Snapshots of Life

Monday, April 11, 2016

This is where Papa is right now. It's California!... Need I say anymore?

Papa has been sending us pictures, in between meetings and appointments and driving and everything else that keeps him busy from way before dawn to way after dark every time he goes to CA... and it's looking pretty amazing there right now. 

I want to plant California poppies here in VT, but I think I need to wait until the snow melts!

At least, with winter winding down, we're still in puzzling season! Here is Ike hard at work on a 3000 piece project - you should see the other half of it, which is mostly comprised of one giant, huge, massive elephant in a mostly grey color. It took a lot of evenings. :)

Setting up for an epic round of Speed Settlers... It appears that Ike is already moving fast; he probably won this game. Meanwhile, Ibs & a guest are carefully organizing their houses & roads...

Now I need to run and do something wonderful. Simply wonderful, fabulous, incredible, and heart-stoppingly exciting. It has something to do with airports, planes, an awesome brother, and short notice about trips to a land I love. That is, I need to run and finalize our tickets...........! More on this coming soon.

Texas-bound Ems :)

What are your stress-coping strategies?

Saturday, April 9, 2016

 [enjoying a friend's absolutely awesome piano]

There are a lot of things to think about these days.

Your to-do list, for example. Also that looming deadline. And that item you remembered you needed to find yesterday but then forgot and now what was it? Even if you’ve got most of your life under control, you deal with something potentially stressful almost every day.

Which (if you are currently single) isn’t likely to stop after you get married… fast-forward a few years and now you are dealing with the wonderfulness of marriage & parenting, bringing with it new opportunities and challenges and definitely the need to be stress-free.

Insert coping strategies. What do you do when you feel stressed? How do you cope with discouragements, frenzied schedules, sad news, nerve-jangling events?

Here are a few of my coping strategies:

- Playing the piano.... just a few minutes of playing can completely change the whole feeling of a day

- Walking in nature, or even just being outside

- Talking with family members

- Listening to good music

- Making a mental list of everything I'm grateful for (it's a long list!)

Having strategies for those sure-to-occur stressful days can be a lifesaver, and help keep you the cheerful, easygoing person you want to be.

What are your stress-coping strategies?

A Memoir

Monday, April 4, 2016

My earliest memories are with Grandpa. He taught me to whistle (that's one of my most vivid very-young-childhood memories pictured above). He taught me to ride a tricycle. He taught me to laugh - always, no matter what the difficulties, and especially when the going got really tough. He taught me to love God's word, to memorize it, study it, read it, apply it, and never stop soaking in its Truth.

He always had the best stories. Some of my best memories are of sitting around his kitchen table, listening as he recounted tales from his youth, fascinating snippets about what Mum was like when she was a little girl, or important lessons he'd learned along life's journey.

He taught us to love our Canadian and Mennonite heritage. He taught us to sing, nurtured our interest in music, and played his guitar along with us, first in-person and then, once we were on the mission field, over Skype. Whenever we were in British Columbia, he'd treat us to the best fish & chips on the planet, show us where to find the best blackberry bushes, and take us for long walks along the beautiful rocky beaches of the Sunshine Coast. He loved nature, and he passed that along to us, too.

He was gifted, highly skilled, a published writer, a family man; a man of principles and truth. He was a dedicated servant in the Kingdom, and touched the lives of unknown thousands.

The hardest sacrifice of missions life was moving 3,000 miles away from him.

Today he has gone home to be with the Lord. We are now dealing with the raw pain of losing a trusted family member, companion, confidant, friend, and mentor; yet we rejoice that he is in a far better place, and we will see him again someday.

All things are made beautiful in God's time.

The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away; blessed be the Name of the Lord.
Job 1:21

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