• cold snow wood winter

    Absolute Joy

    A little girl stands at the top of a hill.  All around her are children, filled with glee as they go racing down through the snow with their sleds.  She is uncertain.  It is all so strange to her.   Only weeks ago, she was in the hot, arid climate of Africa.  She has had to adjust to many things since her move to our country.  Our cold winter is a shock to her.  Her experience with snow is limited and sledding is a large unknown. One of the staff on outside recess supervision approaches her with a sled.  I can see the discussion and the sign language as the…

  • photo of brown house near mountain

    Look at Me

    “Teacher, teacher, watch me do this.”  I hear this comment multiple times in my teaching week, particularly on the playground.  As students think they have mastered a new skill, they want to share that with me.  It validates them in their minds.  It helps them stand out in the myriad of students outside and gain that prized teacher’s attention.  As we all do, these students want to matter and feel that have something special to contribute to school life. This need for validation seeps into adulthood as well.  I know I often have done things for the “show” factor.  I want people to see that I am smart or organized…

  • mountain digital wallpaper

    The Right Start

    The morning rush exhausts me at times.  My to do list is great as I prepare for my long commute to school.  I need a proper breakfast to nourish me through the morning.  Lunch needs to be prepared and my tea mug filled.  I have papers to gather and school bags to fill and so on. It is very easy to get caught up in the flurry of activity and feel rushed and overwhelmed with all that needs doing before I head out the door.  I cannot easily come home for things forgotten and so the pressure is on to be totally ready for my day. In times past, I…

  • branches cold conifers environment

    Consumed

    Reports are due.  Training needs completing.  Students require assistance on many fronts.  New school division strategies must be implemented.  Meetings to attend.  Massive emails to read.  Students need counselling and observation.   I could make a very long list about what needs to be done in my teaching week.  Just when I think I have scaled one mountain, there are four more on the horizon.  I find myself unable to keep up with everything and so what is my solution – long hours to try to fit it all in. It is now the weekend and the pile of work I brought home stares me in the face, taunting me…

  • water falls surrounding green grass during daytime

    The Power Source

    As I enjoy a leisurely breakfast I contemplate recent changes.  For almost two years now, I have been able to enjoy a relaxed morning as I have been teaching from home in an online school.  No long commutes.  No making bag lunches.  No long hours of preparation.  I merely got myself ready and headed to my home office.   I no longer have the freedom to go out for walks whenever I need a break.  I miss time spent in my garden and enjoying the flora and fauna of my lovely country home throughout the day.  I no longer have those precious early morning weekday hours to study and write.…

  • house covered with red flowering plant

    Why 

     It’s a favourite toddler question.  Why do I need to go bed?  Why do birds fly?  Why are apples red?  Our young ones can find more “why” questions than we can ever imagine.  It is their way of making sense of the world.  Their inquisitive minds absorb incredible amounts of information in those early years. We are built to want to know the why of things.  In our quest to gain the knowledge of the world, we want to know how things work and why things are as they are.  Our human minds want to make sense of things and understand their purpose.  The urge to know why has led…

  • clear body of water between yellow and green leaved trees

    An Undivided Heart

    Back in the days when my twins were toddlers our life was hectic.  One of my biggest challenges was keeping up with two active little people who each had minds of their own.  Inevitably, we would go outside and each of them would take off after their own pursuits. My heart was divided – which twin do I chase after?  It agonized me at times to think that, while I was getting one child to safety, the other might be getting into serious trouble.  The conflict in my mind was great.  I felt so much easier when I had the two of them inside, in a single safe confined location.…

  • yellow sunflower and red apple fruits on green table

    Thanksgiving

    For me, this year has been a journey through many hills and valleys.  Through it all I have been overwhelmed at God’s loving hand through each and every step. While I don’t understand all the God has allowed in my life, I am truly thankful for His grace and mercy that have seen me through and for His miraculous hand bringing about healing and restoration.    It is a year where I can truly agree with Billy Graham’s words: “Mountaintops are for views and inspiration, but fruit is grown in the valleys.”  While going through challenges this year I wondered if I would ever gain strength to get out of…

  • sunflower during sunset

    The Baby Dress

    As I put the finishing touches on an infant dress for my granddaughter, the tears overwhelm me.  Each tiny stitch, made with love, draws out strong emotions.  While I am excited to have a precious new child to love, my thoughts continue to veer into sadness. I cry out to God.  “I don’t want to see my granddaughter in just this dress Lord, I want to see her in her wedding dress too.  Will that ever happen?”  The hurt and pain rush over me and it is hard to stop the flow of uncertainty and grief. When the biopsy shows difficult results, it is challenging to have hope.  The devil…

  • rainbow over rippling sea in nature

    The Tide Turns

    As I sit down to write this, it is exactly one month since I was told I have cancer.  That day stands ingrained in my brain, with the days following feeling like I was riding turbulent ocean currents.  Over and over again I felt bombarded with waves of strong emotions and increasing fears.   Today, the tides of water move in a different direction.  I had a most interesting conversation with my oncologist.  The pathology from my recent surgery found absolutely no cancer in what was removed.  Her explanation is, that whatever abnormal cells existed were removed in the two biopsies I had. I am still in shock.  For months…