As Life Rolls On

As a friend of mine always says, "We plan, God laughs." You never know what life will bring, but the ride can be a blast!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

My Holy Place

This past week I spent some time at my Holy Place. It is the place where I was bullied as a child, yet I always felt safe there. It's the place where I had my first smoke, my first drink and experimented with other "things" for the first time, yet I always felt safe there. It's the place where I realized, I can try to run from God, but I can never hide. It's the place where I finally decided to stop running and turned around to come face to face with my God. I realized that He has always protected me, always been there to ensure that although I came close to the edge at times, I did not fall off. I realized there was no reason to run, that as stubborn and independant as I am, He is there to work with me, not to push me into things I do not want to do or am not ready for. On the contrary, it was in this Holy Place that I came to terms with God wanting me to use my skills and life experiences to work with Him.
That place is Jackson's Point. As soon as I stepped out of the car on Monday, I felt the weight of the world slide off my shoulders, and again I had that sense of safety and peace that I have so accutely felt there for as long as I can remember. I was there for 3 days for a conference. It was a very intense 3 days, as the subject material was disturbing (Human Trafficking for the Purposes of Sexual Exploitation). Yet in that Holy Place, God worked as we discussed the strategies the Salvation Army is taking Internationally, Nationally, and within each of our Divisions.

I went for a walk during lunch time on the second day to clear my head a little. It was wonderful, as God revealed his mighty power, yet his loving gentleness at the same time. I miss that Holy Place. I have yet to find someplace here in Alberta where I can feel that same sense of peace, safety and holiness. But God knows all our needs. There is such a place here for me, and He will help me find it.

Evidence of God's power. The rockbed docks have been crushed like toothpicks by the winter ice on the lake.

Evidence of God's loving gentleness. The growth of new plants at the edge of the recently thawed creek.

A spot at my Holy Place

Sunday, April 08, 2007

He Ain't No Baby No More

Well, our youngest turns 22 today. Our baby is all grown up. I have posted on Jason recently about the kind of man he has become, so let me now tell you how he has always made us laugh.
Jason has always taken great joy in life. From the time he was old enough to laugh, he hasn't stopped. His laughter has always filled the house. He and I would stand in front of the mirror together when he was a toddler and he would watch himself and laugh as he gave me raspberries on my cheek. Once he started talking, he never stopped. By the time he was 4 years old, we had a signal for him. All we would say is "Jason, do me a favour" and he would say "I know, be quiet for a minute........wight" Thirty seconds later, a little voice would say "Is it a minute yet?" How could you not laugh!

Jason has always liked his food. He was to polite to ask if he could have something though, he always found a "different" way to ask, such as walking into Auntie Cathy's house and announcing; "I'm a HUNGRY guy!" He liked going to Auntie Cathy's house, 'cause that line always got him treats. How could you not laugh!

Jason has always seen the funny side in things. I would hear him and James laughing and banging down in basement when they were little. When I would call down and ask what was going on, the perverbial and shy "nothing" would come my way. Many years later, the truth came out, they were putting each other in blankets and banging each other off the posts, calling the game "bumper cars". To them, it was funny when they got bumps or bruises from it. Then there was the Rodeo on TV. Jason would role on the floor he would laugh so hard as he saw the cowboys flying through the air as they were thrown from the bulls and bucking horses. Bruce used to put it on TV when Jason was home just so he could laugh at Jason laughing. How could you not laugh!

Then there was the time when Jason at age 15 was off on his first Canadian Staff Band trip. Even after being reminded to pack what he needed the night before, and to ensure he had his alarm set (is was to be a very early start the next morning), Jason forgot to do both. Needless to say, when his ride was finally able to rouse us (I believe at 6:00 AM), Jason had to quickly scramble to grab his things and get out the door......................"Do you have everything you need, clean changes of clothes, all your toilettries"....................."Yes mom, don't worry, I have everything, I'm OK." Jump forward 2 nights upon Jason's return. It seems that Jason had earned a new nickname.............."Crack Pants". You see, right before the big Sunday afternoon concert, the "guys" were all playing hacky sack. Jason went to kick the hacky sack, kicked to high, and tore the whole crotch out of his pants. That would be ambarrasing enough, but the Kicker (no pun intended) was that he didn't have everything he needed when he left the house..................he had forgotten all his underwear. So as my fun loving son stated, he was "hanging free" as he quickly looked for another pair of pants to wear.

I could go on and on, there are so many stories, and many I am still only finding out about from others. So my fun loving son, know that you have always brightened our lives. You can make the gloomiest day bright. We are very proud of the man you are and all you stand for. You are a blessing. Happy Birthday!

The Three Amigos

Fishing with Dad

Music Camp Honour Student

Two of the Valleyhood Crew on Prom Night

Jason and Alyson

48th Highlander. We are proud of you. Happy Birthday Son!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Teacher to Be

This is Alyson, our daughter-in-law, well at least she will be in about 6 weeks. She is sweet, caring, sensitive, independent, very bright and gifted. She is a psychology major and graduates with her degree in June. Psychology.............what a wonderful thing to want to specialize in (not that I'm biased or anything). She is also very good for our son. She is an encourager and is supportive and very proud of him. She has played a key role in the wonderful man he has become.

Today Alyson emailed me with some great news. She has been accepted into Teachers College at the University of Western Ontario for next fall. Western has one the highest quality teachers programs, so it will bode her well in the future. As well, in the province of Ontario, there were over 16,000 applications to Teachers College this year, with only about 5000 spots availbale. I know people in the past who had decent marks who have applied 2 to 3 years in a row before they were accepted. Alyson has been accepted her first year applying.

So Alyson, from Mom & Dad Young.....................WAY TO GO! We are VERY proud of you! You are going to make one AMAZING teacher!