Sunday, February 28, 2010

Chile! Reunion? Usual/Unusual.

Before I begin today's entry, I would like to say that I feel very sad for the people of Chile and all who have been affected by the earthquake and resulting tsunami(s). My prayers are with you, all. May God have mercy and provide for each person/family.

If you read yesterday's entry, you'll know I wrote it early, because I was going to have dinner and see a movie with my friend J. After all, it was her birthday!

The movie was, 'Miracle in the Woods'. It was a good movie; we both enjoyed it. This was another first for me, for it was the first time going to Calvary Community Church on movie night, since Gordon died. In fact, we sat where Gordon and I usually sat, with J sitting in his seat.

Afterwards, in the foyer, it felt like I was attending some kind of a reunion. There were so many people there that I knew. In fact, I had never seen so many people attend the movie, before; in the past, there were times when there were only a handful of people. Not this time! There were so many people that extra chairs were added. Wow! And, it seemed that I knew many of them!

Being the Lord's day, I worshipped at church, this morning. It is important to me that God is first in my life. After all, Jesus loves me; the Bible tells me so.

Afterwards, I had some errands to do for work, so I dropped off a key and took paperwork to my office. Since it was near the cemetary where Gordon is buried, I visited his grave.

Again, I found I made virgin tracks into snow as I made my way to Gordon's grave. Actually, I'm glad I placed a wreath at the gravesite, for it makes it easier to find. When I go there, I usually feel good about going there; but, then when I get there, I find myself wondering why I've done it. Usually, there's not another living soul in sight. Traffic driving by must think the lone woman, standing in the middle of nowhere, crying, must be crazy. Maybe I am.

Sometimes, I think I am losing my mind. Although, I must admit, I don't feel as badly as I did in the beginning, in some ways, but I feel worse, in other ways. I just wish this pain would leave me. Either that, Lord...or take me home, please. I suppose I shouldn't feel so impatient, for God will provide for me, in His time.

It's just awful to feel so unhappy. I don't mean I don't have joy, for I have joy in the Lord. He's my all in all. He's my best friend; I know He'll never leave me, nor forsake me. I just don't know why I must feel such pain and sorrow; it seems like it will never end.

I've had people tell me that they think I'm doing well. To others, it may seem that way, because I push myself to do what I know I need to do. But, it doesn't change my broken heart.

Since it is Sunday evening, I just finished watching, 'The Amazing Race'. Normally, I really enjoy watching that show, not just for the show itself, but also, because I can see parts of the world I've either visited or hope to visit. That is, that's the way it used to be. Now, I can't even enjoy the show the same way.

In fact, my whole desire to travel has changed, since Gordon died. I know I'm not well, when I can't look forward to seeing the world. Gordon once told me he would show me the world; he did. Now, when I watch travel shows, like I did today when I watched Rick Steves' Europe, I usually feel sad, instead of happy. Today, Rick was in Spain and took a day trip to Tangiers, Morocco.

Normally, when Gordon and I watched programmes like this, we would smile and talk/remember visiting these places. We had visited Morocco: Marrakesh, Casablanca, Tangiers; yes, we were there. Today, instead of being happy, I felt sick and cried. I miss my earthly best friend, so very much. I can't even think about going anywhere new, without him. Nor can I even think about returning anywhere we've been to in the past, for my heart breaks at the thought of going without him.

Sometimes I feel God must be very disappointed in me. After all, there are much more important issues in the world, today. It's a good thing I have a great relationship with Him; He loves me. And, I know that somehow He will help me through this horrible grief I am experiencing.

Hopefully, you'll be as patient with me as He is.


Until next time...

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Injured Workers? Happy Birthday! Movie Time!

Even though it was around 11:00 pm when my guests left for home, it was well after 2:00 am, when I finally fell asleep. I never even set the alarm, because I hoped to be able to sleep in, today. It didn't happen. In the middle of the night, I awoke to realize that I was afraid I'd sleep in too late, reached over and set my alarm, hoping to be able to relax and sleep better. It didn't happen. Eventually, I just got up and began my day, well before my alarm was due to go off.

While I don't always eat breakfast, I did, today. After showering, preparing to go out and a few phone calls later, I finally made my way to visit a church-sister for a few minutes. G is a believer in her 80's, whose daughter died a few weeks ago. G's daughter who died was her only child who lived in Windsor, as her other children have moved away. Now, she is being assessed; hopefully, she'll be able to remain living in her home.

Having to cross town, I saw my daughter P for a short visit and then made my way to CAW Local 444 hall on Turner Rd., for an RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury) conference. Some of my fellow members of IWC (Injured Workers' Coalition) were participating. Originally, the conference was to be held at the Local 195 hall, but at the eleventh hour, it was changed to this location.

Arriving, I found a door that was supposed to provide disabled access. While I usually don't use entrances like this, I surprised myself and checked the door. It was locked. So, I walked halfway around the building, to enter at the main entrance. Ahead of me were MANY STEEP STAIRS and no elevator to be found. Yuch! I almost turned around to leave, especially since I had left my cane in my van, because I try to not use it, but my better part of valor kicked in and I braved the stairs, even though it was painful every step of the way.

Yes, it sounds strange for a Realtor to complain about stairs. However, you should know that because I need a knee-replacement, I do everything within my power to avoid stairs, unless I'm working. Then, I cannot avoid stairs. I feel that if I wreck my knee any further, climbing unnecessary stairs, then I won't be able to work! So, while it may sound strange, it is most real.

Anyway, the conference was very good. Later, I spoke with one of the speakers, who worked with Gordon at the plant where he worked, here in Windsor, that is scheduled to be permanently closed, later this year. I don't know what will physically happen with the plant that currently exists on both sides of Walker Rd.

I know that whenever I drive by the plant, I begin to cry. I recall how sick Gordon was, years earlier, when he worked in a department where there was a mist of heavy chemicals in the air. He had pneumonia three times in a year and a half. At the time, I suggested he transfer to a 'cleaner' area, or he would die. He did transfer.

However, some of his friends remained working in that department. When Gordon was alive, he could recite the names of at least twenty-five people or more, who had died of various types of cancers and tumours.

The department he transferred to was much better, but there were still chemicals in the air that were making people sick. On one occasion, it actually caused a work-stoppage. Management was not happy; after all, it costs them about $1million/minute the line is down.

There was a problem with one of the washers, so it wasn't venting out, but rather was venting into their work area. Some of the men were feeling ill from it. Eventually, and after a lot of trouble, the problem was repaired.

I asked Gordon to find out the names of some of the chemicals being used; he brought a list home for me. I researched on internet and asked him if management or the union had ever told the workers to wear a mask in the area. In addition, I asked him if the company or union had ever informed the workers to not eat or drink in the area. He replied that no one had ever informed him not to eat or drink in the area, or wear a mask. Not management; not the union.

These chemicals being used can be lethal. I knew there was a chance for him to become ill. When Gordon was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour, I took him to OHCOW (Occupational Health Clinic for Ontario Workers), where it was explained to us that they had files on workers from several employers with various growths, cancers, etc., but since each file must be handled on its own personal merit, there was nothing they could do about the situation, even though they suspected it was possible that each person in question may have been made ill from the workplace environment.

We were told that proving something like this, was almost impossible. This did not change my personal opinion. I believe Gordon was affected; that he was made ill from his workplace environment. However, having this opinion certainly never changed anything. Right or wrong, the outcome was still the same for his life; he died.

Well, this is not why I am a member of IWC; I joined, because I myself, am an injured worker, who was not treated fairly, in the past. This is a story for another time, however.

Shortly, I will head over to my friend J's home; on the way, I'll pick up fish 'n chips. So, we'll dine together and finish up with some birthday cake, again. Happy Birthday, J!!

Then, we'll head over to Calvary Community Church on Lesperance, in Tecumseh, because it is 'movie' night. Tomorrow, I'll try to remember to tell you about it. If you would like to join us, meet us at the church by 7:00 pm, for that's 'movie' time!


Until next time...

Friday, February 26, 2010

Birthday, Birthday, Birthday and Almost Birthday!

The snow today, just never seemed to let up. In fact, between the snow and heavy traffic, I was almost late for my meeting at the Caboto Club, first thing this morning.

The worst part is, if I'm late then I've paid for my education course, with no chance of refund; in addition, if I'm late, I cannot swipe in, attend the programme or obtain my education credits that I require for my licence renewal. Well, praise God! I made it just in time! Thank You, Jesus! Not that I had to worry anyway, for I just renewed earlier this month, so I have just less than two years to obtain my twenty-four credit hours worth of education, before my next renewal happens.

Afterwards, I had some work things to do. Still, I managed to run a couple errands and see my daughter P, for a short time.

Of course, I had to shovel the steps at the house. It's amazed me that lately, my walk has been cleared for me. By who, I don't know! Whoever it is that is doing this for me, thank you. Thank you, so very much. May God bless you, richly.

Eventually, I made it home in time to prepare a salad and get things ready for my company to arrive. My friend J, was picking up friends S & B and picking up the pizza I arranged for, so we could leisurely enjoy dinner together, without having too much work to do. Thank you J, for doing this. I appreciate it more than you know.

Believe it or not, we were celebrating the birthday of each of the three friends sharing dinner with me. J's birthday is tomorrow, S & B's birthdays are on Monday. In addition, our friend B (from St. Thomas area) may have showed up, but didn't make it; B's birthday is next Friday. Too bad that you couldn't make it B, for you missed out on some great fun and a little surprise gift I had planned for all, including you. Oh well, maybe next time!

The four of us enjoyed ourselves. It was a great time of food and fellowship. I find it amazing that we never have a moment where we have nothing to talk about! lol Of course, having birthday cake was nice, too! My neighbour/friend K, also enjoyed our meal and birthday cake, so it was appreciated by all.

Since we are all single people, we will meet again next Friday at Timmie's, for Christian Singles' Cafe. If you are available, feel free to meet us at Wyandotte W. & Crawford about 7:30 pm. Hope to see you, there!

How I wish Gordon was with me, tonight. I don't really like being a 'single'. I miss him, so very much. Sometimes, I just don't know how I can survive without him. He's been my whole life, for so long that I still just cannot imagine living without him. But, I have been. Only by the grace of God. Jesus helps me through each day. Even when I think I cannot go on. Thank You, Lord.


Until next time...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Help!!!

Today, I worked at home during the morning and made the usual calls necessary to my work. Knowing I would have to go out to work in the later afternoon, I made arrangements to meet with the person who handles some of my RRSP investments, immediately prior to meeting my client.

This left me some time to watch a movie. My friend J, had loaned me this DVD about a week ago. Today, I watched it for the 4th time; it has become a favourite of mine. While I had previously never heard of it, I am so thankful that J loaned it to me. If you can find it, I would encourage you to watch it. The title is: Though None Go With Me. One day, I'll tell you some of the reasons I feel drawn to this movie, but not tonight.

No, I won't tell you about the story, because I would ruin it for you. I will tell you that even though there is tragedy within the storyline, it does have a happy ending. That's something I like in a movie, when there is a happy ending. I suppose I feel like this, because I've always had a fantasy of a happy ending for my life. With Gordon, I thought I had found my happy ending; I was obviously wrong.

After finishing work, my co-worker/friend C and I made a quick stop for some nourishment (Harvey's!), picked up M and headed to our grief counselling group. Tonight, due to the men's group leader still recovering from surgery, we had a combined group of both men and women, instead of being separated.

As part of our involvement, we were asked to begin writing a letter to our loved one, telling them how much we miss them, love them and before we complete the letter, we were to say 'goodbye' to them. This is because many of us weren't able to say 'goodbye', before our loved one died. Well, I began the letter, but never got it finished. Like others, I was asked to work on it at home; instructions were given as to what to do with the letter, upon completion.

I actually felt bad, because previously, we were to write a letter to God, letting Him know how angry we are about our loved one being taken from us. While my letter was begun in class, I never finished the letter. Why? Because, I don't really feel angry with God. Pastor C made it clear that if we are denying being angry with God, then we are not going to be able to move through all stages of grief.

Still, I have to wonder about what I should do. Truly, I don't feel angry at God. I know His will is always done. Who am I to question it? Although I don't like it that He took Gordon home, I know that there is a time to be born and a time to die; it was obviously Gordon's time. I admit I don't understand God's plan and I know I must accept it, but I don't feel anything more than heartbreak over God not healing Gordon. After all, He answers even the most minute of prayer requests for me, yet He didn't answer the 'biggie': healing for Gordon.

Believe me, NO ONE could have possibly prayed more fervently than me, standing in belief, forgiving those who have hurt me and trusting/believing that I would receive what I was requesting of Him, knowing that my faith could move mountains. But, it didn't. Lord, I still need help in this area; I need to accept the fact that you didn't want Gordon to be healed, that your plan for him was to take him home, to be with you.

Being angry with God? I cannot in all honesty say I am. Maybe, I am. But, if I am, I don't realize it. So, what am I to do? Fake it? Pretend I am angry with God? I never finished writing my letter to Him, because I didn't feel angry towards God. Hmmm. Maybe I should give it another try. Possibly, if I write to him, anger will become prevalent.

I'm not sure if I told you previously, but for Valentine's Day, I wrote a card to Gordon, took it to the cemetary and tied it to the wreath on his grave. I did find it helped me, when I did this. As stupid as it sounds...

Pastor C mentioned that many of us will feel more sensitive towards the thought of losing people we care for and love. She commented that many of us will feel the need to tell others that we love them. Wow! I thought she was speaking directly to me, for that's what I have been doing. In fact, wasn't it only in yesterday's blog entry, when I told you, my friends, that I love you?! She said this was a perfectly normal thing for a grieving person to do. Again, there comes the word, 'normal'. lol I've never been 'normal' at any time throughout my life, until now!

Another thing discussed that pertained greatly to me, related to anniversary times, especially during the first year after losing a loved one, when the year is filled with so many 'firsts'. e.g. an anniversary of a first meeting, a celebration of something important to us, etc. Pastor C suggested that we need to plan how we will 'celebrate' or recognize and deal with these special occasions.

As you know February was a hard month for me being 'love' month, with Valentine's Day, etc. Well, I don't expect March and April, at least until after Easter to be any better. Why? Well, you see March 29th is Gordon's and my wedding anniversary. The year we were married, we were married on Easter weekend, on the Saturday. So, every year, it was like having two wedding anniversaries; one on the actual date and one on Easter weekend.

My dilemma is now: How will I plan to get through both these times? Pastor C says that we need to make a plan. I had been trying to shut it out and not think about it; she says it's wrong to do this, for we'll fall apart unless we plan out a strategy on how we will cope and celebrate or deal with it. Help!!!

Any ideas? What would you do? Please, either e-mail me or comment below with any ideas you might have. All thoughts/ideas are greatly appreciated.


Until next time...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Preparation, Love and Support...

Of course, I did the usual work for the day. What can I say? No one else will do it for me! lol

In addition, I baked and decorated a cake for friends who will be joining me for dinner at my home on Friday, to celebrate their birthdays. Wow! This is a busy time of year for birthdays! :-)

I'm glad I baked it early, because I just had a call from a client and will be extremely busy, tomorrow.

It's a good thing I took courses years ago, in cake decorating; I know that once the cake is iced and decorated it will keep well for several days, as long as it is completely sealed with icing, allowing no air to touch the cake, itself. It's marble cake; it should taste yummy!

It's evening, now. I've heard that Canada beat Russia in the hockey game and Canada obtained several medals, in today's Olympic games. Yea Canada! Good show! Congratulations to all who worked so hard!

As like most recent days, I found a time when that sadness that just will not leave me, overcame me. I realize that I should not be so hard on myself, but as a Christian, sometimes I erroneously feel that I should be perfect and not grieve my husband's death. Actually, since I am only human, I know that I should and am grieving. I just keep asking God to help me through this horrible feeling; He does. The trouble is, I want it over, NOW! You know what God's like; everything is in His time, not ours.

I can see that I'm making my way through the grieving process. In case you aren't aware, there are 7 stages of grief:

1) Shock and denial.
2) Pain and guilt.
3) Anger and bargaining.
4) Depression, reflection and loneliness.
5) The upward turn.
6) Reconstruction and working through.
7) Acceptance and hope.

While people generally don't move precisely from one stage to another, because the progression is usually like a sliding pattern, moving back and forth, between stages, until reaching acceptance and hope, I can safely say I am about halfway through.

Like many other days, I spent some time, paralyzed with depression. Tears, tears and more tears, rolling down my face even when I didn't feel I was crying. My grief counsellor tells me that I need to concentrate on grieving and not try to suppress it, because if I do try to suppress it, it will linger on for a very long time. So, I have been trying to allow myself to grieve and to not suppress it, like I thought I had been doing. Truly, I do not want this horrid feeling to continue on for even a second longer than it must.

It's good that I can recognize my need. To anyone I've hurt during this process, I apologize; I wouldn't hurt any of you, ever...on purpose. I am thankful for my good friends and church family, who have stood by me through this heartbreaking and gut-wrenching time. Thank you, for your love and support. Hopefully, one day I will be able to look back and just recall this time, like a bad dream.

I'd like each of you, my friends, to know that I love you...

Sleep well, friends. May God bless you, richly.


Until next time...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Phew!

Phew! Today, was one busy day. It was just go, go, go, all day long. Working can be such a trial, can't it?! lol

After a real estate meeting with a mortgage broker, I enjoyed a late lunch with my friend/co-worker C, at a Chinese restaurant. We discussed and reviewed our work meeting and other real estate stuff we needed to talk about.

Since I was already in South Windsor, not far from the cemetary, I headed over to visit Gordon's grave. Usually, I go on Sunday, but last Sunday I was rather tied up, so I never made it.

While driving, I usually have the radio on; I enjoy listening to preachers/Bible teachers. Alistair Begg from 'Truth for Life' was giving his sermon. I truly enjoy listening to him, for his preaching/teaching is excellent. In addition, I love his accent! :-) Seriously, his sermon was so good today, that I actually sat in my van and finished listening to it, before exiting to visit Gordon's grave. Here is a link to the 'Truth for Life' website, in case you would like to check it out. http://www.truthforlife.org/

Making my way to Gordon's grave, I made tracks into virgin snow, for no one had walked the area since the snowfall. Of course, had I gone on Sunday like I usually do, I wouldn't have needed boots, for there was no snow, then. I did what I usually do when I'm there; I cried, prayed and talked to God and Gordon. I find myself crying more and more.

In fact, I find I sometimes have tears running down my face, without me even being aware that I am crying. Isn't this disgusting? I am truly disgusted with myself, for I just cannot seem to feel better, no matter how much I try. Let's face it, I'm not good at this 'grief thing'; nor am I good at this 'life thing', either.

Later, I managed to say 'hi' to my daughter P, do some banking, shovel the stairs at the house (someone had been kind enough to shovel the walk for me!), mail some cards and a parcel to N. Ireland, plus have a short visit with my friend M, who is recovering well, but slowly from having two recent surgeries for breast cancer.

Then, it was time to head over to my son's for dinner. K & C were kind enough to have me contribute to dinner, so it was kind of a joint effort, tonight. We had a great time of fellowship and even had a visit from a friend of C's, W. As it happens, W works with my friend, B. It certainly is a small world. We, as a group, helped grandson N with some of his homework; he's in Grade 8. How time flies! Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Thank you, K & C for opening your hearts and home to me. I'm blessed, for sure! Hopefully, you feel that way, too.

Since it's getting late and morning comes early, I should prepare to head for bed. Hopefully, I'll get a good sleep. Goodnight, sleep tight, don't let the bedbugs bite!


Until next time...

Monday, February 22, 2010

Happy Anniversary! and a CD from N. Ireland...

If my parents were still alive, today would have been their 63rd Wedding Anniversary. Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!

The weather had been so wonderful, yesterday. In fact, it got up to about the mid-40's F; I believe around 8 degrees C, or so. Sorry, but Windsor is a border city; I mainly watch the USA TV stations to hear the weather. Firstly, because our main Canadian station, CBC, makes a habit of periodically cancelling our local news and weather and also, because growing up with Farenheit, I can relate better.

The weather today was horrible. We endured a snowstorm throughout most of the day. It has currently stopped, but may freeze overnight into ice. I thank God that I didn't have to show property today, like I did on Friday!

In addition to doing my daily work from home, I was able to make dinner for my neighbour/friend K, who (as you know) is recovering from knee-replacement surgery. It's always nice to have a flexible schedule to be able to do things like this.

Today, in the mail, I received an envelope from a cousin of mine in N. Ireland, whose husband died January 8th, 2010. Apparently, P's husband M had a heart problem all his life that never seemed to bother him. However, on that day, he shoveled snow for his Mom, came indoors when he finished, sat down and died.

It was a terrible shock for my cousin P. Unfortunately, P & M never had children, so she is left alone, now. Except for her Mom and M's Mom, that is. Yes, we have other family in her area, who will support her. I'm glad, for she'll need the support. It's never easy losing a loved one, but when you lose your spouse, you lose part of yourself, for the Bible tells us that when we marry, we are no longer two people, but become one.

P, if you are reading my blog, please know that I pray for you. I've told you this by phone and will again write to you, shortly. Believe me, as widows, we need all the prayer we can receive. This is why God commanded believers to take care of widows and orphans.

The envelope I received from P, contained a copy of the 'Service of Thanksgiving' for the life of M, from M's funeral service, January 11th. In addition, there was a copy of a newspaper article regarding M's death and a CD of M's funeral service.

P had previously thanked me for sending a CD and a copy of Gordon's funeral service, plus other items to them, after Gordon's death. I was glad to have received the CD of M's funeral service, for it allowed me to feel like I had been part of his funeral service. Thank you P, for sending it, for I know it couldn't have been easy for you. I know how hard it was for me to do some of the things I needed to do, after Gordon's funeral. And, I'm still not finished.

While I have been feeling depressed, I know God has a plan for me. And, one for P, too. He alone knows the plans He has for us, to prosper us and not harm us, to give us hope and a future.

I was thankful to hear the minister speak/preach on Acts 16:31, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved". I praise God the minister gave a gospel message and spoke of the need for salvation, for not all ministers do. In fact, I gave a eulogy at one funeral, gave a gospel message and spoke about the need for salvation, for the minister had not, but rather, had been preaching a 'false' gospel message.

Not only was it heartwarming for me to hear good preaching, but I was glad to know that M was a believer and that God is important in my Irish family's lives.

I don't believe I've mentioned it before, Acts 16:31 is the very verse I had displayed on Gordon's and my gravemarker. Here are two photos: a close-up showing the verse, plus a photo of the whole gravemarker reading, "...Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved...Acts 16:31".




Until next time...






Sunday, February 21, 2010

Dedication...

During our worship service, I looked over at my friends J & W and thought how blessed they are. All three of their children are saved. All three, along with one's spouse, were today in church, worshipping our God.

One of their children, their daughter K, has been going through a terrible trial. Recently, her husband and father of their five children, left the marriage. K had been hoping to work the problems out, but it appears that it wasn't God's plan for her life, at this time. Still, I am praying that God's will is for the marriage to be restored.

So, it was with a broken heart that I prayed for K, after our service today, when she stood before the congregation and with great love, dedicated her youngest child, only an infant, to God.

Some of you may not know what it means to dedicate a child. It's not like baptism/christening, for no water is involved. The parent(s) declare before their brothers and sisters in the Lord and before God, that they are dedicating their child to Jesus.

Firstly, the parent(s) publicly declare that they are believers in Jesus Christ. They make a promise/commitment to God, that they will pray for their child, read the Bible to their child, teach their child the ways of God and to love Jesus. Then, the church body promises to help in this quest. This is done to help the child come to salvation through Jesus Christ, at the earliest age.

While dedication is a lovely ceremony, it has no salific value. In other words, a child dedicated does not obtain salvation, at that time. In some other Christian denominations, some people consider infant baptism a comparable ceremony; but, it's not. In such denominations that believe in infant christening/baptism, most believe that the child being christened/baptised receives salvation and becomes a member of God's family. Not so in the Baptist church.

Why doesn't the Baptist church believe in infant baptism? Well, I believe it is because in Acts 2:38, Peter said, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." And, because Ephesians 2:8-9 says, "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast." There are more supporting verses in God's Word, but these two are enough for us, today.

Just with these two verses, anyone can read it for themselves. We aren't saved from an eternity in hell by anything we can do. God saves us, because it is a gift from Him. Anything we can do, commonly called, 'works', do not contribute to our salvation. God even tells that He made it this way, so that none of us could boast and say we did it ourselves.

This should make it clear that we do not receive salvation by anything we can do, including baptism.

In addition, when Peter said, "Repent and be baptized..." in Acts 2:38, we see clearly that we must repent before being baptized. Notice he didn't say something like, "be baptized and repent at some point in your life". No, God's word is clear. Repentance must take place before baptism. Baptism is a public declaration of our devotion to Jesus. An infant cannot be devoted to Jesus, or anyone at that tender age.

This is why we Baptists don't baptize infants. To give you an example of what I am saying, I was in Montreal a few years ago. There was a special worship service being held at the church where my parents were married and where I was christened/baptized as an infant. It was in memory of my Mom, so Gordon and I made a point of being there.

Just before the service began, a cousin of mine, whose husband was a lay-preacher in the church, sat next to me and told me there was to be an infant baptism that day. She knew I worshipped at a Baptist church and no longer at an Anglican church, like she did. My cousin explained that her daughter was now worshipping at a Baptist church and she couldn't understand why her daughter was recently baptized.

I looked over at the infant in question, turned to my cousin and asked her if the infant had ever repented of it's sin. My cousin, visibly upset replied that the infant hadn't, saying something like, "of course not!". So, I explained the verses that I quoted earlier in this entry that clearly prove that we first need to come to salvation by trusting/believing on the Lord, Jesus Christ; then, we need to repent of our sin. I think my cousin was in shock.

I concluded saying that I had been 'double-dipped', too! Once, because my parents thought it would make me part of God's family. The second time for baptism, I chose to be baptized, because I knew the first christening/baptism never did make me part of God's family, but I wanted to be obedient to God, when He commanded me to publicly declare my devotion to Jesus, after receiving my salvation.

My questions to you are: Are you believing/trusting in Jesus for your salvation? Have you repented and been baptized?


Until next time...

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Work and More...

It's Saturday. Normally, I write my blog entry late in the evening, but since I will be attending a Bible study group this evening, I thought I should write earlier, today.

Most people think of Saturday as being a day off. It's not always so in my business. Real estate seems to be a feast or famine situation, so I must work when I must work and this morning and early afternoon has been no exception. Again, I will say how happy I am that internet, as well as e-mail and fax machines were invented, for they make my job MUCH easier! Even if my work is time-consuming, it is MUCH LESS time consuming than when I first began selling real estate, twenty-two plus years ago.

I just hung up from speaking with my daughter P, who is really not feeling well. It's hard to say what is causing her feeling sickly, but I would hazard a guess that it is the 'new' medicine that she has been taking, in addition to her other medications for Lupus. Methotrexate. May God put it on her Rheumatologist's heart and mind to try to correct this problem, in any way he can. P's appointment is for Monday. Hopefully, something will change, soon and she'll be feeling improved.

There are times when I feel in my heart that P will be okay; there are other times, when I begin to worry, for I know how deadly Lupus can be. Whenever I begin to feel panic or fear setting in, I remind myself that it is sin to worry, for the God's Word tells us that we should not fear, nor be afraid, for He is with us always, even to the end of the age. God is truly in control. I just need to remind self of this, at times.

Thank You, Lord, that no matter where I am, no matter what I am doing, I have access to You; that I can pray to You and You hear me, because I am Your child. Thank You, for loving me. Thank You for loving my daughter. If it is Your will, I know You will provide a measure of healing for her, because I'm asking this in Jesus' precious name. I thank You in advance for this. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

While my call to P was to enquire as to how she was feeling, it was also a reason for me to take a break from reading and commenting on the writing of two of my Creative Writing group members. Monday evening, I will meet with them. As per every meeting, we are sent home with writing provided by two members of the group. We read, review for typos, grammar, punctuation, etc., but mostly for content and make our review to them, in writing, so they can take the suggestions/positive criticism home with them, for consideration.

It sounds like it is a lot of work. It can be and sometimes is time consuming. Today, I reviewed a letter to God written by one group member and now, I am reviewing chapters of a book that is almost ready to go to print, written by another member. I'll keep you posted, as to the success of this book, in time.

As I am feeling the fog lifting, I've mentioned that I feel depressed. It's true. It's normal. It's paralysing. Hopefully, it will be over, soon. At least over enough, so that I can go back to writing the book I began to write, what seems to be an eternity ago. Since Gordon's extreme situation this past summer and his death, I just have not been able to make myself go back and write. I think some call this, writer's block, but truly I believe it is not. It's just the same feeling that prevents me from doing things some days.

Usually, I can force myself to do what I need to do, but some days, anything that I deem to be an option, just waits. Sometimes, I just sit and look out at the water, marinas, lighthouse and general landscape, because I feel overwhelmed with pain and grief. I won't say it is relaxing, although it can be, but in my grief, it is more of a paralysing feeling I have.

The pain just won't go away. It's not just of loss, although the loss I feel is great. I truly feel like my heart is breaking, physically. Sometimes, the chest pain I have is so severe, that I feel like my insides are being ripped out.

One thing is for sure: I wish my grief was progressing as quickly as my grief counselling programme is. I believe next week is the last week for the group. I wish I could say that next week will also be my last week to feel the intense pain of the grief I am experiencing.


Until next time...

Friday, February 19, 2010

Lupus

In my travels, I managed to find time to drop off those three boxes of used clothing to the family in need. In addition, I found time to go shopping with my daughter, P. It's great being able to spend time her.

P hasn't been feeling well, lately. While she never really feels good, there are times when she feels worse; this is one of those times. You may have read in an earlier entry that P has Lupus. She is only 34 years old, separated, with 3 hyperactive sons; 2 being special needs children. She has her hands full, to say the least.

Not everyone knows and understands Lupus. So, in case you don't know about it, I'll try to explain it in the simplest way I can.

Lupus is an autoimmune disease. Aids and HIV are also auto-immune diseases, but Lupus is not Aids or HIV. Lupus cannot be 'caught' by someone, like a person can catch a cold. Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease, that many people have heard of. Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS), the rheumatoid arthritis that I have, is also an autoimmune disease; this is a relatively rare disease and mostly unknown to the general public. Lupus is more widely known, but greatly misunderstood by the majority of people I have spoken with.

Lupus has various forms and can affect many different areas of a person's body and organs. Generally, Lupus is not a disease that affects just one part of the body, but rather affects many areas, at the same time.

What most people don't understand is that when a person is affected by Lupus, their immune system turns upon the person's body and begins to kill itself. In easier terms to understand, think of when a healthy person becomes affected by a virus, say a cold virus for example. A healthy person's immune system will create antibodies to fight off the attacking virus; the same happens in the body of someone affected by Lupus. The difference is what happens after the attacking virus has been beaten off. In a healthy person's body, those antibodies that were created to fight off the attacking virus, go back to sleep or die off until they are needed again at sometime in the future. In the body of someone with Lupus, those antibodies that were created to fight off the attacking virus, DO NOT go back to sleep or die off until they are needed again at some time in the future. Instead, those antibodies don't realize that the attacking virus has been killed, so they keep on attacking tissue; healthy tissue.

Left untreated or controlled, and even in some cases where treatment is not effective, the person who has Lupus, can die, because their antibodies keep on killing healthy tissue in organs, etc.

P has been on chemotherapy medication for the last several years, in an effort to keep the disease from progressing. In addition, she has several other medications she must take, daily and some weekly.

The tragedy doesn't end there. Most people don't realize, but in order to have Lupus, a person must be Arthritic. Everytime I look at my beautiful daughter's hands and see swollen knuckles and distorted fingers, think about the several surgeries she has had due to 'trigger finger' and see her wince in pain just trying to use her hands...or her feet, my heart breaks.

Believe me, if I could, I would trade places with her. Oddly, it probably wouldn't make much difference painwise, because AS has many similar symptoms, but is a different disease. One day, I'll tell you more about AS, but not today.

Still, if I could, I would take away this disease that cripples her life. A few weeks ago, her Rheumatologist added another medication that has been making her feel violently ill, to the point where she can hardly function, some days.

Most people don't realize that death can occur at any time, but it can. Flareups come and go, but each one is a real and true danger. Less than one year ago, my ex-Pastor's sister died of Lupus after a dibilitating and lengthy battle with the disease.

In the past, P suffered with cancer; surgery was the tool God used to heal her. Praise God! Thank You, Jesus! I know that God is in control, even when we think things are out of control. Jesus, our Great Physician can heal P, for nothing is impossible for Him.

If you believe in the power of prayer, I ask you to pray for my P. She truly needs as much prayer as she can receive. I thank you for this and pray that God will bless you, richly.


Until next time...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Perfect Love!

Wow! I can hardly believe I just got home! It's after 11:00 pm. Talk about a busy day.

Today, I had a lot of computer work to do and e-mails to send. Some for work; some personal. Working from home has it's priviledges!

Actually, it really is nice working from home. As I've previously mentioned, I am able to do other things, while working. Today, was one of those days. It was a true cooking day for me. Phew! A lot of work, but worth it.

My neighbour/friend across the hall K, is recovering from having knee-replacement surgery; the same kind of surgery that I need to have done and have been putting off. All week, I've been doing what I can for her, to assist her and feed her.

In addition, an elderly church-sister, recently lost her daughter; she is grieving. While there isn't a lot I can do to help with her grieving, I can let her know I love her. She has other children, but since her daughter was her only child who lived in Windsor and used to care for her, I realized that she could probably use some lifting up. This is where all my cooking came into the picture, today. Need I say more?

Actually, I hate telling people about when I do things for others, for I know I am forfeiting my reward in heaven. But, this is a blog about what I do daily, so I feel compelled to write about what I do for others, sometimes; and, not just about when others do things for me. Rest assured, I do more than I talk about. God knows; that's all that matters.

I left early to attend my grief counselling group and stopped by my friend J's. She showed me her computer and we shared some fellowship time. Also, she helped me load into my van, some boxes of women's clothing, that I will be delivering tomorrow to a needy person.

When I arrived at Parkwood for the class, I realized how much I had really missed the class last week, when I instead, attended the memorial service for Gordon and other people who had died at Hotel Dieu-Grace Hospital in the last quarter of 2009. Pastor C made a point to let me know I was missed. What a good Christian heart she has. I'm blessed.

At the end of our class, my friend W convinced Pastor C that I should sing for the group; so, I did. Then, it was off for coffee. Instead of going to the Timmie's we usually go to, we drove to Walker Rd. and went into Jovan's Station Restaurant. My real estate broker owns the restaurant. I think she was shocked when W, C, M and I walked in at that time of night, but M, C and W were hungry. I just had tea.

We had a fun time of fellowship. I'm so grateful that God has blessed me with good church family and Christian friends. Praise God! Thank You, Jesus!

M said that she didn't know what to do with herself when the programme finishes and suggested we meet on Thursdays. I commented that I could not do that. You see, normally on Thursday at 6:30 pm, I attend prayer time; then, Bible study begins at 7:00 pm. So, while I've been attending grief counselling, I've been missing my regular church participation. I was thrilled when M said that she thinks she will come and meet me at my church. Praise God! Thank You, Jesus!

You see, nothing is more important to me, than Jesus. When we were first married, Gordon was rather jealous of Jesus, even though he was a believer. Eventually, he accepted the fact that God came first, then him and my family. Some people find this hard to understand. Anyone who truly loves God, understands. He comes first. Everything else, comes after.

No, I'm not perfect; I try to be what God would have me be. But, I'm forgiven. I know I am a sinner, who was in need of a Saviour; Jesus, is my Saviour. He loves me with an everlasting love. Unlike human love, His love is perfect and will never die. He forgave me for all my sin, paid the price at Calvary on a wooden cross, died and was resurrected, so I can know that I will only die a human death, but will live on in Heaven, later. There's more to say, but that's enough for tonight, except for the fact that you can be forgiven and saved from an eternity in hell. Just believe/trust in Jesus.


Until next time...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Love, Again?

The highlight of my day was not work or home life, but at church. Our 'over 50's' group met, today for lunch, like we usually do once a month. With February being 'love' month, this was the theme.

I had been asked to participate in the entertainment portion of our gathering, so I did. Being asked to sing is an honour. Today, was a little bit different, however. You see, rather than being a serious-type situation, I had been asked to participate, along with others, in a fun-type comedy situation. 'Campbell's Got Talent', was born.

Being asked to sing, I was told to choose any secular song that the 'audience' would recognize. With the 'love' theme, I had thought about singing Whitney Houston's: I Will Always Love You. The lyrics aren't what I would call a true love song, because it's written from the perspective of a broken-hearted woman, who only wants the best for the man she loves. Sort of like me. Here are some of the lyrics:

If I
Should stay
I would only be in your way
So, I'll go
But, I know
I'll think of you every step
Of the way...

Bittersweet
Memories
That is all I am taking with me
So, goodbye
Please don't cry
We both know I'm not what you
You need

I hope life treats you kind
And, I hope you have all you've dreamed of
And I wish you joy and happiness
But, above all this
I wish you love

And, I will always love you...


Aren't those heartbreaking, but lovely/loving lyrics of someone who feels they must let go of the person they love? Someone like me, who must say 'goodbye' to my love. He's gone, but I still feel like I'm holding onto him. I am trying hard to let go.

In the end, I didn't feel I could sing the song, without breaking down and I didn't want to feel foolish. You see, this 'love' theme is really hard on me. It's not easy losing someone you love. In my grief counselling group, Pastor C has said that it is always hard losing someone we love, but losing a spouse or child is the worst. I must admit that I agree. This has proven to be harder than any other trial or loss in my life. Truly.

Instead, I sang (well, at least part of) Karen Carpenter's, ' I'll Say Goodbye to Love'. Since I already quoted some lyrics, I don't think I'll quote more, tonight; possibly another time.

The only people who knew what was happening was we participants, who did a variety of acts supposedly in competition, while the judges decided if we were 'good', or not. The rest of the people in attendance had no idea what was happening, until it was finally revealed. All the participants that had talent, displayed it, whether it was playing the piano, juggling, reciting, or singing, like I did. Each one of us who were good was 'gonged' by the three judges, who claimed that we were not good enough material to be sent on to Hollywood. Then, came into the scene, a participant who sang off key, couldn't keep the tune, forgot words, was shy, etc.

I think you are getting the picture; someone who was of no talent participated...and WON! It was a fun time; I believe everyone enjoyed it.

Seated next to me was a couple who were our guest speakers. They were recently married; last summer. Both had been married, previously; both had been widowed.

They spoke of their love for each other and how they fell in love, how grateful they were for another chance at happiness, etc. But, they also spoke about the heartbreak of being widowed. Both agreed, being widowed had been the worst trial of their lives and tried to explain it to all. I had to contain myself from crying; only a few tears spilled out. I looked over a friend who had been widowed last year as well; more tears flowed, there.

While it was good to hear what they had to say, I must admit I was reminded that I cannot imagine getting through this, ever. Never mind, ever having another relationship. Then again, nothing is impossible for God.


Until next time...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Caramel Cherry Cheesecake Tea?!

After working this morning, I made my way to LaSalle, to my friend A's home. There, we waited for church sisters H & D to arrive, piled into A's van and drove to Kingsville, about 45 minutes away. A had made a reservation at Annabelle's for us; it's a Victorian Tea restaurant.

Making our way through the gift shop to the dining area and our table, reminded me of being in England or N. Ireland. Our table was located in front of the fireplace. There were curio cabinets framing the fireplace, containing tea pots, fancy tea cups and saucers, floral arrangements, etc. Just a lovely atmosphere.

We were absolutely shocked when our meals arrived, for the presentation of each plate was exquisite and imaginative. Never had I seen such beauty in meal presentation. Not to mention the tea I ordered. Mmmm...even thinking about it stimulates my senses. Have you ever had, 'Caramel Cherry Cheesecake' tea? I have. lol It was truly delicious; like a dessert, but without the calories!

All in all, it was an enjoyable time, today. On both the drive there and back, we enjoyed more time of fellowship. Thank You, Lord, for providing for us, today. Especially since it was snowing.

Arriving back at A's home, H & D didn't stay, but headed for home. A suggested I stay for a while, so I did. We talked, laughed, cried and prayed, together. You may recall that A was previously a prayer partner of mine, until her Mom made her first visit from Jamaica.

A is a beautiful Jamaican young woman in her 30's. Her life has drastically changed since her unsaved previous husband walked out and they were divorced. In fact, she later met a Christian man; they fell in love, married and now have a beautiful daughter, together. She is blessed.

A insists that I am young enough to recover from losing Gordon. She feels that God will provide someone else in my life for me to share my life with. I don't hold out any hope for that. Firstly, because I could never imagine 'getting over' Gordon and also, because I am not looking for anyone. Besides, I can't imagine anyone wanting or loving me, at this point in my life. No. It won't happen. I feel destined to be alone and lonely.

I've talked about the 'fog' my brain has been in, since Gordon's death. Well, as the fog seems to be lifting, coming in and out, like waves, I have been feeling rather depressed.

Recently, I received an e-mail reply from my friend M, the person whose family I lived with for a few months, when I was in grade eleven. I had previously told her I love her. I've made it a point over the past few months to tell each of my friends, people who I feel close to and love, that I love them. In addition to her reply, she had sent me one of those survey type e-mails, where questions are asked of you, you replace her answers with your own and send it back/on. Her reply to me was that even though it has been many years that we have been in/out of touch with each other, she cares for me, too. That's nice.

Also, she commented that from my responses to her questionnaire, she could tell I was in a deep depression. M was a nurse, previously; she should know. M suggested that I consider making a move to live somewhere where there aren't so many memories about/with Gordon; somewhere like near her.

Well, I suppose it's something to think about. However, I cannot imagine that I can run away from these deep, dark feelings I've experienced, of late. And, I'm not yet convinced that 'starting over' will provide me with anything more than deeper lonliness than what I am currently experiencing. Still, I haven't decided and will probably take a long time to ponder the idea.

At the moment, since her home is for sale and since her husband works for the post office and should be able to obtain a transfer, I believe they should make a move to Windsor. After all, it won't be many years before retirement will occur and what better place to retire, than here. Especially with our currently depressed real estate market where homes are a pittance, compared to closer to Toronto.

Oh yes, tonight was dinner night with son K and family. It has become routine to get together on Tuesday evenings, share a meal and watch, 'The Biggest Loser'. Well, we enjoyed a wonderful time of fellowship and a delicious meal, but didn't watch the show, because it was preempted by the Olympics. Still, I appreciate that they want me in their lives. Praise God! Thank You, Jesus!

Tonight, I am hoping to collapse and have a great night's sleep. Well, considering I've had only one and one-half hours sleep last night, I'm tired, tonight. In fact, I've had the equivalent of about one night's sleep, but over a period of three to four days. These short sleeps are killing me. Well, maybe not so, because I'm not that lucky; I'm still here.

Sleep well. I'll try.


Until next time...

Monday, February 15, 2010

And The Greatest Of These Is Love...

On my way to worship service yesterday, I made some Valentine deliveries to friends and family. After worship, I completed the task and went to the cemetary, where I attached a Valentine to Gordon's wreath.

Then, it was on to visit P and her family. Today, is her boyfriend K's birthday. Yesterday, rather than bake/decorate a cake for him, I made cupcakes and decorated each one with a letter that spelled out, 'Happy Birthday' and his name. So we celebrated his birthday. My eldest daughter B's youngest son, A was visiting, so I got to hug him, kiss him and tell him I love him, in addition to P's three sons; this was so nice, for I rarely get to see him.

As you know, February is love month and I have no love (partner) to share it with, this year. Four months ago Gordon died; sometimes it seems like such a short time and sometimes it seems like an eternity.

One thing I did come to realize after Gordon collapsed and later died, was that it is important to tell people you love, that you love them. I've been doing that, lately. Especially since it is love month. It just seemed like a good opportunity to tell each person how much I care for them.

While Gordon suffered with his inoperable brain tumour, the complications, the effects, depression and problems that arose from it, life was extremely stressful.

A friend had told me about Celebrate Recovery (CR); it is a Bible-based, Christian twelve step recovery programme. When most people think of a recovery programme, I've found they think of drug or alcohol problems; I'm not a user and have never had a drinking/drug problem. Nor am I a prude; I just was not cut out to be a drinker, etc. While CR's programme is designed to help people with those problems, it is actually designed to help ALL types of hurts, habits or hang-ups. Not only did I attend the programme, but I also completed a Bible study programme designed to qualify me to become a leader, within the programme.

It was a very enjoyable and relaxing programme. When called upon, I would sometimes help out with the praise and worship portion of each evening. Usually this first part included not just musical praise and worship, but also either a lesson or a speaker. Yes, I was a speaker on one occasion, giving my testimony.

In part two, we broke into small groups; men with men and women with women. This was a time to share, if we felt we wanted/needed to. Then, in part three, we all reunited for a fellowship coffee time. All in all, it was a wonderful diversion for me, during the worst of the stressful times.

I believe this programme worked so well, because it truly was a case where Biblical standards were kept. God's Word says that two are better than one; this way there is one person to help lift up the other, if needed.

Lift each other up, we did. It was a very Christian loving group. We would regularly tell those we cared for that we loved them. It was a very normal, natural thing to do in this setting.

One thing I realized very quickly after Gordon collapsed, was the importance of telling those you care for/love that you care for/love them. It was impossible to know for sure if Gordon was aware of me telling him I loved him or hearing me pray for him, read the Bible to him or whatever, because he was unconscious. Certainly, after he died, it was impossible to say my 'goodbyes' to him.

At first, I thought I was handling everything well, but then when my friend M, began battling breast cancer and had to have extra surgery, I began to feel a panic inside me.

There were people in my life, currently and from my past that I love, that I realized I hadn't told I love them. Some, I had wanted to tell forever and a day and just never had the opportunity. Please understand, this is not some weirdo stuff, or sexual stuff, or off-the-wall kind of stuff, but rather just a basic need to tell people that I love them, before it's too late, for whatever reason. After all, none of us are guaranteed tomorrow; as I found out with Gordon, we're not even guaranteed our next breath.

Since it was love month, I began making sure I told everyone I felt I wanted to, that I loved them. With most people this was okay.

I found one person it wasn't okay with. In fact, they were so upset about me telling them how I felt, that they actually dropped me as a friend on facebook. No matter how much I tried to explain, it did no good. I think this person may have thought I was a nut-bar or something, but I'm not. This did show me that either this person has some hang-up of their own, or cannot believe that not everything in this world is sexual.

I can't wait to hear from some other people I e-mailed; I realize now that some may think I've lost my mind or worse, too. Oh well, if it happens, it happens. God knows my heart. He knows I want nothing in return from any of the people I've told that I love them.

Some people recognized the need to say the words, in return. Some were very happy; this made me happy, too. For sure, my friend M knows the importance of letting people know you care. She's a firm believer in that, especially with first husband's and her own cancer battles.

So is God. For God is love. Faith, hope and love. The greatest of these, is love.

This entry is the earliest one I've done, yet. Since it is the middle of the night and I have not yet slept, I should probably say, 'goodnight'. Maybe, 'goodmorning' would be better!


Until next time...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Greatest Love...

A late night is not the cause for me being tired, today. On the contrary, for I actually went to bed rather early last night. I felt good for the first time in a long time; like a weight had been lifted from me.

It was an early morning that caused my tiredness. I'm not even sure what time it was when someone called. I think it was after 2 am, though. The person wanted to do a survey. I had been in 'never never' land; hopefully, I wasn't rude in my sleep, when I said, "no, sorry" or something like that, and hung up.

At first I didn't think I was actually woken up (awakened?) by the call, but all of a sudden, I became alert and could not go back to sleep. What kept rolling through my mind was, who would call at this time in the morning, to do a survey? Before I knew it, I was totally awake. After 3 am I got up and by about 3:30 am I was on facebook. Check it out for yourself! lol

To say I am tired, is an understatement. While I did doze after the darkness began to change to light (I won't say the sun came up, because it appears there is no sun, today; just grey skies), I never got back into a sleep pattern, again. Hopefully, whoever called will call again, so I can ask why on earth they would call at that time in the morning!

It's early as I am writing this, because firstly, I am awake; but also, I plan to leave early this morning to go worship and on my way, make Valentine's Day deliveries. It is my Lord's Day, but it is after all, Valentine's Day.

My darling Gordon, this is the first year you and I are apart in many years, on Valentine's Day. Normally, I would wake up to find red and pink hearts all over our home, reminding me of your love. Pink long-stemmed roses would adorn either our eating area or our relaxing area, or both. Even though I should not have sweets, there were always some waiting for me, near where I usually sit and more scattered throughout our home.

You were such a romantic person. Love just seemed to radiate from every pore of your being. When you would look at me, I could see the love in your eyes. When I touched even your arm or neck, you would get goosebumps and laugh about it, being even thirty plus years after first knowing you.

People used to tell me that you 'adored' me. I felt blessed, for I knew it was true. Me, the imperfect person, who never thought anyone could ever love me. I was loved.

Actually, I still am loved. For my Saviour loves me. Why? I don't know. For my sin is as filthy rags, the Bible tells me. He loves me with an everlasting love. Praise God! Thank You, for saving me from an eternity in hell. You said that my salvation is a gift from God, not of works, lest any man should boast. Your special gift was free to me; You paid the price. All I did was believe/trust in You, Jesus. So, simple. I love Him, too.

Many people only think of the Old Testament's Ten Commandments, when they think of what God commanded. While the Ten Commandments are a guideline of what God would have us live by, in the 22nd chapter of Matthew, in the New Testament, Jesus told us that there are only two commandments for us: 1) "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind". 2) "You shall love your neighbour as yourself". You will notice that both commandments involve 'LOVE'.

Gordon, I still love you and miss you, terribly. While I have been grieving for you, I have felt very alone and lonely. Today, I feel the same, even at this early hour. But, I am not burdened, for I know that my Saviour lives. You live with Him. One day, I will live with Him, too.

I'm blessed. And, I know it. Happy Valentine's Day.


Until next time...

Saturday, February 13, 2010

More Love...

Yesterday's entry contained info regarding my first love. A facebook friend asked why I would write about this. I feel, why not?! While I have no idea if my first love will ever read my blog or not, it gave me a chance to talk about a good and innocent love, apologize to him for ever hurting him, and let him know that I will always love him. The way most people feel about their first love.

In addition, I mentioned my first husband. The marriage was not what I would call a marriage; it ended in divorce. What we really had was what I would call a whirlwind romance; not sexually, for we never had sex before our marriage. I have no intention of saying anything negative about him, but I will say that it didn't take long to realize he did not love me. If you knew him well enough to speak with him about this, he would (I'm sure) be honest and tell you so; he admitted this to my children.

However, something good did result from the marriage. I have two beautiful daughters.

When B was born, I was so very happy, for I truly wanted a daughter. Blonde hair and blue eyed, she was a real looker, even as a young child. Everywhere I went, people would stop me and tell me what a gorgeous child she was; some suggested she should do modelling.

When P was born, I was so very happy, again. While I thought she might have been a boy, because my pregnancy was so very different, I was happily surprised to find I had another daughter; darker blonde with blue eyes, she was a real looker, too. Again, people would stop me everywhere I went with her, to tell me how beautiful she was and what a gorgeous smile she had. Still today, she has a gorgeous and infectious smile.

Both my daughters are beautiful adults, who have children; one even has a grandchild. This makes me a grandma and a great-grandma. Believe it or not!

When Gordon became part of my life, he brought with him a son. While some people would call him a step-son, because he is not blood related, I call him, my son. It wasn't easy being a mom to him, for as with any subsequent relationship, there were problems, but they've been long since worked out. Praise God! Thank You, Jesus!

My son has children and grandchildren, so this makes an even larger family!

In total, I have three children, ten grandchildren, plus another one or two on the way. Oh, I can't forget the four great-grandchildren God has loaned me!

Due to family problems, I am not able to see all my grandchildren and great-grandchildren, but I do have a relationship with some; for this I am truly grateful. After all, they are only ours for a time. I'm trusting God for full and complete restoration of these relationships. And, I'm trusting that God's plan is for each one to come to know Jesus as their personal Lord and Saviour, at the earliest time.

Whether here or there, near or far, they are always my Valentines, and will always be in my heart. Know that I love you and always will.


Until next time...

Friday, February 12, 2010

First Love...

Work, work, work. That's all I ever seem to do, anymore. lol

After doing what I needed to do and dropping by my office with paperwork, I saw my daughter P, for a few minutes. Eventually, I made my way home and decided to get some stuff done, that I had been putting off doing. Like...laundry.

While I would like to ignore that Sunday is Valentine's Day, the rest of the world doesn't, so I got all the Valentine's cards/candy ready for my friends and family. Of course, I wrapped birthday gifts for K, P's boyfriend, whose birthday it is on Sunday, as well. Tomorrow, I will bake/decorate a cake for him, to be prepared for his special day.

While relaxing tonight on facebook, I was messaged by S, a young relative in N. Ireland and her friend, E. These two young ladies are about thirteen years of age. They are spending the night together, at E's home.

After a moment or two of conversation, I realized that it was after one o'clock in the morning, where they are. lol When I confirmed the time with them, they said, "shhhh...quiet...no one knows". lol I told them to rest assured; their secret was safe with me and I wasn't going to tell their parents. Well, I don't think I have to worry about their parents finding out, because I don't believe they read this blog.

It reminded me of when I was thirteen.

At that age, I was living in Brampton. A young lad who lived across the street from me had a crush on me. No, I'm not making this up. When I found out, it was because one of our teachers had suggested he stop daydreaming about me and talk to me, after school. Until then, I hadn't a clue.

This young man escorted me to our graduation dance. I must admit, I was not always very kind to him, even though I had a crush on him, too. Oh, first love...

My life was one huge turmoil, even at that age. Family problems and living in an abusive environment made for a very unhappy life, for me. To the point, where I actually had health problems arise from the stress.

We moved away, back to Mississauga. I kept in touch, with M, one of my best friends, who had lived next door to me in Brampton. Later, I was glad I had, because with all the family stress, I actually ran away from home three times. On one of those occasions, I lived with M and her family, in Brampton for about six months, while I was in grade eleven.

My first love, from across the street, still lived there. We never really dated. However, on one evening in my friend's yard, he kissed me. It went no further than kissing, but I never forgot that night. You see, after he kissed me, he said, "Lynn...I think I love you."

Now, you might think that speaking words of love might endear him to me; in a way, it did. After all, we were about fifteen or sixteen years old. However, if you had known me, you would have known that I had very low self-esteem and did not consider myself worthy of him, so instead of kissing more or replying in kind, I said, "I don't think either one of us know what love is."

It must have crushed him, when I said this. I never meant to hurt him. On the contrary, I had always cared for him, possibly even loved him at that stage of my life, but I just truly thought that no one could ever love me.

Not long after this, I returned to my home in Mississauga and we lost touch. That is, until a time, when he was attending York University. He called me to go out with him on a date at a time later in the month; I agreed. In the meantime, I had been working with a fellow, who I had been going out on the occasional date with.

Unfortunately, I couldn't reach my university friend to tell him that I had become engaged to my work mate. That is, until he arrived at my home to pick me up. It was awkward, to say the least.

I never forgot about my first love. It may sound crazy to you, but I never realized until much later, that the feelings we had for each other at that tender young age, were real.

My first marriage didn't work out and ended in divorce. How many times did I kick myself for not going out on that date when my first love was studying at university? Oh well. You can't turn back the clock. Not then. Not now. Not ever.

He did visit my husband and I, around the time when he became engaged to be married. I had just given birth to my youngest daughter, P; she was only a few days old, when I last saw him. Well, apparently he did attend my church, here in Windsor on one occasion, but I never saw him.

It's funny how your first love never leaves you. For my whole life, even though I was happily married to Gordon, I thought about my first love. Gordon knew this, for we discussed it; after all, he had his first love, too. I'm sure most people do. Anyway, I prayed for my first love and for his family, who I never even knew, but was sure he had. Why? Because true love never dies. I'll love him, forever.

Phew! All these memories, spurred on by conversation on facebook with two young teens, who laughed and told me about their 'loves'. How it brought back memories for me. Love on, ladies. Enjoy this time in your lives. It will probably be the best time of your life, as it was for me.


Until next time...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Protection and Kindness

This day will be one to remember, for sure.

Preparing to work meant driving to do some things and get paperwork straightened out, so I was out and about doing my thing, before I met my friend/co-worker C, for lunch. We enjoyed our time of fellowship, as well as our delicious meal at Pat & Hank's, where we feasted on fish & chips. No, it's not really a low-cal meal, but we all have to have something enjoyable to eat, sometimes!

C and I had an appointment together, immediately after lunch, so off we went. It was a good appointment, with a fellow Christian. Hopefully, it will become work for us, in the future; God willing.

While work is work, it's not every day when God reveals truth to you, regarding a fellow workmate. Especially, when the workmate in question has tried to hurt you in some way. No, I'm not referring to C, but rather, someone else.

Yes, I do feel rather upset; no, I won't carry it on, for I know I have to forgive the person. Actually, I already have; it's just that my feelings are hurt, at the moment. And, now I know for sure that I cannot trust this person.

However, I am grateful to God that He provides for me, always. He always seems to reveal to me the truth in situations when I feel like something is not quite right. Thank You, Lord, for You always have my best interests at heart. Thank You, that I can always count on You and I especially thank You that You protect me; what another person may mean for evil, You mean for good. So, I thank You, Father for revealing me Your truth in this matter. Now, I'm asking for guidance and not just the wisdom I prayed for previously, regarding this matter. Thank You, in advance.

Phew! Now, I feel better! It's always good to get something off your chest that is bothering you. At least, I find this to be so.

Today, was another one of those work days where it goes on and on. After working until late this evening (except for when I was at the hospital), I stopped to see my friend J for a minute or two and stayed longer than I originally thought I would. So, I didn't get home until about 11:00 pm.

As you probably remember, on Thursday evenings I've been attending grief counselling, but tonight was different. Recently, I had obtained an invitation to attend a memorial service at Hotel-Dieu/Grace Hospital in memory of all the people who died in the last three months of 2009; including, Gordon. At first, I wasn't going to attend, but a couple of days ago, I decided I would, so I did, tonight.

It was very thoughtful of Hotel-Dieu/Grace Hospital to have this memorial service in the chapel. I was glad I went, although I did feel a little bit out of place. I only noticed one other person, attending alone, like I did. Most people were there in family groups; some, fairly large. I had asked my daughter P if she would attend, but she had other plans. Son K and family said they would prefer to not attend. So, I went on my own.

It was nice to see Major Violet Chaulk, a hospital chaplain and member of the Salvation Army, who had been so very kind to me, when Gordon was hospitalized just prior to his death. She prayed with me and had arranged for me to have the use of a quiet room, for me to rest in and for family/friends to be with me, while at the hospital. Actually, she had been a true blessing to me. May God bless her, richly. I'm sure He already does.

All in all, it was a very busy, but good day. Now, if I could just go somewhere without seeing love, hearts, flowers, candy and Valentine's Day being promoted, I'd be happy. This year, I just wish it would disappear. Not really. Maybe it's better to say that I wish I could just disappear. Oh well, it will be over, soon. It's just one more of those firsts in my life, without Gordon. My luck wouldn't be so good for God to take me home, so I'm sure I'll just survive the day. Can't wait until it's over.

Sleep well. I'll try.


Until next time...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Poem: We Are Never Apart & more...

Today, I worked hard. Work took up much of my day, today. By the time I relaxed at home, I was exhausted; in fact, I was so tired that I could hardly keep my eyes open while relaxing in my recliner chair. Of course, it doesn't help when I cannot seem to get a decent night's sleep; last night I slept about four and a half hours. I can't go on this way. Help!

At 12:30 am, I had not yet gone to bed. At that exact time, it became four months since Gordon died. I can hardly believe it. It doesn't feel quite as shocking as it did, before. Still, I cannot imagine going through the rest of my life alone, without him. Every time I think of the rest of my life, I become overwhelmed. That's where Jesus comes into things. He helps me every day. Without Him, I would surely die.

My friend M, had great news, today. Her physician said that if the last test results are as good as the rest of her test/surgical results, she may be able to avoid chemotherapy. M may have to take some medication for about five years, but at least it won't be as hard on her body as chemo would be. So, M...I am so very happy for you! I will continue to pray for you! Praise God! Thank You, Jesus!

On a recent visit with M, she gave me a copy of a poem that she told me helped her, when her first husband died from cancer. I'm publishing it, here for you to read. Who knows. It may help you , somehow in your life.

We Are Never Apart

As I stand here beside you,
Looking back through the years,
It saddens my heart
To see you in tears.

I put my arms around you,
And wish you would see,
I am still here with you,
While you're grieving for me.

With my angels beside me
I now understand,
It's the love that I've given
That's made me a man.

My possessions, my money,
I have no more,
But it's the love in my heart
That's allowed me to soar.

From where I now stand
Life makes perfect sense,
Do not lose your faith
Over these recent events.

For as sure as sure as the sun
Shall be there tomorrow,
God will be with you
Through your pain and sorrow.

Death does not exist,
For one day you'll see,
Our souls will live on
Through eternity.

Now whisper to the wind
Your own special prayer,
As my love for you
Now fills the air.

Breathe in deep,
Until you hear with your heart,
I'll tell you again
We are never apart.

by Keith Shepherd


Until next time...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Travel and Snow!

Back to the same routine, was my thoughts early this morning, after only having about three hours of sleep. Toss and turn; toss and turn, until I finally got up. When will this end?!

As you can tell, I was up early this morning. The weather forecast was calling for snow, but both my daughter P and I thought the snow was due to begin later in the day. By the time I was half way across town to pick her up, traffic was already snarling. It always amazes me how drivers just cannot seem to adapt to the change in weather conditions.

Even though the weather was not good, we left Windsor and headed to Leamington, where the Heinz factory is located. A couple of times per year, GM employees and their families are allowed to shop at their warehouse. Today was one of those days. Of course, it had to be on one of the worst weather days with snow of the whole season. Oh well, Murphy's Law is alive and well; it was written for me! lol

Since there was not too much traffic on Hwy. #3, it really didn't take us more than about 45 minutes to arrive at the Heinz warehouse. We did some shopping. Actually, P did some shopping, but not much for herself. The shelves and storage areas were almost bare. P was hoping to help a friend who has a baby and was grateful there was a good supply of the baby food that was needed. So, we left with not much for ourselves and much for her friend. The only product I purchased was ketchup, which I plan to divide among several people, keeping some for myself.

My co-worker/friend C, had asked me to stop at Oak Farms to pick up some flowers, so we made a stop there. In addition to buying those bouquets, I bought one for my friend M, who is still recovering from her second surgery. Being headed towards Kingsville, as we made our way back to Hwy. #3, we made a stop at a mushroom farm, where really fresh mushrooms are available.

Arriving back in Windsor, we did some grocery shopping, before dropping P off at home. I had some errands to do, so I did them, dropped the floral bouquets off to C and went to visit with my friend M. She appreciated the flowers and the company, while I appreciated our visit and the delicious cup of hot tea!

The drive home to drop off my groceries was a nightmare. From the traffic situation, you would have thought we had received several feet of snow, instead of only a few inches. Still, I managed to do this and make my way to K & C's for dinner, with ketchup and mushrooms in tow. K & C, plus grandsons S & N enjoyed a delicious meal together. Actually, I was really glad to hear that S has recently become a believer in Jesus Christ. Praise God! Thank You, Jesus!

Of course, we relaxed and watched, 'The Biggest Loser' together. K went to work; he's on the midnight shift this week. I headed over to shovel the walk, for the second time, today.

Today really wasn't a professional work day, today. That's okay. Tomorrow will be! Hopefully, the weather will co-operate and allow me grace to do what I need to do!

While I have been trying to not focus on this, I cannot seem to avoid thinking of this: tomorrow at 12:30 am (in less than an hour) it will be four months since Gordon died. Blessings to you and yours. May you have a wonderful sleep. Me, too!


Until next time...

Monday, February 8, 2010

Prayer & Praise!

Last evening, while on facebook I asked a question about whether or not the past should remain in the past, or not. Several people responded, even though they really didn't know what I was referring to; I believe most thought I was talking about my love for Gordon. This wasn't what I was referring to, but it really doesn't matter.

What does matter is that my friend from Florida, M (who I was supposed to visit in January, but couldn't due to my knee giving out on me, again) commented about her ex-husband J and her comment finished with RIP. I asked her if J was dead. M messaged me and explained that she thought I knew that J's car had been found with his keys and sun glasses in it, but no J. The police dogs could not track a scent, so it was presumed that J was taken from the car and placed into another vehicle. I'm not sure how long ago this occurred, but I believe it was quite a while ago. He's never been found. Not him, nor his body.

Now, I know that they were divorced, but I also know that he was the love of her life. She had always loved him and probably always will.

Believe me when I tell you that I felt sick in my heart over this. You see, I really do know how much M loved J. I will not go into detail, but I will tell you that her love for him, superceded about any kind of tragedy you could think of in a relationship. I fell asleep praying for her, J and J's children.

Lord, if it is Your will, please let J or his body be found, so there can be some closure for those who are grieving, not knowing where he is. I ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.

Talking about sleep. Now, I know for sure that the 'fog' I've been living with since Gordon collapsed and died, is beginning to lift. For a week or more, I've felt like it has been only coming over me in waves; sometimes yes and sometimes, no. Up until now, I've gone through times of not sleeping properly, until I collapse in exhaustion. Well, last night was one of those nights. But, it was different. You see, for the first time since the tragedy occurred, I actually dreamed.

No; I didn't dream of Gordon. That's okay. At least I know for sure that my mind is beginning to come off this roller coaster heartbreak fog that I've been living with. Not being able to think straight is the worst. Believe me. While I'm not totally over the 'fog', I do feel improved, today. Of course, it could be because I slept! Praise God! Thank You, Jesus!

Good and not so good was my work day. Thank You Father, for providing for me and showing me favour, today. Thank You, even for the trial I was faced with. Thank You, that You gave me grace to stay calm in the middle of the storm that could have erupted to become out of control. Thank You, for Your peace. Thank You, for allowing me to forgive this person who hurt me; I know that the deed that was done was meant for evil, but You mean it for good. So, I thank You, for all this and so much more. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

My creative writing class was a lot of fun, tonight. Of course, it always is, but I was pleased to have had some of my writing scrutinized. In addition, I got to sing for my cronies, at my friend W's request. I love to sing. Now, I've been encouraged to continue writing, as well.

Originally, I had hoped to write a book; I began it a while back, before Gordon's death. Once he died, the 'fog' I lived with hardly allowed me to think straight, never mind creatively write, anything. This was one reason I began to blog, among other reasons. Anyway, I left feeling encouraged.

Arriving home, I found a message from my friend M, who today got the results from her recent surgery. No more surgery is necessary; it doesn't appear that the breast cancer metastasized anywhere else in her body. Shortly, she'll be having more tests done and chemo, but it appears that they got it all! Praise God! Thank You, Jesus!

There you have it. A day just overflowing with prayer needed and praise given. Please continue to pray for both my Floridian friend M and my Windsorite friend M. May God bless you, richly.


Until next time...

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Love Day Anticipation...

Last evening's Bible study was wonderful. We are studying the book of Ruth; you'll find it in the Old Testament part of the Bible, if you are not familiar. I feel so blessed to have such good Bible-believing Christian friends, who included me in their small group Bible study. Praise God! Thank you, Jesus!

Since I was to be there for 7:00 pm, I left early and did a couple of errands on the way. Arriving exactly on time, I was surprised to find I was the first person there.

Each person in attendance was a special person to me, for each one had played a part in supporting me and taking care of me, while Gordon was in hospital and immediately after he died. There was only one couple missing from the group. To show my thanks once again, I took a small gift for all and gave a gift to the missing couple, today at church.

As you know, this is the first Sunday of the month, so after our worship service we celebrated Communion. It's always a special time for me, for I enjoy not just partaking the elements (bread and juice), but also because it gives me one more time to repent of my sin, prior to participating in taking Communion.

You may think this is a silly notion, but one of the reasons I enjoy taking Holy Communion, is because it reminds me of how much love God has for me. My Saviour, Jesus Christ, did not have to come to earth, die on a wooden cross and be resurrected so I can have eternal life. He did so of His own free will, in obedience to God The Father. God's Word tells us that there is no greater love than this: that a man give up his life for his brethren. Jesus did that for me...and for you. My prayer is that you will trust in Jesus for your own salvation, if you are not doing so, already.

Why is this important to me? Let's face it, it's not easy living in this world. It has proven itself to be a place where there isn't much love. At least, for me. If I didn't know that there really was a place called 'Hell', I might be tempted to think of my life, here on earth, as 'Hell'.

This is 'love' month; February. Valentine's Day is coming, next Sunday. My emotions are up and down, like a yo-yo. To be honest, I'm dreading it. The unfortunate thing for me, is that Valentine's Day is also my daughter P's boyfriend's birthday, so I can't just crawl into bed and cover my head on the day, no matter how much I would like to. No, I will have to bake/decorate a birthday cake, visit him with the cake and his gift and celebrate his special day. Believe me, I am not looking forward to doing so, this year.

It's not just because I'm missing Gordon, but also because I am very lonely. Yes, there are more types of love than just from a husband. But, while I am alone and lonely, others are celebrating love.

My parents are gone. One child doesn't have contact with me; this also means no contact with some grandchildren and a great-grandchild. My first love is still alive and happily married. Another important person from my past is alive and in a relationship. My siblings live too far away to visit; and, one feels that shunning the rest of us, is the right way to live.

While my love for them is alive and well and has never died, there isn't much love for me. It's a good thing I don't rely on love to live and breathe. lol

Happiness and joy are not the same thing. Happiness is something we humans strive for; joy cometh from the Lord. I'm glad I have joy, even if I feel unhappy.

Still, it's rather sad to think that the love in my life comes from heaven, where I am not. No matter what, I am grateful for the love I do receive.

Yes, I thank God for Jesus. He's my friend, who sticks closer than a brother. He promised me He would never leave me, nor forsake me. I can trust Him. He loves me. He loved me so much, that He provided for me, for eternity. Praise God! Thank you, Jesus!


Until next time...

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Lynnie's Homemade Beef-Barley Soup & more...

Normally, I don't write my blog entry until late evening, so that I can write about my day. Today will be different.

I've decided to write my blog entry early, because this evening, I have plans. A young couple from church host a small Bible study group. The group began in the fall; a few couples that Gordon and I were friendly with, participate. Due to Gordon's illness/death we did not participate. Then, in December, the group put the study on hold, until after Christmas. January was vacation time for the hosts, so we are just beginning to meet, tonight.

It may seem strange for me to meet with married couples, but some of Gordon and my friends have been so good to me, reaching out in Christian love. One good thing is that my friends A & K, are bringing A's Mom, who is living/visiting with them from Jamaica. At least I won't be the only unattached person in the group. I truly am grateful for good friends and a loving church family, who have reached out to me in love. Thank you, Lord!

Yesterday, I made some delicious, homemade beef-barley soup. Some Facebook friends liked my comment about making a pot of beef-barley soup and requested a recipe. Later I will make a Facebook entry letting them know they should read today's blog entry for the recipe, because a recipe is probably too long for Facebook entries. Besides, when I cook, I don't always use a 'recipe'. As in this case.

Before I begin, I would like to thank C & K, who were kind enough to have me for dinner. The roast was delicious! And, I thank you, for sending me home with the broth, with which I made this delicious soup. The beef I added to my pot of soup, was some roast beef that I had made previously and frozen for a future meal.

So, for those who want to know, I'll just discuss how I made the soup. I'll do my best to explain, but you need to know that I don't always measure ingredients. Oh well, you'll see...

Lynnie's Homemade Beef-Barley Soup

Beef broth, gravy or bouillon
Beef
Onion
Carrot
Potato
Barley
Garlic powder
Salt
Pepper
Water


You need to know that some people use prepackaged broth or beef bouillon cubes for broth, but I haven't yet tried this. So far, I've used gravy as my base or beef broth kept after cooking a roast, which is what I used this time. If you use beef broth kept after cooking a roast, be sure to cool it in the refrigerator and remove any excess fat that surfaces. If you need to, you can always mix broths, by supplementing a cooked broth with store bought or even cubes, from what my friend K, told me.

The reason I like to use homemade beef broth or gravy as my base, is because when I cook a roast, I add to it ingredients like: onion, garlic (cut, mashed or whole), tomatoes, salt and pepper; together, with the roast, you have a deliciously flavoured broth with which to make gravy or soup from. So, since the broth/gravy already has a delicious flavour that I like, as opposed to using storebought or a cube of something that I am not sure the taste of, I prefer to use it.

When adding vegetables, dice or chop as you prefer to eat them, whether large or small, it makes no difference (only to the cooking time - larger may take longer).

The amounts of each ingredient to use, depends upon how much broth you have to use and how many people you want to feed. So, use your own judgement.

Place the broth into the pot.

Dice or chop onion, carrot, potato and add to the broth.

Now, you'll be able to judge how much water you'll need. Make sure all ingredients are covered, making sure to add extra for some of the liquid to evaporate during cooking, so you'll have as much broth as you like to have with your soup, once it's cooked. It's really trial and error!

Add as much barley as you like; it takes some time to cook this and as it does, it puffs up, so it is still a 'guess' system for me, at this time. Just realize that if you add too much, you could end up with 'mush'. ;-))

Add the garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste.

Bring it to a boil (uncovered), then reduce the temperature to a simmer, and allow to cook for at least 30 minutes.

Then, add the pre-cooked (cut as you desire) beef. Cover and allow to simmer about an hour. If you feel it needs more time, then allow more time.

As you can see, nothing is written in stone, in this recipe! Truly, it's just trial and error. Try it for yourself! If you don't like the results, change something, for next time!

Most of all, enjoy your creation! If you try this for yourself, please let me know how you make out. Enjoy!


Until next time...

Friday, February 5, 2010

Unbelievable...but True!

Today was an amazing day! What began as a very normal, ordinary day became one that ended as an extraordinary day.

Throughout most of the day, I worked from home; nothing unusual, just the normal stuff, calls, computer work, etc. I know, I know; I previously told you I wouldn't discuss my work much here on the blog. Well, I'm not giving details; and since it's a part of my day, I thought I'd mention it, because it has to do with what else happened in my day.

While I was working, I had a pot of beef-barley soup cooking on the stove. This is only the third time I've made this soup, but over the course of the last year or so, I have developed a taste for homemade soup. Especially since Gordon died. I think it's because my neighbour/friend across the hall K, who makes the most delicious homemade soups, is regularly bringing me some!

Well, I'll have you know that the soup was absolutely delicious! My facebook friends know this; now, you do, too. After having some for supper, I packaged up the rest for K. We had a short visit at her place and enjoyed conversation. Next week, K is having a knee replacement done. She doesn't know it yet, but I plan to provide her with many meals during her recovery time. She's been a blessing to me; hopefully, I can be one for her.

It was so windy earlier, that I thought about not meeting with my friends for the Christian Singles Cafe, held at Tim Horton's on Tecumseh Rd. at Chandler. The truth is, I just didn't feel like going out in the cold. However, I am glad I did.

On my way out, I knocked on K's door. When she answered, I handed her a package of desserts that I didn't really want in my home, for I knew I would eat them. I had received them yesterday, after the funeral, when I was asked to bring the container home. I told her I thought she could use them; I was not in need of them, especially since I am trying to lose weight, not gain some! I know she has a sweet tooth, so I'm sure K will enjoy the sweet treats.

Tonight, at Timmie's, there were seventeen of us. We filled up quite a large part of the seating area! I believe a good time was had by all. Certainly, I had a good time. As people left, we tidied up and made our group/tables smaller. Eventually, there was just Y and her friend, M and of course, me. As I was in the process of leaving, Y suggested the three of us continue having a chin wag, so I joined the two ladies.

It was shocking to me to hear M speak of her Ukrainian heritage, because it seemed that her family and her ex-husband's family was from the same area that my grandfather's family was from. Then, M spoke about Montreal and how some of their family and family-friends settled in Montreal and some in Windsor. Hmm...this too sounded familiar.

Then, I mentioned that I am originally from Montreal. She asked me my maiden name. Well, without going into a long tale, I will tell you that M's ex-husband's uncle came to Canada with my grandfather; they were good friends. And, there may be a family connection.

We had so much to talk about. I was absolutely shocked; so was M. We realized that years earlier, we had spoken once by phone. Never did I ever think I'd meet her. What a small world it is. Truly.

M plans to dig up a few photographs of my family. She recalled making a trip to visit them, in the mid 1960's. Amazing! How God works, is utterly amazing. Thank you, Lord, for blessing me, tonight. I pray this 'new' friendship will flourish.

Arriving home, I found my neighbour/friend K, had hung a bag on my door. It held a still warm container of homemade rice pudding. Earlier, when I spoke with K at her door as I gave her the sweet treats, she told me she planned to make some rice pudding for the first time. Still, I was surprised to find some waiting for me. It was a pleasant surprise, to be sure! Thank you, K. Yes, I had some; it was yummy!

All in all, it was a highly unusual day, but one I am grateful for. Thank you, Lord.


Until next time...