Kieran
also holds me

I cannot understand the veil that hangs between life and death
but I know who is both there and here
and holds us each one

One day our eyes will see plainly
our hearts will no longer fear
His perfect love will
bring us all home

Kieran has gone ahead
and will be
dear friends

All tears and sorrow will be gone on that great day of rejoicing
our hope of glory

my favourite things

Monday, October 14, 2013

my favourite things/ Thanksgiving

I will enter His gates with Thanksgiving in my heart
I will enter His courts with praise
I will say this is the day that the Lord hath made
I will rejoice for He has made me glad

all day
when I rise
when I lift up my countenance through the day
when I lay me down to sleep

I love to be thankful

it is never tiresome

This is the day I love every year
but I love most to live it every day

He has given me so much

this is my everyday gift back to Him
to give thanks

my Jesus
my Redeemer
my Friend
my Ever Faithful One
my Strength
my Deliverer
my Defender    
my Provider
my King
my Eternal One
my Father
my Everything

I am ever thankful

my Today Yesterday and Forever
my Hope of Glory
my All in All
my New Wine
my Kinsman Redeemer
my Saving One
my God
my Immanuel
my Vine Husbandman
my Indescribable One
my Name Above All Names
my Great and Holy One

today we awoke with the sunshine
shared an awesome breakfast together
put in a window
in the house love built

we went to church
with joy in our hearts
and came back fuller

we shared Bobbie's favourite meal
a siesta
and then sawed wood
beautiful 2X6's

all around us Your beauty
golden leaves dancing to the earth
warm sun to dry our puddles
enough laughter to call our cup full
strength to bake a cake for a neighbour
and hotsauce enough for the winter

another meal shared
and all the while thankful
that we have been so blessed
enough to give away
always enough
this overflowing of Your good gifts

ever thankful


my favourite things

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

my favourite things/ birthdays again and again

I never tire
of this again and again
one year added to another
another cake
that makes 27
more candles
makes me smile to see them covered in chocolate flavoured whipping cream
a baby this year to celebrate with them
my Bethany so blessed
to bless her man

last year
we celebrated together
across the Rockies
past the Prairies

this year
his parents have them together
all wrapped in love
and smiles
baby Wyatt
I can see his eyes sparkle
and his enduring smile
And mama Beth quiet and content
and Stephen bursting
for all the love

such joy this thing of having family
my heart swells
to see how God
puts the pieces of our lives together
and wraps and intwines each  memory
with threads and moments of pure joy
just enough hope and faith to endure the storms
and enough grace to prove
that nothing can separate us
from this Love of God

His gift to us

I know you will celebrate well
this new year of life
dear son

I love calling you son

you are like a strong tree
planted by the waters

He makes you a shelter for
Beth and Wyatt

and He shelters you all~
in His Love

Happy Birthday
again and again

we love you

(some of the Autumn here on your birthday time)

My favourite things ~

Friday, September 20, 2013

my favourite things/ this being grateful, this being joyous, this feeling happy, this fullness

How can I not

this being grateful

I have marvelous children
hearts so loving
kindness spilling over like harvest seeds
a home being built and knit together with love overflowing
a heart finding kidlets that were just meant to be found
a man to stand with me and watch God build all this joy

the moon has been filling up these past days
and it too is spilling over this beautious joy
that lifts
and heals
and pulls one on
towards the Light
and hope
and believing
for all He is


He is always enough

my sigh is satisfied
it slides out long and soft
and floats on the morning mist

this happy spills out
and even the beastlies catch it
and the barnyard sounds are content
and the air is full
and my heart is fine

this perfect peace

this fullness

my favourite things

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

my favourite things/ fireflies in the night

we had a cooling rain

the garden happy
seeds sprouting
my heart singing

all was quiet walking home
two full milk buckets
in hand
Sam and Blue dogs quiet
the goats settled in and quiet
the horses sheltered and fed
the song of the robins silent
while they sleep
yesterdays showing off their young
all done
fledgling celebration
young sheltered and settled for the night
the hoot owls quiet
the train quiet
the coyotes and wolves silent

the cloud cover was embracing
a deep breath
arms stretched to the heavens
another breath
long and slow
prayers lifted to the Keeper
my heart quieted

in the damp thickness of the air
there just wasn't a lot to see
night settled snug around me
~when there it was
the dance of the fireflies had begun
little sparks in the night

they celebrate the King
and His keeping us well
though the storms rage around us
He is there to bring us through it
and like the little fireflies
He shines His light for us to see
He leads the way
out of the storm
and always

some go early

the dance of the

fireflies in the night

my favourite things

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

my favourite things/ way after the storm

we were wet
through and through
through to the bone
sopping wet

this explains most days lately
out on the farm
caught in the forest
pulling out trees
at the millsite
milking goats
washing logs
goat herding
peeling logs
dropping hay
just walking
tilling the garden

there had been thunder
each day
and the downfalls
dogs and cats they say
more like elephants

here I was
walking across
the grass pasture
to put a halter on Celina
who was waiting at her gate
my feet making funny squish sqweak sounds
my crocks you know
the ones that let the water in
the ones with holes
my socks were collected at the toes

I hadn't noticed the amazing warmth on my back until just that moment
nor had I noticed the brilliance of the green all around me
nor had I heard the glory song of the sparrows and robins

until that moment

it was overload of all these great things...
that took my thoughts off the storm
a storm which had passed without my noticing

Though I was wet to the core
I was suddenly steaming
and the warmth felt like a God hug
and the song He was singing to me
was like a heaven lullaby
sent down by a dove

There was no place so beautiful as that spot of grass
on which I stood
In all the world
there was no place
I would rather have been

I stopped to embrace this gift
and then laughing
brought out my beautiful mare
we jogged lightly across the field
she felt it too

this feeling good

way after the storm

my favourite things

Monday, June 17, 2013

my favourite things/ trees

This boy of mine

Father's Day
a slow wake up
sun golden through the windows
just thanking God for all the new and old fathers in our family
we had just mentioned Beth's Stephen
when the phone rang
and there was Bethany
joyous and bringing
greetings to her 'dad'
we had to laugh at the perfect timing

there was a special lift to Eduardo's mood
spunk and vitality suddenly appeared
the feeling good ...this being remembered...

Shoshanna left her Skype message for daddy

Jedaiah made light and fluffy with a bit of soft crunch

just perfect

we sat in church together
the only ones for Sunday School
which instead was Jedaiah and I chillin
while Daddy practiced his guitar and hymns for the service

It was just perfect

A barbecue after church
after all the praying
after all the singing
all the Daddy Day stories
Art and Elaine dear on our hearts
the two so weak and feeble today
her caring for him
him not ready to leave her
the two so tired trying
but not giving up
such perfect love

chairs set in the grass
hamburgers and salads filling plates
friendship flowing
and when there were only two hamburgers left
two guests arrived who had come earlier and not found us yet there

so instead they had visited
'a neighbour'
a man whose children have grown and gone
he had waited for the phone call
of 'Dad, I remembered you'
he had started the barbecue and had food all ready
~but his children did not call
and his children did not come

our two church guests felt led to visit this man
they sat at 'his' barbecue
they shared 'his' friendship
they filled the gap
with their laughter

it is what good neighbours do

then they came to us
and our happy little community
our yummy barbecue lunch
they made doggy bags for their supper
and we sat warm in the sun together
talking old times and new
and of all our Father's many blessings

it was perfect

to be where God needs us to be

to encourage the downhearted
to bring hope to the discouraged
to share laughter
to weep with those who weep
to know that a Father in Heaven
has a plan
to rekindle
an image that long ago was lost
but now is refurbished in his Beloved Son

just perfect

we walked our trails today
we found all the trees which had been blown over by the great wind gusts these past months

they lay scattered over each other
they once held each other up
it was what friendships do

hold each other up

but all is not lost
it is 'these' trees that we need to build a home
these fallen ones
these ones tried through the storm

they will be milled on our little portable sawmill
and lovingly shaped into posts and beams
and roof timbers and walls

they will be a shelter for family
it will be a refuge for friends
for neighbours
a joy place
a safe place
a fun place

these disappointment
falling through the cracks
being forgotten
being challenged and failing
being broken

none of this really matters to the Father~ in a bad sense
all of it really matters to our Father~ in the good sense
He was there when it happened to His Son

His plan is to refurbish

We fit perfectly into His plan just as we are

there is always Hope

mixed with Faith
and Love
it builds a Home

Fallen trees
tried through the storms
in the hands of a Master
will build a Home


my favourite things

Thursday, June 13, 2013

my favourite things/ a pancake birthday

she got to choose
any meal
a home cooked meal
whatever she wanted

a birthday girl
six years old
Oh Treasure

she went to bed so excited
and I am sure her dreams were filled
with tables of all her favourite foods
I am certain her dreams were filled
with squeals of pure delight
clapped hands
birthday singing
ice cream

six of them

this little girl
is a dancer
she runs
and climbs rock walls
she falls and says she is fine
she draws and paints
tells wonderful stories
she loves a party

"Mom, I want pancakes... O joy... pancakes please"

of all meals
it will be pancakes
and peanut butter
syrup from Canada for some others
jam for some
whipping cream and strawberries for mom

there is an excitement about pancakes
which makes everyone happy

Sihle loves laughter
her birthday will be filled with it
inside and out
wrapped in pretty paper
and with every card
laughter will roll around the room
leak out of every seam
and fill her little girl heart

this Gramma will sneak a Skype peak
will sing her birthday song

will hear 'her' story
and see all the smiles

Nomusa said it was a surprise
her present and Mario's

this little treasure
worth everything to the Father

God set a big love into a woman's ordinary heart
it leaked out and touched a little baby
she knew she could not live without this little one
and another one
and another
and one more

she told me she has cared for hundreds of infants
and loved them all
but something tangled in her heart of hearts
that wouldn't let go of a certain four

They will all get a birthday meal one day
and one day Lord willing
it will be at Gramma's
so I can catch all these leaky giggles
that wrap these kids up in so much love
in a forever family

Sihle was much younger
when she said her daddy was God
and they all said their heart mommy was my Shoshi

just last week they said
in Canada
in our new home Uncle is building for us
Grampa and Gramma
and all our friends
are building for us
~it will be the house Love built~
can we walk to Gramma's?
can Gramma come to our house for a sleep over?

I will make them pancakes
and see all their leaky giggles
and feel all their leaky love

a pancake birthday

my favourite things

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

my favourite things/ this little person

his photo
sits on my desktop

something deep within me understands
what every grandmother knows

he is perfect
just as is
and loved
completely cherished
and somehow
this smile never really leaves my face

when I need some encouragement
I just sit and look again
and this heart swells up full
and nothing else quite matters

he is perfect
just as is

and this grandmother's love
will only grow more fond
as she watches
breadth of days added
and smiles scattered
and giggles filling the hours
and discoverings
and fun
some tears
and all that love wrapped up
in mama papa hugs
and somewhere
a special spot

for a gramma
who will always love
this little person

just as is

my favourite things

Thursday, May 30, 2013

my favourite things/ storms

it was outrageous
how the sky fell
nothing could hold on to the leaves

not even tent caterpillars

a curtain of wetness
cast furioiusly across the farm
the sound deafening
a half hour strong
leaving puddles
and new rivlets
and a cleansing
in its wake

then the calm

a lovely thing
to see the fluorescent greens
the leaves dancing and joyous again
and somehow the thought of them
from the

this set my heart to dancing

I had taken photos today
before the storm
in case all the leaves vanished by tomorrow
and things might became as a barren winter
once more

but now the storm
has come

and left the leaves

the birds were still singing
My heart was singing
with them

my favourite things

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

my favourite things/ first flights

[ First ever flight of two common goldeneye ducks.  Check out other amazing photos by :

http://naturen-ar-fantastisk.blogspot.ca/p/insekternas-fantastiska-varld.html ]

I have often wondered
how the ducklings got to the ground

each year in the big lightning struck Cottonwood
down in Pete and Marie's hay field
a mama duck plants a nest
as high up as high can go

the hole in the tree 

is generous
the grass around 

soft enough
and each year I just shake my head
and marvel
at the pair's return
and persistent building
in such a high rise

I have never been there to see them come out

...the ducklings...
to see them fall
like baby robins

who topple out of their nests
and usually land harmlessly
my hope was always that they would land harmlessly
each year I would breathe a little prayer

I mean
have you ever seen their fat little bodies and their miniature wings?

I shake my head as I walk away each year
and marvel

and now this  photo

35 years I have marvelled
but never seen

35 years I have looked at the lightning struck tree
and wondered if a family would return

and when they do
I simply marvel

no less today

I mean
just look at the delight 

in those little ducklings
and their first flight

it is the same joy
I saw in Jedaiah's eyes after Bethany had led him
up to the high tower at Simon Fraser Pool
and he had jumped
taken first flight
(he wasn't yet two)
(his joy was like these ducklings)
over and over again
he would jump
for the pure joy 

of falling

now he sky dives

these ducklings will take their
thousand mile migration
come fall
and I am sure what brings them back each Spring
will be the memory


their first flight


I still marvel
but now I smile...

first flights
my favouite things

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

my favourite things/joy cometh in the morning

we need joy
around this world
it seems

so much is falling apart
cities and roads crushed and sinking
fires burning
waters rising
children hungry
lives shattered and taken
and others tarnished by sin's ravages
the pain inflicted so deep
I'm off to milk
I'm off to sit bent low on bended knee
my head sunk in 12 goat flanks
steamy milk rising to meet these tears
long stained for all who weep
their loved ones hurt or lost
some confused and crushed
by death
or sin's dark stain
the night so dark
it chokes
and fear takes
Weeping may last through the night
but joy cometh in the morning

our wedding verse
presented to us by an uninvited couple
who wanted to come and bless us anyways

did they have any idea this verse would guard our hearts
and help us press on 36 years now

I keep trying to understand its power
all I know is that
in the morning
something is always new
and though the pain is still there
hope has made it through
~fear has fled
night has passed
and with the day
our hope's

I'm off to milk
and weep
and pray
that joy
may come
joy cometh in the morning
it is one of
my favourite things

Monday, May 20, 2013

my favourite things/ this growing old together

I love that it comes every year
the reminder of a promise
a love vow kept

I love our grey hair
the wrinkle lines
the eyes fading
the strength waning

we were young then
hadn't proven love
folks just watched and waited
we lived

and now that love is tested
we laugh more
we know it doesn't have to ever really break
the soft heart keeps it alive

keeps the heart soft

this is what I have learned
that I may choose life
but it is God who gives strength of days
I may choose love
but it is God who gives understanding
I may choose to be faithful
but it is God who sends away the darkness
so that in the light we may grow old
in Him we grow gloriously wrinkled
and aged together
I have learned that though the body age
the spirit stays eternally young
and we can learn not to be afraid
of being set free

I have learned that time shared
is proof that love does everything it was ever meant to do
that love is everything it was ever meant to be
that love heals broken moments
that love lifts shared prayers
that love binds longing hearts
that love frees soaring spirits

that growing old 'together'
is a 'love' gift
from a very Old Father
who before time ever was
planned that we His children
should share eternity with Him
and it is here
in this holy union
that we learn the joy
of all heaven could ever hold

He gives us so much

it has really only just begun

this growing old together
we will laugh through all eternity
we learn how here

this growing old together

my favourite things

Sunday, May 19, 2013

my favourite things/ double rainbows and the pot of gold

I came out of the barn
wiped my sweaty brow
took up my two full buckets of milk
and looked up from my scuffed shoes to the path home
it was still breathtaking

When I had come out to milk the goats
they were all still roaming in the new pasture
fresh green grass like soft velvet
beneath their hooves
the sound of their munch munching
had stopped me
I had laid down my buckets
decidedly sat there against the barn
and watched

twenty goats encased in a double rainbow
stretched from NorthEast to NorthWest
the mist still drizzling over them
100 meters away I stood in dryness
the sky above me blue and rich with dotted cotton
the sun parading down against the horizon behind me
the glow golden and warm against my beastlies
the sky above them soft gray
the rainbows' glowing against this soft paynes gray
the new leaves of the poplars
very much alive
vibrant on the darkened backdrop

I could almost see the Master painting
I stood in silent awe

I just watched
then closed my eyes and just listened
then shut out everything and just felt the mist begin to sway my way
I remember the first day I smelled Spring
the day Winter just slipped away
the one snow pile on the northside of the barn
the only reminder of the very long rest
the dogs seeking it out for refreshment
a reminder that I was not the only one sad to see its beauty slip away

but now

now I am breathless
the rainbow is iridescent
this indigo starting and coming up again then again
I memorize the colours
I try to remember how kids paint its memory
blue into green
yellow into orange
red into royalty once more
then it is repeated above itself
arching God's promise above the land
of the living
God is with us

and for today
no battle here
though in the distance
I hear the thunder
today all is peace here
joy fills my heart

this moment is enough

I lift my face from my scuffed shoes
I can still see
double rainbows
and the pot
of gold

my favourite things

Friday, May 17, 2013

my favourite things/ He calls our name, we know Him

they were delightful
and dancing
in goatstyle
my heart right along with them

even old Mbali
the speckled one
ran young
my old soul

Spring Fever
is for

and still
when I called
they heard
they came

so like our Saviour's voice
our Shepherd
He knows us
we know Him
we hear His voice
and come

He says
come away
a little while
let not your heart be troubled
I tell you
in my Father's House area many mansions
I would not have told you this if it were not so

I go to prepare a place for you
I will come and take you to myself

this log structure is a semblance of a beginning
it is not our home
but it helps my goats leap for joy
and makes my heart glad

He calls our name
and we know Him
He comes and gives us His Kingdom

my favourite things

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

my favourite things/ He leads me beside the still waters

Every day
He leads me

there is a quiet hush
at rest with Him
no noisy gongs
nor brutish voice
just quiet

the snow has left us now
except a patch
behind the barn
left to cool
the hounds
it's where
they find
their quiet

the grass is velvet
green not white
five months
gone by
the Winter's rest all done
Spring come
bird song
goat dance
and hallowed calm
the Shepherd's watch
and in the stillness
open to the Song

it is His Song
He lives it in the breeze
among the trees
the fields
the streams

my feet
they feel the beat
they walk it slow
then run
and leap

in joy

the Song it goes like this
He loves me so~

the life around
all hear its sound
the gentle rustle
and sets
the soul to soar

beside the quiet waters
He leadeth me

a cleansing tide
it satisfies
gives life
gives breath
and soars
like eagle

on heaven's wings
He leadeth me
the quiet

afraid in Him
I'll never be
He is my life
His face alone
I seek

He leads me beside still waters
He sits with me
and rests

my favourite things