Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sunday, sweet Sunday

hello dear suzy,
so we took the kids away to our favorite place in the whole world
a little cabin out past sooke, with a hot tub
and a beach across the street.
it was wonderful and the kids loved it so much
and i was so blessed to be surrounded by happy faces and laughter

i have read the book you are refering to. i actually own it- i bought it when
i first got sick....pretty eye-opening stuff.
speaking of which, i am restarting my very limited diet tomorrow and am
trying to wrap my head around the commitment that takes.
it isn't the easiest thing to do but i am hoping that this time
i might find some relief.

i laughed about the job and the wage..gotta love it hey?
this is where we must practice gratitude and be
constantly looking for what we are going
to learn and experience in our new place
of employment hey?
we did taxed today. that was depressing.
but hey, they are done and that is a good thing.

on Tuesday, it is my birthday and i made my 43 before 44 list
so i will post it on Tuesday...i was suprised at how easy it
was to come up with 43 things that i want to do/experience
they just flowed out of my fingers onto the page!

i hope your easter was blessed.
have a great first day at work tomorrow.
celebrate your artsy self and be wonderful at customer service!
make people want to return, just to see you!!!!
love ya,

Friday, April 22, 2011

April 22nd   2011

Blog #36  Confessions and dreams of a middle age woman  

Dear Tania

Today is a mixed bag…

What is the difference between a crazy bunny and a counterfeit banknote? One is bad money and the other is a mad bunny!

Why did the Easter egg hide? He was a little chicken!

Why did a fellow rabbit say that the Easter Bunny was self-centered? Because he was eggo-centric!

What does a bunny use when it goes swimming? A hare-net.

How do you make a rabbit stew? Make it wait for three hours!

What did the grey rabbit say to the blue rabbit? Cheer up!

What do you get when you pour hot water down a rabbit hole? A hot cross bunny.

Well what did I learn in Mental health this week… that boundaries are hard to define and different from Expectations. … dealing with stress. healthy vs. unhealthy. Our teacher suggested a book and I got it. It’s called “when the body says no” … it’s about stress. I’ll let you know what I think once I get into to it.

Self Care: I bought some Chinese Food today and sat in the care and listened to music and ate. By myself, for myself. Trying to analyse more how I am feeling and become more self aware. Tricky…

Did I tell you I got a job at an art store. The timing of starting is a little wacky… with Phantom and all. I start Monday! Weird eh. My aunt and I laughed… $50,000 in debt to be a teacher and I get a job for $9.50 at an art store… something is wrong with this picture.

Speaking of pictures…

Artist Dalton Ghetti's tiny pencil sculptures are made using only a razor blade, a sewing needle and a sculpting knife.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

today i am grateful for the small things...

somedays i find it almost impossible to think of what i am grateful for
but that goes against my belief that gratefulness is not optional.
i need to be grateful in all things, all circumstances
and it is on days like this that a small list
can take a long time to figure out.
so today
is one of the days where this is written simply out of personal discipline
not because i feel particulary grateful
because i don't.
honestly, i feel exhausted. battle weary and very close to throwing in the towel
whatever that would if that is even an option
but i can for a brief moment imagine what it would feel like..
to just check out, stop caring, stop trying, stop doing what i do everyday.
however, i won't and i never have and i am not about to start now,
so here is my grateful list for today...and by the end,
i will have shifted my mindset and reilize that i have actually
had a very, very blessed day!
a warm cup of chai tea in a very comfy mug
polkadot pajamas that make me feel skinny:)
easy, make it yourself dinner and a family that doesn't complain about that
glorious sunshine!
peas peekin gout of the ground in the garden!
beautiful family members who i love so much
the white cat that visits our yard each day
a clean kitchen
comfy couches with soft pillows
a loving husband
flowers from my mom today
internet inspiration
memories of an easier time:)

i love ya suzy,
have a great night!

April 18th  2011  

Blog #35  Confessions and dreams of a middle age woman  

Dear Tania

Been thinking a lot about choices… ours and gods. I want to share a devotion with you that illustrates well what I have been thinking about…

Woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! (v. 24)

     + + +

 Judas's betrayal is the fulfillment of God's own plan: The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, says Jesus. Or as Peter put it in his Pentecost sermon, Jesus was delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God (Acts 2:23). Yet Judas is responsible for, and must suffer the consequences of, his treachery: Woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born. On the one hand, Judas is a player acting out his part in a drama written by God before the foundation of the universe. But on the other hand, Judas is responsible for doing what the plan has him do. How can that be? If the deed is inevitable, how can Judas be responsible? And if Judas is responsible, how can the deed be inevitable?

     How responsible are we for our sins and failings? On the one hand, we are solely responsible. On the other hand, there are factors in life over which we have no control: heredity, genetics, IQ, environment. Don't they to some degree affect our decisions? Of course they do.

      We are responsible for what we do. We shape life. But life also shapes us, and we are at the mercy of factors over which we have no control. And somewhere in that paradox we live out our lives. All the more reason to pray daily for God's mercy and guidance.

 Lord, lead me. Guide me. Use me. For your glory and for my good. Amen.

Of course the devotion does not answer the complex question of what is God’s choice and what is ours. Do we live out what has been already predetermined… how much leeway is there? I have wondered about this many times. Are we ‘set up’ for failure or success by the ‘things’ put into us before our first day is even done. How much of what we choose is actually choice? Does it matter in the end?
                      ....... We have no control…

 Ahhh, the illusion of control. And if we have no ‘real’ control over choices then that brings doubt to God’s character as to if he really is fair or just… of course these are our limited concepts put against an infinite, complex being that we can’t even begin to comprehend…

 So then we are back to trust. Either we trust God or we don’t. How can we know if God is trustworthy?      Experience.             His faithfulness to us.

So we trust. With limited vision, limited understanding, with unanswered questions, we ‘simply’ trust.

My prayer: God, with all of my limitations both natural, spiritual, and intellectual… help me to trust you more… because it seems that is all I possibly can do, in this journey of faith…

Sunday, April 17, 2011

self care...

here is what i think,
and it's going to be quick because i am sick today, heading to the clinic and seeing double,
so we shall see how well my brain works!
i have been thinking about your comments about self care
i laughed when you said that you appear to have "an issue with it"
silly us. silly silly us who don't value ourselves enough to know when to take care!
martha and mary come to mind.
now i know there are lots of teachings and thoughts and opinions about martha and mary
and probably a few good sermons too...and a few bad ones,
but here are my tania thoughts.
i know that you are i are both leaning towards being martha's!
we are happiest when we are busy.busy.busy, getting it done, helping others,
not a minute to spare, deadlines thrill us, we want to be useful and all that other martha stuff.
mary is a fine example of self care.
for all i know, mary may have normally been a very productive woman
she might have been just as energetic and busy as martha on most days
but that one day,
the day that made it into the bible for us to read
she wasn't. that was the day she sat. she sat and nourished herself.
and that is the simple truth about self care.
it is the nourishing of ourselves,
and from that nourishing we can give to others
and be who we are called to be.
for those of us who have a hate on for self care, or self love for whatever reason
and there are many if you start looking too deep...many, many reasons why we don't care for ourselves,
for us,
we need to start simple.
favorite tea in the teacup
yummy smelling shampoo in the shower
fresh pillowcase on the pillow
deep breaths when sitting at the computer
stuff like that.
little stuff to get us started.
pick one suzy- just one and try it out!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

my week

April 16th  2011  
Blog #35  Confessions and dreams of a middle age woman  

Dear Tania

Here is what I learned about boundaries… a visual helper….

(sorry visual would not copy)

Think of all the spaces as rooms inside you… though we open our garden to many, it is a smaller amount we open our home to. Many are invited into our living room but only those we are closer to get into our kitchen. From there the numbers drop more. Our spouse and closest get into our bedroom… but not many if any get into the private area of our bathroom for it contains the most private information about us. We learned this when speaking about boundaries this week. I thought is might be a helpful visual for you.

I learned that I have an issue with self care… either I don’t like it, respect it, worry about it, or I am in denial about it or something…? The whole thing makes me uncomfortable and I have real trouble with it. My goal this week was to do something about it… well today is Saturday and class is Tuesday so time is against me.

I’m supposed to start my training this week for my new job… Phantom is claiming every waking second as the end of the month looms to close!
It snowed again today….

The kids gave us a beautiful big set of silverware which is great. We need new silverware for sure. It seems the perfect gift because it is something the whole family can use. Very thoughtful of them.

Last thought… Feelings are weird and unpredictable.. if followed could really mess you up. Yet feelings are just that. Feelings. Emotions that we are really feeling. Balance is the art. Which to allow which to reject!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


April 12th  2011  
Blog #34  Confessions and dreams of a middle age woman  

Dear Tania

Today is the day I celebrate what I have learned and loved in the past 25 years…

 Some of What I have learned…

That though love starts strong it too is like a road that has curves, rises and falls,

Therefore love must be a verb… it must be a choice daily!

That love bears fruit… mostly wonderful fruit, but sometimes it also bears fruit that has worms,

Therefore love must be pruned and cared for so that worthy fruit is grown

That love is long, days turn into years,

Therefore grace has time to soften us, God has time to change us, hope has time to encourage us

 Rick is the gift that God has given to me …

To love, to appreciate, to consider, to value, to enjoy

I confess that I have not always seen him as a gift…

~But I pray that today a gift from God to me shall be to devote myself more, to appreciate more, to love more, to care more, to be more loyal!

Thank you God

Saturday, April 9, 2011

it's miracle week!

this is the week where i find out if my medication is working...
it has been a long six weeks, and i often was convinced it had already been that long
only to have Owen patiently point out on the calendar that "no, it's only been 4 weeks"
and i would sigh and proclaim dramatically that the medicine just wasn't working! and
i was going to stop taking it! and this was all ridiculous!
so now, here i am, six weeks in and about to find out.
i am weaning off my prednisone this week and that so far has not been pretty
but i must remain optimistic!
alot of this illness has become nothing less than a mental battlefield,
which helps me understand the struggle that so many people go through on a daily basis
as they deal with mental illness or chronic illness of so many kinds.
it will be a year in a few weeks that i was diagnosed
and it has been a roller coaster
and it may or may not be over
and the thought of that is very discouraging
yet, in the big picture a year is so short and i have grown so much as a person that how could i regret any of this?
 i know that i have the ability to control every aspect of this condition
except the physical.
i can choose to deal or not deal  properly with the emotional roller coaster
through therapy, strategies, goal setting, daily affirmations,supportive people around me,honouring my body
and all sorts of other strategies.
these in themself can be exhausting and they are time consuming
yet i noticed when i stopped trying a few weeks back,
my condition deteriorated.
i became sicker both physically and mentally and i am in the process of
trying again to manage what i can manage
and leave the rest to medicine:)
i admire your family and your commitment to understanding and working with Elijah.
it sounds like your homework will be very eye opening and life changing.
i am looking forward to tomorrow's post from you!
i love ya!

Friday, April 8, 2011

mental illness

April 6th & 8th 2011      

Blog #31 Confessions and dreams of a middle age woman  

 Dear Tania

Life has quickly turned a corner and we are on the merry go round again. Practices,  church, family and now mental health course that everyone in the family is doing to support Elijah. Hopefully we shall learn more about how to support him and yet how to hold him accountable. I’m so proud of Hannah & Barry, Kostin & Abby, my sister Meghan &  Aunty Carol. They could have said.. not interested or busy or after 8 hours of thanks.. but instead they have greeted this with loving enthusiasm. How cool is that… to have that much support. Of course I’m not sure if Elijah realizes the support his family is giving him, but that is part of the prayer I am praying for him. That his awareness and compassion of others would increase and that he would be more concerned about their needs than always his own!

                  Ok.. this is now Friday (the above started on Tuesday)… I have been to the mental Health Course and thought I would share some info with you… It is an amazing course and it is free! Wow. Ok, so it is sponsored by the Canadian Mental Health Association. It should be available in Victoria.. It is there Education course. Again, after 1 week I can tell you it is a good course thus far. So some of things I learned about Mental Health…

   It affects 1 in 5 Canadians at one point in their life.

There are 10 Major Life Areas

- Family     -  Emotional    - Work        - Health             - Spiritual      - Finances        - Friends       - Personal Relationships         - Legal      - Leisure   

When 1 areas becomes out of balance it affects all the areas.. (common sense)

When trying to define Mental Illness it breaks down to this >  A SEVERE PATTERN…. An imbalance that is seen in one area or more that affects all the areas.

Our homework is to look at all our areas.. reflect… and write down all of our problems…  ugh!  Then come up with 3 Global goals to work on and achieve by week 8. And come up with weekly goals that work towards attaining that global goal. And 1 of those goals has to be a self care goal… I hate those the most!

Sooooooo…….  Lots to think about! This is a real hard thing for me Tania. You do it so well, it’s almost ‘natural’ but I do it so badly! I don’t even know where to start…  Setting goals for other things.. easy..myself..hard. Hey, maybe that’s a mental health disorder…lol… ;)

                                            So because I need to do this I am going to Blog you my answers because I need that accountability by Sunday. I am going to work on it today and give it to you by Sunday. My class is on Tuesday. Keep me in a prayer..because I seriously need help and inspiration.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

a quick nap time blog of thankfulness

april 5, 2o11
a quick off the top of my head thankful list
because as we know, gratitude is the path to joy....right...?
i am grateful for the sunshine peeking through the rain clouds right this second
i am thankful that abby experienced a big life changing dose of jesus while she was away!
i am appreciating that nap time is starting to happen for all 4 of them at the same time
i am grateful that owen is steadfast in his love for me
i am thankful that Hannah tells me she loves me
without fail, no matter what.
i am grateful for my dishwasher..
i am thankful that thad is almost done school for this term because he is feeling done.
i am grateful for the hot shower i had time for today
i am grateful that dinner is planned for tonight
i am appreciating this blog that we are keeping\i am grateful for the blessings i am recieving
even when i don't seem to notice them.
i am grateful that today is tuesday, not monday
i am thankful that i have this one glorious life to live
i am grateful that i have the freedom to have choice and opportunity
i am thankful that even without sleep i can do what needs to be done.
i am appreciating that there is a coconut bar waiting for me in the freezer
i appreciate my life, my family and my dear friends. i really do.
i am grateful that i am able to be grateful. for a few days, i wasn't and my soul felt lost.
i am thankful that i always seem to be able to return to who i am.
i am grateful for patience and hope
have an amazing day suzy and give Abby a hug for me!

Monday, April 4, 2011


April 4th  2011     Blog #31  Confessions and dreams of a middle age woman  

Dear Tania


Abby came around the corner.. I saw a girl in a baseball cap, tanned, and with a smile from side to side. Relaxed. Joyful. Life in her eyes. For a quick second I wondered if it was her… and realized it was. It had been so long since I had seen her alive. She came through the doors and embraced Savannah… I looked her over and could see she had eaten. So thankful. No goshtly image before me. A healthy girl stood embracing others, laughing and saying good bye.

                  When we got home she shared from her heart the amazing moments from her trip… sharing her testimony, the freeing from heaviness that came instantly to her. Her fear being taken away. The wonderful people, the beautiful beaches, swimming with sharks and sting rays.


         That is what I was hearing from my daughter…

Answers to prayers! Evidence of God’s mercy and grace in her life, in our life!

How is it that God can free a person in a second. Free them. Let them soar. Fill them with joy and purpose. So fast after such a long dry season that seemed fraught with endless agony and anger. Answered prayer. In a moment. In a step of faith, duty, life, whatever you want to call it. Free….



         That is what I was hearing from my daughter…

Answers to prayers! Evidence of God’s mercy and grace in her life, in our life!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

a question or two.

happy sunday morning suzy!
here are the questions i am pondering right now:
why do we do things we don't have to do? especially if those choices are not benefiting us?
what keeps us from being brave enough to let go? to try something that promotes wellness?
why do we place so much of our identity in our work? in our busyness? in making others happy?
how do we get to the place of freedom in our lives? how do we make decisions that are healthy?
how do we shut off our past fears and patterns to make room for new opportunity?
so yea,
that's what I am wrestling with..
i need to make some decisions regarding my work and my health
and i need to make them super soon and i am feeling the squeeze between logic and emotion
i am hearing the past fears and patterns try to get the upper hand and in my tired, exhausted state
it is possible i am letting them win.
tea today with a wise friend who knows me inside and out
and hearing her responses to my situation
(if we can call it that)
 made me question
myself. (not in a negative, bad tania way), but in a familiar,
that is what i would say to anyone i cared about way
 so why am i not able to accept for myself that which i truly believe others deserve.

this photo of hannah is one of my favorites.
it speaks of freedom, carefree, happy, joyful moments...
i am seeking some of those right now
and some answers..
i wonder if i care about myself enough to make the right decisions
if i am brave enough?
i will keep you posted!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

April 2nd  2011    Blog #31 
Confessions and dreams of a middle age woman  

 Dear Tania

 I’m on the even days now… this might throw me off…

It’s Saturday morning and my last free one for a few weeks. Phantom is looming in the distance and will consume my next month! I feel a bit queasy at the amount of work that needs completing within the month! I went to my interview yesterday and was offered a job … great store, wonderful people and best of all it’s all about art! Tania, they have a gallery space and the lady who is putting her stuff in does visual journaling! You would love her stuff! It is beautiful! I thought of you right away  when I saw it. So it looks like I will be working at the store, teaching some summer workshops for youth, and they are being flexiable so I can also teach on call when needed. Very excited about this.

Other great things… hmmm Rick bought a BBQ so our official summer season can start! (ignore the snow still on the ground) Bring on the Beef! (it’s Alberta)

Seeing God move in various ways. Very encouraging. The mens breakfast at church hit 17 this morning. That is great. So encouraging.

 I’ve been working through the rooms trying to make the house more like a home. Today I tackle the worst room… the dining room. We have recycling up the … well walls actually! We are over run with recycling! It’s my nightmare that I must contend with before people go missing and we have to send out a search party.
Finally, Abby comes home tomorrow. She is flying high on this Mission Trip and is so excited. I can’t wait to hear her stories. So thankful to God for this amazing trip for her.
Ok… not too much to blog. It’s blue skies here and the snow is melting like a bad cold! Good days.


Friday, April 1, 2011

friday. rainy friday.

April 1, 2011
Dear Suzy,
Is accountability the sister to rituals?
I know that a lack of accountability is probably a dangerous thing.
mmmm, maybe dangerous is too strong a word. I think that we need to be accountable to someone.
but who? who do we trust with that?
right now in my life, it is no secret that i am struggling.
probably the depth of my struggle isn't truly out in the open (well until
but it is not hard for people to figure out that my life has held alot of change this year.
and i think that rituals and accountability fit in to my life pretty significantly.
the rituals i have down pat. i must say though, that i have totally slipped up on the self care aspects of my day. i noticed that when i wrote the post.
i am not taking care.
i am not in balance right now.
i am not wearing the "tight pants"
and let me tell you, when i go to put them on,
they are not going to fit...
so that is a ritual i need to reestablish.
taking care of my heart. my self.
remembering that i am valuable and worthwhile.
i have already forgotten.
how did that happen so was only a few months back that i was
rockin' the self love.
i reilized this was missing again last night.
when the accountability piece came up.
owen is my accountability partner.
and he holds me to a much gentler standard than i hold myself
and he doesn't have to do it very often
but when we have that conversation
the one where he speaks out of love and concern
i shut down.
more so than i think possible
and i cry hot tears and i hear only what i want to hear
and i crumple into a tiny heap of nothingness...
so that is a good indicator that something is not well.
you mentioned that you are only acountable to yourself.
and i wonder if that is actually true?
i don't think there should be alot of people we are accountable to, but there should be some.
i should be accountable first to God, to myself, to owen, to my family i think and what about my closest and dearest? what about my daycare parents? where does it stop? who are we accountable to and who are we not? knowing me I have it all mixed up and backwards and out of balance. I probably feel accountable to people I shouldn't and am not accountable where I should be.
what do i know for sure this first friday of april?
i know that i am loved by my husband.
i know that i am out of balance again and need to figure that out
i know that the garden is going to be full of beauty soon and this rain is helping with that miracle
i know that small people feed your soul but they also depleat it and care is needed
i know that when i am ready, there are people ready to support me
i know that fear creeps up quickly if we are not careful
i know that i am fierce in my determination
i know that gratitude is the only way to joy.
and i know that even though this post is rambling and gramatically a nightmare i feel a bit better having shared with you today.
thanks for listening.
love ya,