Tag Archives: grandchildren

Travelling with God’s Angels – South African Adventure

Travelling with God’s Angels

Our Adventure Has Begun

Day One: Travelling with God’s Angels.

Hi everyone, we have had quite a day, a memorable start to our trip. I’ve decided that during this trip I will keep my eyes and ears open for God’s angels. This morning God came first in grandson Tim. He stays with us, although he spends most of his time at his mom’s home, caring for the dogs. This morning Tim was with us. He lugged the two heavy suitcases out to the car. Of course the car was full of books which he had to carry inside. We heard not a word of complaint. It was almost as if we were doing Tim a favour by letting him help us. He came and went all morning.

Tim brought his sister, Ellie, for lunch. Two of our special angels to see us off. It was lovely. They took pictures. Their hugs were a great send off. Surely, God was there in them surrounding us with love.

On the way to the home of Tom’s brother, Bob, we delivered some books I had borrowed from a fellow writer. We had a wonderful conversation about writing and faith and church. We stopped much longer than we had intended. It felt like we had been God’s angels for each other. God was certainly present in our conversation.

We enjoyed our conversation with Bob on the way to the airport. We unloaded, hugged goodbye, and headed straight for Air Canada’s special care desk. We were four hours ahead of flight departure. Both Tom and Bob were amused at my need to arrive so early.

All was well until we stepped up to the desk to check our luggage. Tom reached for his passport. “Oh my God,” he said. “I’ve left my sports jacket hanging over the car seat. In the pocket is my wallet and my passport.” It would have been fairly simple if we could have called Bob who was driving our car back to his condo for a 3 week rest. Bob keeps his cell phone in his own car for emergencies only.

Without the passport, we couldn’t check our baggage and board the plane. Traffic of course was frightful at 5 p.m. and Bob took an hour and a half to drive across the city through supper time traffic to his condo. In the meantime, Tom was frantically calling Bob’s condo every five minutes . You can imagine our relief when Bob finally called to tell us he was on his way back through the traffic to bring the neglected blazer and documents.

The Air Canada agent assured us all would be well, because we had arrived at the airport so early. I just nodded and smiled. a trip that normally takes about 40 minutes. Bob’s first words when he handed Tom his jacket were ,”Brother you owe me big time.” And of course, we do. Were there angels in the midst of our turmoil Of course. The Air Canada reps who were so helpful and reassuring certainly felt like God’s angels. They couldn’t have been more understanding even as they kept shaking their heads and telling us we needed that passport.

For me, I thanked God that Bob went directly home after he dropped us at the airport. I thank God that Bob’s friend Anne made sure that Bob got the message. We had called her when we couldn’t reach Bob at home. Bob was definitely God’s angel. I’m sure it was only family loyalty and Bob’s native generosity that brought him back to the airport. Four times across the city during rush hour traffic was definitely angel work.

The wonderful Air Canada staff cheerfully coped with two upset passengers. They loaded Tom into the wheelchair and delivered us through the long journey within the airport to our loading gate with a half hour to spare.

Yes, we are not alone on this journey. It could have started out as the trip from hell. Instead, with the help of God’s angels, we have weathered the obstacles without an unkind word to each other or from anyone else. We are truly blessed.

Just Three More Days!!!

Three More Days to Christmas!!!

Today I am counting my blessings. To begin with, I’ve enjoyed the last hour in prayer. This is my favorite way to begin my day. Tom is sleeping – letting his body heal. The last few days have been filled with blessings. First and foremost, Tom is doing well with his new hip. Of course, he’s using a two-wheeled walker, but he is walking and putting some weight on that leg. At this point he’s doing well enough to wish he could do more. For me that is a great sign that he’s on his way to dancing this summer.

Our daughter, Connie and family have a new puppy for Christmas. They’ve added to the sacredness of this season by welcoming home a rescue pup. Oliver has brought joy into the household.

Image may contain: dog

I’ve been specially blessed over the last two days. Two grandchildren, Jenna, age 17 and Tim age 22, have spent a day baking Christmas cookies with me. They’ve filled my heart with joy and memories of baking with my kids.  In the midst of the crazy busyness of living, when there are so many demands on their time, they want to be with us. What a true blessing!

And yet, as is always true in living, there is sadness and worry as well. My brother-in-law, sister Gayle’s husband, is nearing the end of his journey with cancer. Today I give thanks that Gayle’s daughter Tracey, is being their anchor. Although we’re not together, Dina, Sharon and I are sending our love and our prayers to Gayle. The love of family is a precious gift. I am grateful for my faith and theirs. I can trust in God’s comfort and strength for all of them. I can trust that God will welcome Bruce home when the time comes.

And those are just the tip of the iceberg. Always I give thanks that I was born in Canada. I give thanks that my mother who raised me lived the Christian faith, and so I too had the opportunity to become a person of faith. All my life I’ve known that God is with me, guiding, comforting, strengthening and challenging me. I truly believe that God is there within all of us, all we need do is open our hearts to let that knowledge grow. Not everyone, lives in a family where the opportunity to learn about God is present. Yes, with three more days before celebrating the birth of Jesus, God with us, I am overwhelmed by the blessing of faith.

This morning I suggest that you take time out, for prayer and gratitude. I promise it will bring smiles and sunshine into your heart.

There shall be showers of blessings.

When I sat down to write this article, my eyes were drawn to the front window. I looked through a sprightly bouquet of tulips and iris, flowers brought by friends. “A touch of spring,” she said when she handed them to me last week. Past the tulips, I saw the leaden winter sky setting free snow that filtered down to thicken the blanket that already covers our yard. More snow, I thought, yuk. My eyes slipped back to the tulips lifting their blooms toward the window. I smiled. Thank you God for this touch of new life, a bright spot in my day. Thank you God for friends.

A little earlier that morning, I had driven our granddaughter to high school. Her happy smile greeted me as she ran down the steps and opened the car door. On the way to school, I told her that I had kissed Grandpa’s sleepy forehead and reminded him that it was his turn tomorrow. We laughed. Her eyes alight with fun she teased, “Guess I was up before you two. I was making porridge at six o’clock this morning.”  My thought was, Oh, how I love you. Thank you God for our Ellie. She is always a bright spot in our day.

Two gifts from God rest in my heart, blessings for this day.  In winter, I can easily overlook  blessings. So often I throw on my coat, leave it unzipped and ignore my hat and mitts left behind waiting on the cedar chest at the door. Once outside, I shudder and repeat my mantra to God, “I hate winter.”

Today, as I run my errands, I will snuggle into my long-johns and down-filled parka, pull my wild striped hat down over my ears and my warm cuddly mitts over my arthritic fingers. I don’t want to be distracted by the cold and discomfort. I want my soul open to more of those blessings that God has prepared for me.

I recommend we all endeavor to bring this attitude to our lives all year long. Whether it’s the weather that is uncomfortable, or our lives that have been tainted with misery, let’s do what we can to alleviate its effects. We can set our hearts and souls free to receive the love God offers us each day. Let’s notice, accept, smile and give thanks.

There shall be showers of blessing:
This is the promise of love;
There shall be seasons refreshing,
Sent from the Savior above.

Lyrics by Daniel W. Whittle 1883

 

Surrounded with Color #travel #church

Oct 7 & 8

Cloudy day - color subdued on camera
Cloudy day – color subdued on camera

Yesterday was a very long day in the car. We chose to drive from Winnipeg to Kenora in one day. Not a good idea for us! Our only stop was the Canadian Tire. Still, we arrived in Kenora at 7:30, after dark. Having hit a deer during twilight time last May, we have decided that driving northern highways after dark is dangerous. We were both relieved to roll into Kenora. We returned to the same hotel, which felt like coming home. Their little restaurant was open. Hallelujah. Following our good supper we swam in the pool and languished in the hot tub. When we crawled into bed we felt loved and cared for again. There isn’t much to say about yesterday except we had to trust in God as darkness fell.

This morning we slept in until 7:30. After breakfast we stopped by Knox United in Kenora and headed out. As we were driving into Dryden Tom watched a Golden Eagle swoop across the sky, elegant and powerful. At Dryden we visited First United. By the time we got there I was desperate to answer the call of nature. Their fabulous office administrator, Laurie H. went the extra mile to lead me downstairs, turning on lights as we went. Afterwards we had a grand conversation. Laurie is a fabulous front line person for First United. The office administrator’s greeting and response to visitors is crucial. Laurie was helpful, knowledgeable and fun. Although their new minister had left for lunch, she knew who to call about my books. Although that person wasn’t available to come, she trusted Laurie enough to give her permission to check out my books and purchase them if appropriate, which she did. We were impressed. God’s Spirit certainly emanated from Laurie.

From Dryden we drove on through a landscape alive with colour – yellows and greens of every possible shade. Coming into the Kaministiquia River Valley leading to Thunder Bay there was a point where God’s magical paintbrush had transformed the hills all around us. I’m sure Tom struggled to keep his eyes on the road.

Tonight we took grandson Ben out for dinner. He chose Mongo’s, an excellent choice. The food was delicious and also an experience. It’s sort of a buffet. The fresh veggies, meat, fish and varieties of noodles are laid out raw, ready for grilling. We were given one bowl and told to heap it as high as possible putting the noodles on top. Over all of that we heaped at least seven scoops of sauce. There were a multitude of sauces – some spicy  – to choose from. Once loaded up we took our bowls to the huge circular grill where five young people were cooking. A loud hiss and lots of steam erupted as they emptied our bowls on the grill. Once cooked our meal was placed in a bigger bowl and handed back. On one side of the buffet they had a series of recipes to help in my choice of sauces. My creation was absolutely perfect. I even managed to eat my entire bowl. After all with all those fresh veggies this had to be good for me. We enjoyed our visit with Ben. He’s a wonderful young man. Tom and I are totally blessed by our grandchildren.

As we go to bed tonight, we are overwhelmed with gratitude for our amazing lives.

A Windy, Rainy Sunday #travel #church #grandchildren

September 20  Day 22

St. Andrews Wesley United Church
St. Andrews Wesley United Church

Usually the highlight of Sunday for me, is worship. Sunday morning with my home congregation is always special, not just because I enjoy seeing our friends, but also because the strength of the faith and love we share lifts and carries me.

Sunday morning in a strange church when we’re travelling carries its own brand of the extraordinary. This morning was no exception. St. Andrews-Wesley United Church must be the biggest United Church if not the biggest church building in Vancouver. The beautiful sanctuary with it’s traditional pipe organ speaks of the awesomeness of God. This morning a men’s choir (about 30) from New Zealand were guests. Between the regular choir, men’s choir, and that organ the music was amazing. I felt like I was part of the heavenly hosts that sang at Jesus’ birth. A young girl (about ten) read the scripture with the assurance of someone who felt totally at home in her church. The entire service lifted me and filled me with energy for the week.

Inside St. Andrews Wesley - The service over, the organist stays to visit.
Inside St. Andrews Wesley – The service over, the organist stays to visit.

Before church, there was Alex (age 18 months). Our grandson is an early riser. Bonnie texted us at 6:00 a.m. to tell us we could come over anytime. Happy, and content, Alex is a joy even at 6:00 a.m. We had a lovely time with him and his mom and dad. Actually, all day Alex has been a delight.

This afternoon we had a nap to compensate for our early start. We talked to Grandson Chris (age 23). He suggested we get together after his work tomorrow. Our phone call done, we returned to Bonnie’s for another wonderful dose of Alex as well as a yummy supper. Now it’s 9:00 p.m. We’re back in our condo and thinking about an early night. Tom is checking out places to square dance tomorrow afternoon while everyone works.

Once again, God was with us. I felt God’s presence every time young Alex smiled but especially when we arrived early this morning. He came running to Grandpa his arms outstretched so happy to see him. I believe God put us together in families so we could love and care for one another. We are totally blessed.

How Do I Share My Faith?

Games Are Fun

Last month, my granddaughter and I celebrated our birthdays together for the first time. For this one precious year, she is living in Canada, one hour from us. Her gift for me, chosen by her and offered with a huge smile of satisfaction, was a tiny angel made of polished rose stone.

This is the second time in her short twelve years of life she has given me a gift of faith. Christianity is not practiced in her home. Still, she has learned that I treasure my faith. For that I am truly grateful.

We want to offer the invitation of faith to our grandchildren. We would like them to experience the joy of being a Christian and belonging to a church family. 

As Christians we know that God loves everyone unconditionally. We want each and every child of to know in the depths of their hearts that he or she is God’s precious child, loved no matter what.

Each day, I remind myself that Jesus issued invitations.

We accomplish nothing when we moan about our loved one’s lack of faith, or rejection of God. Treating their thoughts with contempt drives them away.  Our role is to pray for wisdom, patience, and a focus on invitation.

When we push too hard, we get in God’s way.

The best invitation of faith we can give is to live our faith and celebrate the joy of being part of a church family. Beyond that, we give our precious loved ones to God. We can trust that God will care for them.

 

Let us all remember Jesus’ invitation, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 (NIV)