Thursday, December 18, 2008

Small Wheels & Big Bumps

The snow in B.C. is beautiful and it really looks like a white Christmas. However, snow presents some challenges for drivers on the sideroads and freeways. Our little street seldom gets a snowplow and has never been sanded, but we get out just fine. Last night, I was clearing the light powdery snow from the sidewalk in front of our property, because last year about this time I got a real reality check for how important this act is.

It happened like this...

My granddaughter, was spending the afternoon at an office very near my house. When her mother phoned to say that she would not be able to pick her up after work, I gladly volunteered to do that for her.

Since my van does not have a lift for her power wheelchair, I decided to walk to meet Tessa and we would come back to my house. As I started walking I realized we had a problem. The main roads were clear, but my street was still slushy and snowy and many of the sidewalks had not been cleared. So I returned to my house for a shovel and proceeded to remove snow and chip ice patches all along the route. (major job)

The ride home was more than challenging for Tessa, because every patch of ice was scary and snow clumps resulted in painful, bumpy hurdles.

Please remember this. Disabled people are virtually shut- in their homes till the snow disappears unless someone kindly clears their path for them.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Story

A story is told of a multi-millionaire who lived in a beautiful vast estate. Besides all his wealth, his life revolved around his son. They enjoyed a wonderful father-son relationship and travelled all around the world. Their passion was collecting art, paintings and sculptures done by famous artists. Years went by and then the son felt the call to enlist in the army to defend his country.
Father was disappointed, and at first resentful of his choice.

The father missed his son greatly and was devasted when he received a call saying that his son was missing in action. Soon it was confirmed that he had been killed while trying to save one of his comrades.
In deep grief, the father mourned this great loss and went into seclusion. Day after day he sat alone in the vast rooms of his mansion, staring at the priceless paintings he and his son had purchased. They held no charm, worth or interest anymore.
When there was a knock at the door on Christmas morning, he instructed his butler to tell the caller to leave, as he was not receiving visitors. The servant came back saying, "Sir, it is a young soldier, who wishes to speak to you." He was allowed entrance.
He said, "I am the soldier, your son gave up his own life for."

The lad stayed for hours telling the father of many occasions where his son had put his life on the line for his fellowmen. How he had talked lovingly about his father and the good times they had together collecting all those treasures of art. Pride for his son grew in the dear father's heart.
The soldier shared that he, himself, also loved art and then, somewhat embarrassed, showed the father a painting he had done of his son. The resemblance was faint but the father graciously received it as a precious gift.
Several months later, the old man passed away. Instructions in his will said that an auction of all his artworks should be held on Christmas Day. The news spread, and art collectors from around the world arrived for the grand affair.

The auctioneer began with the first item - the soldiers' painting of the son.
The buyers jeered and heckled, calling out for the real art. The auctioneer replied, "The will states that this one must be sold first, so what am I bid?"
There was a long awkward silence. No buyers were interested. Finally a poor, elderly neighbour put up his hand. "Will you take ten dollars?" he said hesitatingly.

Going Once, Going Twice, SOLD!

Anxious buyers were now ready to begin bidding on the valuable art and were shocked when the auctioneer proclaimed, "The auction is now over. The will states that whoever buys the painting of the Son, gets it all!"

Friday, August 22, 2008


Thank you God for the summertime. Thank you for good family camping interaction with the energy of youth and the laughter of children. Thank you for family reunions.
Thank you for the mix of sunny & rainy weather. Thank you for books written by inspiring writers, who opened my mind and imagination to new (aha) thoughts and transported me temporarily into another world. Thank you for reminding me of your never-ending forgiveness and love while reading "Redeeming Love" by Francine Rivers. Thank you for special moments of meditation in your holy word. Thank you for the chance to worship in that tiny little country church at Grindrod. Thank you for reminding me to trust you more during scary moments, (which I'd rather not repeat, please). Thank you for breath-taking scenery of lakes, mountains, flora & fauna. I stand in awe of your greatness. Thank you for protection on the busy highways. I am so blessed and I thank you, thank you, Lord. Amen.

Friday, August 8, 2008

How is your "Weltanschauung"?

This German word, "Weltanschauung" (pronounced..Velt-an-show-unk) means a persons world view or outlook on life. We can choose to look at daily happenings from a positive or negative perspective.
We have b
een blessed with a daughter who sees the positive view point in almost every situation. Back in her teen years, she would come home from a party or a school function or youth meeting, and give me an animated rerun of the event, the fun things they had shared. Then when I spoke to other parents about the same events later, I would often hear negative comments and impressions. I remember thinking, "Are we speaking about the same thing?"
She is still that way, even though her life has not been an easy street.

Our attitude toward life determines the quality thereof, affecting our relationships, friendships, health, etc. etc. It is seen in how we work together with people, how we respond to authority, how we treat the property of others, how we respond to disappointments or setbacks , and I could go on and on.
Years ago I heard Lucy Swindoll speak. She stressed,"Experience the moment, enjoy the good, learn from the bad, because it will never happen exactly like this again. Look for the humor in situations. This is life, not a rehearsal for the real thing."
I am often amazed, blessed and encouraged by friends who have a positive, caring attitude even in the midst of their own pain and hardships.

I tend to see the negative side of things too often, but I am trying to remember what my daughter says...."Is your cup half empty, or is it half full!" It all depends on your "Weltanschauung".

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I Lift My Hands?

If you pass me on the highway, and see me waving my arm in the air, I could be saying "Hi" or having my own private little worship party in my car.
I love to crank up the volume of a good song and lift my voice and hands in praise and prayer. Depending on the day, I could be smiling broadly or crying. This has prompted some very strange looks from other drivers.

When the heart overflows with emotions of gratitude, sadness or love, it is natural to respond in a physical way. Something special happens when I am physically engaged in the act of worship by clapping to the rythm, dancing to the music or raising my hands. It is wonderful and freeing. So why do I have a problem?

I grew up in a wonderful church where this kind of "show" was frowned upon, yet the singing was very hearty, awesome, worshipful & sincere. Once in a while we would hear a loud "Aaamen" in response to a good song or a particular point in the preacher's sermon that needed a little added emphasis.

Many wonderful, godly people who influenced my life would have been very offended by any physical activity during the service and I respected that.
There was a sense of awe and reverence which was beautiful and intimidating at the same time. Therefore, this is still a sensitive area for me in the corporate worship setting now.

Whether we kneel, fall flat on our face, sit, stand, remain motionless, clap, cry, dance, shout "hallelujah", or raise our hands...God sees the heart and he loves to see & hear the praises of his people. PTL

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Oh Canada!

Every July 1st I think of my mother-in-law. She would say, "Canada is a wonderful country. Here they don't shoot people!" (in the sixties, shootings were still a rarity in their safe little Mennonite town of Clearbrook)
Stories of her younger years are etched in my mind. She told of the Bolshevik revolutionary army and Stalin's soldiers marauding through Russia's countryside, riding into villages on horses, taking whatever and whomever they pleased.
At the end of the one street in her village near the Dnieper river, was a meeting house. Word spread that a special preacher was holding evangelistic meetings there. She felt a tremendous compulsion and need to go. Against the permission of her parents she went, and was so convicted of her need to make a choice to follow God, that she yielded her life to him, no matter what the cost. Her mother was very angry with her, but she had found a peace and joy that nothing could erase.
Soon she would gather neighbourhood children together and tell them Bible Stories. While doing this one day, loud shouting warned her that soldiers were approaching. In fear she ran with the children and helped them hide in the bushes near the river, hushing them to keep silent, as they listened to wild horses and raucus men thundering through the village. Thankfully, they were not discovered. These soldiers often helped themselves to the little food they had left.
Another graphic story I will never forget.....
She recalls an instance when ten men were ordered to stand in a line and the soldiers used them as shooting targets, killing them one by one. The last man was so frightened that he tried to run. One of the horsemen rode after him and with one fell swoop of the sword instantly decapitated him.
The soldiers raided again and again, tearing fathers & young boys from their families, raping women and young girls. Many were forced into hard labor in Siberia or thrown in prison, never to be seen again. Smallpox and tuberculosis were rampant, so death was a common occurence.
Imagine a young child witnessing such scenes and .. there was no such thing as trauma counselling. They just had to live with these kind of life-long horrific nightmares.

Many, many more stories of her escape from Russia are unbelievably amazing. Her trust in God was her strength.
She laughed as she recalled... while staying in a refugee camp, they were hesitant to eat macaroni for the first time because they looked like worms.
She told of the terrible, long sea voyage to Canada in a freighter, arriving in Montreal, seeing snow for the first time in Winnipeg and working as a maid for rich English folks, learning a new language and culture, then marrying a poor prairie widower with six children.

But here she had found a land of freedom. No wonder she loved Canada! She lived to the age of 100 years old.
So I raise my beautiful Canadian flag in thankfulness to God and in memory of her, I say, "Canada is a wonderful country!"

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Our three year old grandson and his mother were looking at a kids Bible Story book. He really wanted to know why people would do such an awful thing....kill Jesus. That started a conversation which explained that Jesus loved everybody in the world so much that he died to forgive all the bad things that they have done. In simple faith he asked Jesus to forgive his sins and come into his heart & life. :)

Matthew 18: 2-3 Jesus called a little child to him and put the child among them. Then he said,"I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven."

The next day he was playing lego with Grandpa, and looked out of the window and said, "It's a beautiful world." He noticed the bright sunshine
(yes, indeed! we have seen the sun) the colors of the blue sky,
the fresh yellowy green leaves of the locust tree and the
red geraniums in the window box.
After a few moments he asked, "Why are there bad people in the world?" In his little mind the two things just didn't go together.

It's hard for me, as an adult, to comprehend why people find twisted pleasure in causing suffering and heartache, ruining and destroying such beauty and tranquility by their evil deeds & selfishness, all for a few moments of temporal power or wealth. Try to explain that "Why" to a deep-thinking, little three year old kid.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I've Had My Moments

A song by 'Emerson Drive' tells the story of a young man watching a homeless man crawl out of a cardboard box. The dirty, disheveled man shrinks from the look of disgust and pity, then turns to the young one and says,

"I haven't always been this way.
I've had my moments, I was second to none,
I've had my moments, my days in the sun.
Moments, when I knew I did what I thought I couldn't do,
Lookin' at me now you might not know it
But, I've had my moments."

Within each sad, disturbed person, there is a story we don't care to hear.

As I work and interact with residents at the Seniors Rest Home, they express frustration about not being able to remember things, walk, take a bath or find their own room.
They remind me, "I wasn't always this way. I was a farmer, a bus driver, a teacher, a mother of eleven children, a minister. I could do things!...I've had my moments. Please don't laugh at me. Please be patient with me."

Every person longs to be treated with dignity and respect. In God's eyes, their worth is no less than yours and mine.

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Waiting Room

Waiting is so hard, especially in our fast-paced style of life.

Line-ups at the checkout counter, at the traffic light, at the border crossing, in the airport, at the bank, in a doctor's office... all test our patience, as the saying goes, "Drive us Crazy".

Sadly, many people are waiting most of their life for something else or hopefully something better than the present.
A twelve year old can hardly wait to be sixteen. The student can hardly wait to graduate. The graduate is waiting for a call after a job interview. We're waiting for the perfect person to marry. A bride is waiting for the wedding day. Parents are waiting for the baby to arrive. Soon they are anxiously waiting for their teenager who is staying out way past the set curfew. Then they wait for grown children to leave the nest. Then they can hardly wait to retire.
Too late, we realize that we missed the NOW. We want to get on with life, but this is life.

A few days ago I visited my 95 year old Great Aunt Louise, a gracious, godly lady who has suffered for years with arthritis and osteoporosis. She is waiting to die and longing for heaven.
"I think God has forgotten about me." she said.

An email from my brother said that Check-ups showed that the Cancer has come back and he needs to go for more tests. He said, "We are in God's Waiting Room again."

If we had a choice, we would not choose this waiting room, but many lessons can be learned only in that room.

David, the Psalmist must have had "waiting room" experiences when he said, "I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and set my feet on solid ground. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God."

There are many, many beautiful verses in the Bible about "waiting". How many can you find?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Good Answer

What can I say to someone who says, "I don't believe in God."

Here's a good quote by Albert Camus.

"I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die to find out there isn't, than live my life as if there isn't and die to find out there is."

Friday, April 18, 2008

Oh, My Goodness!

Let's talk about expressions......
What comes out of my mouth when I am startled, surprised, terrified, shocked or relieved?
Sometimes I wonder, "Where did that come from?"

The words we use say a lot about our character. It seems almost laughable how we try to "sanitize" colloquial expressions to make them OK.
Some expressions are just silly, funny and inane, but here are just a few that bother me because of what they infer and I wince a little every time I hear them.

Holy Cow!.........only God is Holy
Holy Mackerel! ugly fish is holy?
Jeez.!............ we may as well say the whole word
What the Heck!.........Hell
Oh My Gosh!.........only the last sound is changed
Friggin'..............I won't go there

Shoot! ....only the vowel is changed. I am guilty for using this one too many times.
I remember sitting in the office at work, sending Floral Transworld Delivery orders. Every time I made a typing mistake, I said,"Shoot!" My boss remarked that from where she was sitting it sounded like the "i" vowel, and to watch my language.

Of course, many other expletives come to mind which I will not print here, but it seems that cursing and vulgarities are considered a sign of "coolness" or "macho-ism" to some. It is almost impossible to find a good movie without them. Stand-up comedians can't be funny without them. Is it becoming so acceptable that we hardly notice or care anymore?

There are so many references to the importance of "words and speech" in the Bible. These two come to mind.
Colossians 4:6 ...Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.

Psalm 19:14 .... "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer."

Thursday, April 17, 2008

My Name

For those who are checking out the new blog team, allow me to clarify the name of my site.
"Dream On Queen". Sounds rather vain, doesn't it.
When I was a little girl, I was enchanted with pictures of the British royal family. Then I found out that I was named after Queen Esther in the Bible, and childhood imaginations of living in a palace filled my mind.
Looking back now, the only thing I envy of a Queen's life is that she has servants to do her cleaning & cooking.
I admire the wonderful qualities that the biblical Queen had, such as beauty, courage, grace, tact and faith. I want to be like her.
In the Veggie Tales Version, they call her "Essy". Funny...that's what my siblings called me when we were growing up.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


The Florist Industry touts their slogan,"Flowers say it Best".
I came across an old Chinese proverb that says it even better. "A Bit of Fragrance Clings to the Hand that gives the Flowers".

I have often said that flowers are one of God's best ideas! Always well received, no matter what the occasion may be.

Silently they say, "I'm thinking of You, Welcome little Baby, I Love You, I'm Sorry, Happy Anniversary, Happy Birthday, Heartfelt Sympathy, Cheer Up, Welcome Home, I Care."

Without a word, they unpretentiously brighten up a drab community hall or hospital room. Their bright colors help to momentarily ease the pain of grief in the starkness of a funeral chapel.

Oh, the beauty of Nature! Oh, the hand that designed it!
In our province we can drive through forest, alpine meadow or desert and see splashes of color in the most unexpected places.
Ground-covers of magenta and purple cling to rocky mountain crags. In the interior desert, bright yellow blooms appear on the prickly cacti. Pink rhododendrons bloom at the foot of the pine and fir. High atop of the mountain, a sea of blue, red, white, mauve, and yellow blooms dance in the cool breeze.

The wonderful colors of spring are emerging.... mauve crocus, yellow daffodils, pink cherry blossoms, white snowdrops, purple lilac, red tulips, blue iris, purple heather,etc.
Green must be God's favorite color. It provides the lush background palette that enhances and brings all the others to life. ENJOY!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

When I was Young

"When I was young, running water was, running back and forth, carrying a heavy bucketful from the well into the house. When I was young, I used to walk 5 miles to school, uphill both ways. When I was young, we heated bricks to keep our feet warm in the horse-drawn buggy. When I was young, we ate everything on our plate, because we knew what it felt like to go hungry. When I was young, girls didn't wear jeans to church. When I was young, toilet paper was a page from the Eaton's catalogue. When I was young, all I got for Christmas was one box of crayons and an apple. When I was young, we didn't talk back to our parents...children were seen and not heard. When I was young, we shared our bathwater with seven other siblings. When I was young, we did our school lessons by the light of a coal-oil lamp."

Many times, I heard my parents make statements such as these. Each one surely could have been the opening line to a wonderful story. But I wasn't interested. Now I wish I would have said, "Tell me more about it" instead of rolling my eyes and thinking... "Here we go again...I've heard that a hundred times before".

Monday, March 17, 2008


"A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. " Proverbs 15:1
Retaliation is easy.....a sign of weakness, but real strength of character and power is most evident when anger is controlled.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Something is Better Than Nothing

While watching television, we often see horrific scenes of throngs of refugees, orphaned children, the poor and hungry living in fear and desperation. It is so overwhelming that often we do nothing but thank God this isn't our plight.
This week, a group of twentyfour of my friends volunteered to help at the MCC Warehouse (a wonderful, world-wide Mennonite relief organization).
My job was to sort donated clothing into huge bins, marked "infant, child, women, men". There were jackets, shirts, pants of every color and size....some needed to be discarded, but many of them were like new.
Other friends were packing & baling blankets that had been carefully stitched together by ours and many other local church ladies groups. School Kits and Health kits were assembled, packed in huge drums, ready to be shipped all over the world.
We were shown scatter rugs, made from strips of discarded jeans, and other crafted items that are sold and the money helps to pay for shipping and other costs.
A video presentation gave us a glimpse of what happens at the receiving end in Iraq, Aphganistan, Africa and many other countries.
A child's face lights up when he gets a colorful shirt, a young girl smiles as she smells the fragrant bar of soap and a mother wraps her baby in a clean, soft blanket.

We can't save the whole world, but we must do something.

Monday, February 11, 2008


After a problem, tragedy, or an argument that she couldn't win, my mother would say, "Well, it is as it is".
It has become sort of a watchword/ motto for her extended family.

When things get tough or something doesn't go as planned, we think of her and we say, "It is as it is." Not with a fatalistic attitude, but with resolve and resignation ..."if you can't change it, with God's help, accept it or deal with it!" Good advice.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Different Messages

Telemarketing callers must really have to learn how to deal with rejection, because I don't know of anyone who likes them. I try not to be rude, because that voice on the other end belongs to a human being with feelings too. But isn't it even more disappointing when you get a surprise call from a friend, and after the usual nice chit chat, you find out the real motive for their call is that they wanted something from you or wanted to sell you something.

Refering to my previous blog..... a kind friend translated the Portugese response comments (thanks, Lorraine) I had received and you guessed's a sales ploy. I kind of suspected that, but was hoping that maybe someone in some exotic foreign country was actually enjoying my creative writing skills.

Let's call someone for no particular reason but just to say hello, encourage them and ask for absolutely nothing in return.

Monday, January 28, 2008


I admire people who are fluent in more than one language. My father was persistent in demanding that we speak German in our home. I resisted this strongly, and it became a point of continual contention. As I look back from this vantage point, I realize the wisdom of it all and am grateful that I can still understand and speak (although not fluently) my mother tongue. Oh how I wish I knew more languages!
Which brings me to the point of this blog. I have had several comments in response to my blogs in a language that I can't read, & it is bugging me. Can anyone interpret for me? Go to Dec. 3rd...."Busy,Busy" Blog.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Uncle Herman

What a Character! Bushy eyebrows, long nose, and a funny "huh,huh" little laugh. I can still see him sitting in his favorite spot at the local donut place. "Well, fancy meeting you here," he would say. (I think I was his favorite niece.) He often told me, "I drove your mom to the neighboring little prairie town hospital before you were born. Lucky you didn't arrive early, on the way,huh,huh."

He never seemed to be in a hurry and loved to just "shoot the breeze", talk "prophecy" or politics, but was sadly lacking in style, social graces, education and parenting skills. He lived in the same rural community for sixty years and his farms are still recognizable by a perimeter of planted evergreens with naked, pruned trunks.

But, there was another amazing side to his personality. He had a heart for the underdog, the socially overlooked, the widower, the disabled, the slightly weird. He touched a lot of lives in his own unique way.

Whenever we would meet him at the coffee place, he always had a friend with him.... an old bachelor, a neighbour, a brother-in-law or someone who needed a ride. After his wife passed away, he would often drive his little pickup truck to the donut place for breakfast, lunch and dinner. When the waitresses saw him coming, they would have his "usual" waiting when he entered the door.
On the day of his funeral, no-one was allowed to sit at his table, because there was a floral arrangement placed on it that said,"In memory of our friend, Herman."
We all touch a circle of people in our own unique way, that nobody.....nobody else does.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Oh, the Aches & Pains!

When my parents would sit and visit with their guests and talk about their aches & pains, I thought, "How boring. Get a Life!"

Reflecting on a recent visit, I realized that most of our conversation was also concerning health issues. (gettin' old)

One person mentioned kidney stones which led to "My neighbour's uncle had that too..." another started on clogged arteries ..."Do you know, I just heard that my cousin's sister-in-law's mother had surgery on that very same thing..." I think I have arthritis in my left shoulder... Well, you should take calcium with glucosomine, that helped my Aunt Martha.. Oh no. You should drink this juice that only costs fifty dollars a bottle. Cures everything that ails you. etc.etc.

Further animated discussion ensued regarding good or bad cholesterol, under or overactive thyroid which could cause anything from shingles, hives, acne or high blood pressure. We covered everything from diabetis, prostate, tumors, bunions, varicose veins, glocoma to ingrown toenails. Some felt the need to fill me in on all the gory details of their latest procedures and surgeries. We also had all the answers and solutions to our inadequate medical system.
(exaggeration included)
It really seems quite funny at times, but to each person who lives with the agony of pain, waiting for test results, the fear of some serious hospital's anything but comical. (and I'm the biggest wimp of them all) Pain is never a welcome visitor, but it governs our days and the extent of our activities. It's hard to be joyful or pleasant to live with or even civil, when something is hurting.

However, pain is part of life in this broken world and a reminder that our bodies are so very mortal and temporal, especially as we get older. If we never experienced pain, we would not ever want to leave this world.
My heart aches for so many of my family and friends who live with constant pain. Some are walking through, what must seem like a long, deep valley. I admire your courage and strength. Hold on tight to the shepherd's hand for He will lead us through to the other side.

How beautiful heaven will hospitals, no pain, no suffering.