Saturday, March 25, 2006

"Spring" Break in Prince Edward Island

What do we do during "spring" break in PEI?

We go to the beach

We look for bunnies....isn't that a nice one?

I don't envy the snowbirds who head south one little bit.

I was kayaking among the ice floes again - what an adventure!!

I even got a little burn on my cheeks from the sun's reflection off the water.

And do you want to know what totally made our day?

A curious little harp seal came out to play!

He kept poking his head out of the waves, craning his neck around to look at us, as if he was

wondering what in the world we were doing in his playground!

Hope you are enjoying your first days of spring!

Credits - Photo # 1, 2 , 3 - Rinda Dean

Thursday, March 23, 2006


My mother taught ballroom dancing at our local community school. I loved to watch her get dressed up in her elegant silk dress, pearl earrings and necklace. I can still see her standing before the oval mirror in the hallway, her eyes so bright - so full of life. My father looked handsome too, dressed up in his dark suit. I loved to watch him admire my mother. You could see the lovelight in his eyes. He would smile at her and she seemed to glow, radiantly beautiful to my little girl eyes.

It was like poetry in motion to watch them waltz together - fluid grace - seemingly effortless. They were perfect partners. Yet, I know that it took much practice and patience for them to learn how to move together as one.

Beginners make awkward partners. Dancers must execute the same moves over and over again until their feet know instinctively where to go - and where not to go.

My mother had a gracious way of letting the beginner dancer feel like a pro as she patiently guided them through the steps. She never showed any exasperation with their stumbling steps or made any comment other than a polite little "Oops!" when they stepped on her toes. But when dance class was over, I remember the groans as she eased off her high-heeled shoes and rubbed her bruised toes. The discomfort never deterred her - the joy of dancing was so deeply ingrained that she loved to share it with others.

My relationship with the Lord is like a dance. Of course, He is the perfect Partner and knows the dance inside and out. I find that I am often an awkward partner. I balk at His leading. I am stiff in His embrace.

My greatest impediment is not that I go ahead of Him, but rather, that I stop in the middle of the dance. I find it hard to trust that He is leading - that He knows where we are going.

Unexpected events - disappointments - tragedies - all require a deep trust and submission in the One who is leading.

Thankfully, He not only knows the dance, He knows me, His partner. He's committed to teach me. He is infinitely patient. He is graciousness defined.

I am discovering that the more I look at Him in His beauty, the less I worry about the steps of the dance. The more I experience His deep compassion, the less I wonder about where we are headed, about the things of tomorrow or how things will work out. I find myself relaxing in His arms - more and more certain of His tender regard and His ability to lead.

I see in His eyes a lovelight that is so deep and radiant that sometimes I feel overwhelmed. He makes me feel so loved - infinitely precious - even beautiful.

Such love awakens in me a deep desire to give myself fully to Him - abandon myself to His love - His purpose - His will.

There is a deep freedom that comes with this choice. I am experiencing, more and more, the joy of the dance - the feel of the rhythm - the sound of the music.

Increasingly, there are moments of sheer delight when I sense that we are moving as one. He works through me, His stumbling, imperfect partner, and allows me the joy of reaching into the darkness bringing the light of His presence and power to others.

This is my deepest happiness. I don't ask for anything more.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Alphabet of Praise - G





Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23

Photo Credits - Rinda Dean

Monday, March 20, 2006


OK - cuddle up...

I am going to tell you a story about my love of books and how that led me into trouble...

But before you begin to read, be warned!

This is definitely a "give and take". I'm giving you a story and if you read it, I'm going to ask you for something. My birthday is coming up on March 31, so consider it my birthday gift...



Read on...

My favourite gift has always been books - my sister (10 years older) understood this and always gave me a stack of second-hand books for each birthday - they were my favourite gifts! My Mom and Dad always brought me home a book from every trip they took. I adored books - I loved to find a cozy corner and read to my heart's content. It's not surprising that I am a half-time teacher-librarian in a grade 1-9 school. I get paid to work with children and their books - what could be better??

Confession time....

When I was about 11, my parents went away on a trip and a close neighbour came in to take care of my brother and me. Dad left our weekly allowance money for us in an envelope - a dollar for me and a dollar fifty for my older brother.

It was a Saturday morning and I happened to be browsing through our local 5 and 10 store when I saw a copy of Five Little Peppers Midway. I couldn't believe it - one of my favourite books was Five Little Peppers and there was the sequel, right before my eyes!

There was only one problem - the book cost $2.50.

Oh! I wanted that book...

Now, I reasoned that my brother would not mind lending me his allowance for such a worthy cause. But, I hesitated to ask ... that seems to have been the tragic flaw in the whole plan.

Instead, I "borrowed" the money without his permission and bought the book.

At first I was ecstatic! I clutched my copy of Five little Peppers Midway close to my heart! Finally, I would learn what happened next to Polly, Jasper, Ben, Joel, Davie and little Phronsie.

But as I drew closer to home, doubts began to grow in my mind - maybe my brother wouldn't be so happy about this purchase. His reading tastes were more in the line of Marvel comics and the Hardy Boys - besides I "remembered" that he was planning to go to the Saturday afternoon matinee.

The book grew heavier and heavier. My feet began to drag more and more slowly.

When I came in the doorway of our split-level home, he was standing at the top of the stairs.

"Where is my allowance?"

He didn't look happy.

I did the only sensible thing.

I ran.

As fast as I could, down the stairs, to the basement playroom where there was a lock on the door.

He tore after me, but fear gave me wings and I made it - breathless - panting - but safe behind a locked door!

He pounded on the door - "Open up!" he yelled.

I wouldn't. There was no parent to protect me and our neighbour was out shopping.

He tried another tactic. The windows to our playroom were at ground-level. We often went in and out of them, just for fun, instead of using the door. So he ran outside to get in through the window.

I stood on the couch and held the window shut with all my might. He tried and tried to pull it open on the outside. Finally, in frustration, he slammed his fist against the window.

It was like a scene from a movie - played in slow motion. I saw the crack spread across the pane and then a piece of glass started to fall. I looked up at my brother.

"Oh !" I said. "You're in big trouble now!" (note the irony)

Then I noticed the look of horror on his face. He was staring down at my hand. I looked down and saw the blood spurting up. I started to scream.

I don't have much memory of what happened after that. Only, that somehow, the door was unlocked and my brother wrapped a towel around my hand and hustled me over to the neighbour's house. She took me to the doctor and seven stiches later, (the glass went right through my hand) I was home.

My brother and I were quite chastened by the whole incident. He felt badly for what happened to me and I felt badly because if I hadn't taken his money, it never would have happened. We both agreed it would be better not to tell the whole story to our parents. (pre-Christian days)

We gave an edited version that was the truth, but not the whole truth. "I was trying to shut the window and it fell in on my hand..." accompanied by lots of tears and a bandaged hand. No questions - lots of sympathy - probably some guilt because they weren't home. We were relieved - and the curious thing was that I actually never told Mom the whole story until I was an adult.

Even more curiouser and curiouser (as Alice would say) I never knew what happened to my copy of The Five Little Peppers Midway. It disappeared.

Anyway....that's my confession. The incident cured me of taking without asking, however it didn't dampen my ardour for books - I still love them. I love to visit the library. I love storytime with my primary grades, talking about books with my students and especially, ordering new books!

One of my favourite Internet past times is finding out what you love to read - especially your favourite children's books. I devour those lists! I open up another window with my local library account and copy and paste your favourites into the request screen.

And now my request...

(No - I don't want a copy of The Five Little Peppers Midway!! :)

I'm just asking for your comments.

Please tell me your favourite children's book.

Even better, a list of your favourite children's books.

I love, love, love to read lists of favourite books and I really want to know your favourites.

If that Neocounter thingamajig is really working I have had 62 visitors since 11 pm on Friday night!! But where are my comments??

I know it's not "De-lurking Day" but hey!! be nice to me - it's almost my birthday!

and if this cranky-looking lady doesn't work....

How about this sweet girl?

Sunday, March 19, 2006


George Herbert was born in 1593. His mother was a friend of the poet John Donne. George attended Trinity College, Cambridge, and became the Public Orator of the University. This brought him to the attention of King James I, who granted him an annual allowance, and seemed likely to make him an ambassador.

However, in 1625 the king died, and George Hebert, who had originally gone to college with the intention of becoming a priest, but had his head turned by the prospect of a career at Court, determined anew to seek ordination. In 1626 he was ordained.

He served faithfully as a parish priest, diligently visiting his parishioners and bringing them the sacraments when they were ill, and food and clothing when they were in want. He read Morning and Evening Prayer daily in the church, encouraging the congregation to join him when possible, and ringing the church bell before each service so that those who could not come might hear it and pause in their work to join their prayers with his.

On one occasion he was late because he had met a man whose horse had fallen with a heavy load, and he stopped, took off his coat, and helped the man to unload the cart, get the horse back on its feet, and then reload the cart. His spontaneous generosity and good will won him the affection of his parishioners.

Today, however, he is remembered chiefly for his book of poems,
The Temple. On his deathbed, he sent the manuscript to his friend Nicholas Ferrar, asking him to publish the poems only if he thought they might do good to "any dejected poor soul." It was published in 1633 and met with enormous popular acclaim—it had 13 printings by 1680.

Sunday before his death, George Herbert rose suddenly from his bed or couch, called for use of his instruments, took it into his hand and said,
My God, my God,
My music shall find thee,
And every string
Shall have his attribute to sing.
And having tuned it, he played and sung:
The Sundays of man’s life,
Threaded together on time’s string,
Make bracelets to adorn the wife
Of the eternal glorious King:
On Sundays Heaven’s door stands ope,
More plentiful than hope.1

The poems from The Temple are arranged for daily Lenten reading.

HT - Wittingshire