I long for things.

I wish for things...
dream about things...

Longings aren't quite the same as a wish or a dream.

They resemble more of a yearning
tucked away into the deepest,
most secret places of the heart.
they are rarely spoken of, rarely shared.
maybe whispered or shared hesitantly, carefully.

I long for acceptance.
I long for tenderness.
I long to be loved.
I long to be with Jesus in heaven.
I long for peace.

Longing for..(something), doesn't necessarily mean that it is lacking in your life.
I AM loved, I trust Jesus will take me home when its my time, I DO experience tenderness.
I believe God places longings in our hearts that can only be filled by Him...
over     the     course     of     our     entire    life.
We continue to long for more.
That is good. That is how it should be.
{Nicole Johnson taught me this years ago at a youth leaders conference, and then in her book Fresh Brewed Life.}

I desperately long for Peace...for so many reasons.

Lent. The giving up...and giving of myself.
For week two: Search scripture and literature for guidance on how to GIVE, and share peace. 
Not just as a "peace-maker" for the squabbles between the kids,
or in the conversations with my husband.
I want to have peace overflowing in my heart. Is that possible?
But what does that mean for me? What will that look like?
It may mean being vulnerable.
It may mean working on some painful relationships...
putting others (difficult "others") before myself.

This could be too challenging for me...

those places in my life that that need, that long to be filled.
Help me Lord.

Phillipians 4:7
John 14:27
Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.



burning the midnight oil

the kids are off to school.
everyone left with a smile on their face.
its another new day!
I wish i could open up a window and let in some fresh air,
like the old windows in the above picture.
Aren't they beautiful?
pieces of the past....windows from the 1930's.
the picture was taken in the hallway outside my brothers apartment door.
they open into a courtyard.
isn't there something so very lovely about an old, cared for historical building
with a courtyard??
yes, indeed i think there is.
maybe I should really consider getting that fresh air.
Last night I finally took the plunge and started to read "Sarah's Key".
I bought it months ago ....having had it recommended to me
PERSONALLY (they know me so well!) by Amazon.ca and goodreads. com.
And by a nice woman who was standing beside me in the New Fiction
section at the Indigo book store.
She and I swapped "good book" suggestions.
We bonded.
We are going on an Alaskan cruise together.

I've had the book at home now, for over a month.
But I haven't been able to read it.
I'd pick it up. move it. put it down. move it again.
There was always something stopping me from digging into the pages.
.......Fear, apprehension.........
I was aware that it was a painful story to read.

And yet, just as A thousand Splendid Sons and The Book of Negros
were opened apprehensively...
I was absolutely captivated after reading the first sentence.
(They are to this day, two of my all-time favourite books.)

Sarah's Key is a story about a Jewish girl living in Paris in 1942.
She and her family are forced out of their home, out of their warm beds one night
and sent to their deaths.
For one single horrible reason.
Because they had been born Jewish.
Because they were different.

I started to read at 10:00p.m.
Kent got home from a full work day at 1:00 a.m.
I was still reading.
(It was his choice to stay out that long by the way.)
but yes, I was still reading.
He headed to bed.
I said goodnight went into the spare bedroom
turned on the light and kept reading.
I had to.
I couldn't stop.
I was transfixed.
A few times I put the book down to cry.
or just to pause and let the words sink in...
horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible
children, babies, separation from mothers, screaming heard for miles, death.
truth. historical. not just a bad dream. not just a scary movie.

at 3:30 a.m. I realized that i would be an immovable fortress
in the morning if I didn't get a few hours of sleep.
That wasn't as easy as I thought.
To close the book and put it down was like betraying Sarah.
to stop before the story was finished, before her story was told
felt disrespectful somehow.

Reality clocked in at 4:00 a.m
My family would not swoon over a sleep deprived drooling mother.
No matter how good of a book it was.
They usually need me to be able to STAND in the morning.

And stand I did.
holding onto the coffee maker.
drinking from the carafe with a straw.
"you look tired mommy".

But now!!
Yes, now the children are fed, dressed, kissed and off to school.
I have the house.
to read.
to read.
and to read!!
that is of course, if I can stay awake.



today the kids were home from school.
no school Thursday and Friday.
days like today confirm why I do not home-school.
its good to have that reminder now and again.
(now..and NOT again for a little while, thanks...)

When the kids and I are home alone, I provide structure.
I can do that. I cannot home-school, but I can provide structure.
Its actually the only way to prevent injury and bodily harm.
well, lets just say it helps to "keep the peace".

I like to divide the day into segments of  "quiet choice time" and "electronic time".
1 or the other.
Playing Harry Potter on Ps3 does not fall under the "quiet choice time" category.
Just so you know.

And since a routine and schedule are key factors to avoiding anyone (i.e. mother)
reatreating to the quiet car, in the quiet garage for refuge....
I have the very important job of monitering the oven timer.
you want 30 min. of wii time? you go to the living room and read for 30 min.

I like to spend all day sitting in front of the oven pressing minutes into the timer.
i enjoy that as much as I enjoy giving ideas of what to do throughout the day!
sometimes I say things like:

In-between those brilliant exchanges of conversation I occasionally rise from my chair in front of the oven ...and do stretches.
Its good stuff.

Now i HAD envisioned that the children and I would at some point, take time together to write to our "compassion kids in Africa".
what a happy moment that would be!
no oven timer needed for those moments of bonding and showing concern for others....
but alas, drawing pictures/ writing thoughtful notes was not an appealing choice for any of their "quiet choice times".
Neither was UNO surprisingly.
I really like UNO.
by the way. you really can't play UNO by yourself.
especially if you are sitting in front of an oven and have to bend down to play the cards on the floor.

So. I wrote and sent greetings from Liam and Bronte....myself!
Mrs. Rygiel sends greetings on behalf of Liam and Brontë, her children, who prefer time spent playing their loud, addictive video games to writing a letter. We will try again another time.  For the time being, please accept my attached drawing of the Savannah and the elephants eating grass..... 
Yours sincerely, Mrs. Rygiel.

tempting as it was, I didn't keep the letter.
I pulled out a fresh piece of paper and wrote about winter sports instead.
I thought that would be an interesting subject for 8 and 10 year old children.?!

But how does one explain skating to a child who hasn't experienced or
most likely ever seen snow or ice?
I thought of that a little too late....
don't think I did a very good job.
I should have drawn a picture of a skater or perhaps just another elephant on skates!?! 
that would have been better.

The kids were however (thankfully) interested in this compassion video that I forced and threatened them gently persuaded them to watch. I wanted to to ensure they understood WHY we needed to write letters and stay in touch with our "compassion kids from africa" (we are working on pronouncing their names).
As the neat little video came to a close.... Liam responded with,  "i feel like crying!"-
and brontë said "yah mom, we should really write to them more."
good thing that hadn't thought of that.
must say, I was comforted in the fact that they seemed to understand the need to do the letters consistently. This wasn't just one of mom's ideas to get them to work on writing and spelling.....

Those kids.
My prayer is that we can somehow instill in our children, a love and a compassion for those less fortunate.
oh how I pray they will see the world beyond themselves.
oh how I pray that I will see the world beyond myself.



a time of reflection, reconciliation, preparation.
40 days

If I chose to give up something for Lent, can I also choose to give something for Lent?

I am selfish and needy.
I live a plentiful life.
I am human and sinful.
I want to give something of myself,
whether its a phone call, time, a visit, my attention,
a meal...
I want to DO something
I want to have a servants-heart.
I feel the need to give~
mE. somehow.

I'm feeling a bit anxious about this already.
I don't want to push myself too far out of my comfort zone,
(like my fear of using the telephone?)
but at the same time I want to intentionally respond to
Jesus' gift to me. to everyone.
His love and sacrifice!
grace and forgiveness. 
And that may mean doing something that doesn't come easy.

For week one: Give of my time and write encouraging words and scripture...
to a friend, to a stranger, to a child, to a missionary, to a family member, to our prime minister, to my pastor....
in the form of a letter
paper, pen, envelope, stamp.
mailed and delivered.

with the message of God's love.


a break

i write a lot about my depression...

its helped me sort things out, and feel part of a "community".
i write openly about the painful times
to whittle away at the ugly stigma.

However, i want to be sure to share and write about the days that I feel..."Well".
to include the GOOD, with the bad and the ugly....

Yesterday was one of those days.

what was different?
why were my symptoms less evident?

common speculations of course would be...
~did i win a trip to Alaska?
~was i FINALLY featured on the cover of Country Women magazine?
~did we receive news that our house would soon be finished?
~did i watch a marathon of Murder She wrote??
unfortunately ...no.
my day was better simply because I had energy, and felt like being productive!!

that's it folks.
that's all it took
who wants to go to Alaska anyway?
i do.
were all my hormones and neurotransmitters aligned/firing/singing/laughing/working... to the best of "their abilities"?
i do not know.
did kent slip something into my chocolate milk the night previous??
i do not know. (probably)
WHATEVER the reason,
motivation replaced guilt and clear, focused thinking replaced fuzziness and confusion.
what a fantastic break.

i WANTED to clean out the kids rooms, the bathrooms and wash the floor.
did you catch that?
I felt that old surge of determination and excitement, knowing i'd rid the house of dirt and clutter.
I had the desire to tackle projects and house work.

That is huge my friends.

a piece of the "old, healthier me" showed up yesterday.
and that felt just wonderful.


Elisabeth Hasselbeck

i'd like to get this recipe book.
kind of surprised i don't have it yet...
whenever i see a book titled "gluten free", and "survival guide", it tends to come home with  me.
found some great recipes on Elisabeth's website.
maybe i won't even need to buy the book!

this banana bread from her mom's recipe, looks really good (i have most of the ingreidents, which makes it even more appealing).

my familiy loves banana muffins and bread more than any other snack or dessert.
we go through entire batches in one night.
not always.
but sometimes.
even the gluten free banana muffins get attention.

hopefully this bread will too.


First. before all else.

      *hi. i've added some scripture to the post (since i last published it), to provide Biblical references. I didn't come up with those qualities of God on my own! There is proof in His word. I am guilty of saying that I believe much of God's truth's, but in many ways my heart is so weak I don't allow myself to live as though I believe. I desperately want to "claim" them- but I'm realizing there is first much that I must stop and let go of. Humbling. I am seeking His help in all of this. 
Hope it makes sense. 
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths. " Proverbs 3:5-6

ok. got it.
Believe in God. let him know about my plans. Ask him to help me with them.
here goes.

Dear God,
I'm struggling with ............ . 
Why do we have such different opinions?  
I bought these DVD's to watch and learn TOGETHER.
I read every article I could get my hands on about.......... .
I try so very hard to be patient with ...................... .
We've talked to this counsellor. Why isn't ................... changing?
why am I not changing?
Do I keep working at ........................ ? Should I push this more?
I've printed off every single graph and chart that I could find but still, ......... isn't working.
why aren't you changing this messiness? why can't you give me SOME peace with ............... 
I trust you know what's best, but why am I still so fearful and confused?
Stop trying to figure this out by yourself and asking me to help with your plans and ideas. {Jeremiah 12:11}
Stop worrying. 
yes, yes, i know. you care about the birds and the flowers. etc. somehow i can't apply that promise to ME. i don't know how NOT to worry. that's impossible. {Matthew 6:34}
Stop worrying. 
i've always worried about everything. Running plans and options through my head constantly. Plan A, Plan B. talk to this person, figure this out. 
Stop. Ask me to help you but talk to me more than absently putting your thoughts together in a million muddled worries. Stop doing that. It takes away the ability for you to have faith. {Hebrews 11} 
But I'm taking care of my family. my ...... . my............... I holding everything together.
Try to think about what trust really means. Try to understand that no matter what happens in life, no matter what you try to fix, no matter how much you want others to change....you are powerless in comparison to me.  I am POWERFUL. {Ps. 90:1-6} I am HOLY. I am GOD. 
i know that.
Do you?
i've known it all my life! Trust and obey, for there's no other way to be happy in Jesus....sang that in Sunday school when I was 5. I love you and I need you. I'm thankful for Jesus for grace and for forgiveness.
yes. but do you fully grasp that I rule the universe? That I created the WORLD? I am the Alpha and the Omega, the BEGINNING and the END {Rev. 1:8}.  I give you breath {Job 33:4}.  Read Jeremiah 10:12. Think about it every day, every moment that you need to be reminded of my power. Whenever you start to try to do it all. I am here for you. I will take care of you.
And let go of your own desire for power.
I can't.
Stop thinking and planning. Stop taking up your day figuring things out.
Let go. Read through my word. even if it doesn't make sense to you. Read through my word.
Replace your "to do" lists, your plans to improve your relationships and spend with time in the bible. {Psalm 119:105}
Obey? I'm an adult!
Obey my commands. {John 14:15}
Who is going to take care of me and fill me with the acceptance and fulfillment I need to be connected to society. To survive in this world?
I will.
but you are invisible. i am a "visual learner!!" i need people in my life to help me make sense of this.
I give you people. But you are to seek me FIRST. You are to love me more than the one you are closest to. You are to love me more than your husband.
um. ok?
You are to LOVE me more than your husband.
yes, ok. but how do I DO that exactly? I'm a housewife.  My days are full "loving" my family, ensuring everyone is cared for. i'm supposed to show even MORE love to you? how? i can't go on a spiritual retreat every other weekend! how does that work?
I AM love {1 John 4:8}. I am the one who gives you the spirit of love, so THAT you can pour out onto others. Onto your husband. You can't love anyone in your life without me. Have faith that I loved you first. Trust me. You will learn and understand more and more over time. But you will never fully know or understand {Ecc. 3:11}.  So don't get frustrated with yourself if it is hard to grasp. That's where faith comes in. 
So..... if trust means to STOP, does it also mean to.... wait. ?
Yes. wait on ME. I have your VERY best in mind.
Trust means to stop relying on my weakness to get by?
Its hard when I have answers at my finger tips on google you know? Yahoo.... etc.  I can also sign out and buy books, I can watch advice-filled DVD's. I have so many tips and problem solving advice at my disposal. You mean to say that I can't seek other counsel?
Put me first. "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." Matthew 6:33.
sounds familiar. I think we sang a song about that one too.
Strive to understand what I mean by faith and trust. Read the Old testament to see how David trusted me {1 Samuel, 2 Samuel and 1 Kings}.  Study the life of Paul, my servant, and look for ways he put me first and survived life's hardships {Acts and Galations-and he wrote many of the books in the New Testament.}.
I have trust issues.
I know.
I like to take care of myself.
I know.
I don't like uncertainty. 
I know.
I don't like my life being so complicated and so difficult.
I know. Can't you see then how MUCH you need me? {Psalm 34:18} If your life was easy and predictable. If your marriage was perfect, your health was perfect and your children were perfect....would you seek me, trust me, love me?
I loved you first {I John 4:19}.  Let the truth of that set you free {John 8:32}.  


eye ya yigh

well it would appear that we are just cruising through the week.
thursday already.
wasn't Sunday just yesterday?

i had pink-eye last week.
have you ever had pink-eye, or conjugantusiomopnhyfinitus?
(i think that's what its called).
it has floated through our home twice now since christmas.
but each time, we've managed to capture that silly bug, bacteria or virus....
(where's my medical dictionary?)
before it took over the eye completely.
We basically just had to deal with a lot of clumpy, stuck together eyelashes and itching.
nothing that looked too scary.
man,  i'm starting to itch again just writing about it.

kent is off to Youth Quake tomorrow morning with a van load
or at least 2, young people.
too bad more kids arn't going!
it is seriously a blast.
except the year i slept in the hallway of girls dorm and was trampled
by a stampede of 15 and 16 year olds at 6 in the morning.
not so pleasant.
i'm surprised i didn't come out of that with some sort of brain injury.
Ah, but the great worship music, great speakers, great food, great gift shop....
totally overshadowed my sleep deprivation.

i decided to take the children to stay with my parents for the weekend.
and announced that at the supper table last night.
Brontë told me flat out that she refused to go.
In fact she said that she'd rather stay at home alone.
well, that's not going to happen....
Because the LONG drive always feels like torture.
first of all, its an hour and 15 min.
and second of all, - do you even know what torture means?
end of discussion.
i might have to bribe her.
we'll see what my mood is like saturday morning.

isn't this sweet?
i love it.
currently i do not have a library OR a garden.
but that's not the point of the saying.
(i think)
the print is called, "the sweet life".
you can't buy happiness.
the simplicity of a good book and a flower bed can bring contentment.

i'm just wondering how i could discretely add "coffee" in there.
take my old green sharpie pen and tuck it in after "garden"...



good afternoon!
have you cleaned out your dishwasher?
i haven't. i did have a great cup of coffee though.
i make my coffee pretty much the same way every morning, and it rarely tastes the same.

i had a doctors appointment this morning in st.vital. DAKOTA medical clinic.
there are a lot of stores in that area where i can buy gluten free food.
so i popped into vita health to look for bean flour and tapioca starch.
they had neither.
but that didn't stop me from spending money.
two bags of groceries for $82.31 to be exact.
have i mentioned gluten free products are expensive?
i asked the sales clerk if there was some kind of customer rewards program (you know, so i can come back and buy more of your mixes and pasta for $90 a bag...) at the store.
nope. not really.
i guess i wouldn't have had to buy the organic bananas.
they were just sitting there and we need bananas. i didn't feel like driving to safeway and getting out of my car again to save a dollar on bananas.
i like to cut corners that way.
I had to buy the hot chocolate for $6.99 though; non gf hot-chocolate has/have diglycerides, a preservative with gluten.

don't you feel like celebrating after you've lived through a physical exam? not a physics exam...but-a-phy-si-cal.  just so we're clear.
my doctor asks his patients to take EVERYTHING off for the pap and then lie and wait under a thin sheet.
it actually felt more like a gigantic kleenex.
i couldn't stop thinking about the fact that i forgot to shave my legs.

my justification for spending $80 on a few frozen goods just became clear to me.  i spent half the morning lying naked under the worlds largest tissue.
i was in shock.
i probably deserve a quiet weekend away to recover.
too bad the clinic doesn't have a customer rewards program.

its a good thing i like my doctor, or else i would put off these sort of appointments
all together.
he's a pretty laid back guy.
we often have a chuckle together. especially over my mental health.
.........let me explain.
he told me a while back that i was looking good (i was deep in the muck of my depression).
i said "oh thanks! feeling very flattered.. "i actually put make-up on this morning".
he broke out into this loud laugh and said "Christine, i meant your over all appearance, like your demeanor."
i told him that made me feel dumb.
and he said he was sorry.
he and i are BFF's.

have i mentioned he looks like liam neeson?
i kid you not.

i am thankful for my doctor (seriously) and for a healthy cervix(seriously).
do you shop a lot on-line?
i like to. kent isn't a fan.
so we meet halfway. if i want to buy something we look at it together.
it seems to make him happy when he has some sort of input.
fine by me.
we "shopped" at old navy a few days ago.
and this was delivered to my door this morning.
isn't life wonderful when society caters to your agoraphobic-type tendencies and fears?

have you seen your doctor lately? you should go.
you might have a little laugh together.
no my doctor does not take any new patients.

have a nice day.


all you need is love! and a memory.

There are some advantages or "perks" to working at Hallmark.
Staff get first dibs of all the wonderful holiday cards and crap seasonal nic-nacs, and collectibles..... 
that are displayed 2-5 months leading up to the actual holiday.
And I LOVE cards, so i enjoy helping people pick them out. I also love hearing people's stories...why they are buying a sympathy card, or a baptism card etc. Most people are very open, and I've had the chance to meet and visit with some interesting people in the store.
"Val" ( that's hallmark-speak for valentines, so you know...) cards are unpacked and strategically on the shelves January 2nd. So those bright red, pink, and velvet bits of decorated card-stock stare back at us from across from the cash for weeks and weeks. Its not torturous, but when someone buys one of the valentine plush toys that coos and sings, or the spanish speaking stuffed bull, we all do an inward whoop and a cheer.  One less animated, noisy creature to listen too and look at!!
ok its not  THAT bad---I actually fell in love with the spanish bull (Fernando?) who promises to "luff you forrrr-everrrr". Just can't justify buying it for kent for some reason. maybe for myself?
The problem is that it the holiday loses someone of its charm, when you watch other people preparing for it. I lost track of time during the Christmas season.... Christmas Day seemed to come out of no-where! I kept thinking we had another month to sell/find the limited addition collectable Hallmark keepsake ornaments, and neglected to buy Kent a christmas card in time.

*side note: I haven't heard Hallmark-speak for easter yet....i'm guessing its going to be "east".

Ok so, I made sure I bought Kent a valentines card immediately after they were put out. So that was good. This time I would be ready! But alas yesterday night when he came home with flowers, chocolate and wine (extra points for the wine!), I mistakenly thought he was presenting me with a gift of repentance...we had argued for the first time yesterday, and i naturally thought this was his way of saying sorry. But no! it was my Valentine's Day present! 
ohhhh right..
tomorrow is valentine's day.
i had forgotten that valentines wasn't just making sure the children signed their name on 56 miniature cards for their classmates. I had a sweetheart. or "LUFF-UUR" as Fernando would say. I could be a part of this celebrated holiday too!
Sadly I forgot where I put his valentines card, the one that was bought and hidden back in January.

Maybe at "East" i'll get it right.


my dear

my dear sweet boy.
we've been on a long journey together,
and its only been 10 years.
i am so, SO proud of him.

he is very aware of his emotions, his limitations
and his struggles.
this book has helped him.
i find it on the floor by his bed,
knowing that he's remembered and read it.

These moments of realization (that he's had a tough time),
bring an ache to my heart.
His mind has filled with fear, usually unfounded, imaginary fear.
fear that as a mother, i can't "kiss away" and make better.
and that ache (as mothers know), is vast and heavy.

So every night (or whenever i get the chance),
I tell him how much he means to me.
I remind him that he has overcome many, many things.
He knows what I'm referring to.
I tell him that I don't want to change anything about him,
He is PERFECT just the way he is.
Right now.
and i mean, and believe...every word.

I am thankful for a son like Liam.


A day out.

I decided to drive down to visit my parents in Winkler.
Its an hour and 15 min. of precious quiet time.
I love it.
Just me, the highway, and Johnny Cash.

Once i pulled into town, I decided to make the most of my visit and pop into the M.C.C thrift shop.
I always find something.
And this trip didn't fail to live up to that truth.

Here are some of the treasures I discovered...
1. Records sell for 10 cents at MCC. I always buy records. This time I bought 3.
Nana Mouskouri: Songs of the British Isles. in honour of my wonderful job at Lions Manor Adult Day Club.
Nana was usually a hit during our "walk a lap" program, or my chair-exercise program.  I do miss those friends of mine. Great people. Maybe I'll put Nana on the player and do the exercise routine all by myself.
Mantovani: Continental Encore (otherwise known as.... "elevator music"). I will most likely never listen to this record...unless of course I had people down for a Lawn bowling party, and we were all gathered on the lawn....bowling, wearing white slacks and sipping martini's.
If that fails to happen, I will use it purly for the visual enjoyment.  You may come over any time to spend time looking at it....perhaps you can figure out why the lady has her scarf tucked into the bottom of her dress??
The Winkler Mennonite Brethren Choir : Praise the Lord with Gladness,
Lasst Uns Den Heiland Froh Erhoehn record.
My mother sang in this choir. So really, I had no choice.
"Listening" to the choir singing on a sunday morning from the church balcony, was such a delightful time in my youth. This record will do a fine job of bringing it all back -glares from my mother in the choir loft when I was too busy whispering to notice we were praying....or the time my Dad had to stop his sermon mid-sentence to give me "the look". Needless to say, those kind of incidents were effective (didn't really want to go home after church...). I'm still self conscious if a choir sits up in front of me for the entire duration of a church service. I try my hardest to sit still and behave.

2. Mennonite Brethren Hymnal. $2.00. I've been looking for one of those green beauties for a very long time. There is rarely one in good condition at the MCC. but this time I was in luck!

3. Hangers for skirts and one for scarves. .40 cents each. These will last a lifetime (probably already have lasted for someone's lifetime)...they are solid! If there was a fire in my house, these will be the first things I grab. The first.

4. Package of paper goods that included stencils, old sheets of printing paper and scribblers- $1.25. There is never enough doodle paper around here for the kids. I can't justify even paying $1 at the dollar store for cheap construction paper, when I can get arm-loads at the MCC for so much less.
Thrown in with all the stationary booklets and paper, I uncovered some old paper dolls, brand new black pad of paper for gel-pens, card stock and an unopened pack of index cards. Gotta love surprises.

5. Vintage valentine cards with envelopes. 25 cents each. My plan is to mail one to the kids, and maybe one to my brother in Sask. as a little friendly hello.

6. Handmade flannel duvet cover in perfect condition for $3.25 (most expensive purchase of the day).
Washed and all ready for Bronte's bed (in the damp basement). Flannel is the ultimate in cozy bedding, and duvet covers are not cheap! So I was happy.

7. Vintage patterns, 5 cents each. I have framed patterns before, not sure if I will do that with these.  I don't have a "sewing room" or know how to sew anything other than receiving blankets. But I have promised myself that someday I will attempt to sew clothing from a pattern (maybe not the overalls though....?).
8.  Package of 10 old rulers (because one can never have too many rulers, and some of them are REALLY old)- for 10 cents.
9. Quilted table runner in fall colours..30 cents.
11. An OLD nursery decal (that I can't decide if I find creepy or cute). 10 cents. If I end up throwing it away, won't be losing a whole lot of money.

12. Baby food jars-I bought 6, for 10 cents each.
I think I'm going to try to make these cute yellow lego heads for L's birthday. That is...if he goes with any sort of theme and it happens to be LEGO!
Pretty sweet aren't they?

And, that's about it, my 45 min. of shopping the aisles of M.C.C... in a nutshell.
An all around great day.  Especially the visit over lunch with my parents. I need to do that more often. 


where does the mind go?

My troubled and broken thought life...
so vast and long-reaching,
so deep and beckoning..

When I'm feeling healthy, in control, supported and loved,
my thoughts are mostly where they should be.
Spending my days giving hugs and selling greeting cards, etc. etc. etc.
I feel solid and grounded like a supported foundation.
I am content.
I am on medication, and it helps me thrive.
I attend a church that fills me with the good news of Jesus, and surrounds me
with an accepting, loving group of people.
I am the Christine that you see.

In these generally healthy moments of the every day,
I imagine myself wrapped in layers of protective garments.
Covered from head to toe with blankets and clothing of
trust and love.
The fibers of these garments provide security,
and enable me to walk through days of hardship with my head up.
My feet remain grounded, I am protected, I can get by.

My frailties, my anxieties and my depression however, are also strong.
Very strong.
There are moments, and there are weeks where THEY prevail.
And the tightly wrapped garments of protection are stripped off my back.
Sometimes in pieces, sometimes all at once.
I am the Christine that you don't see, or who doesn't want to be seen. 

I feel ugly when this happens, and I am weak, so very weak.
The illness that invades my mind, and rips away the protective layers,
jeopardizes my reasoning, and casts a shadow over my heart.
In my weariness everything is fuzzy.
I can't do tasks, I feel so tired, and everything is overwhelming.
Sometimes I can't even dwell on the promises of Jesus or recognize His love.
I just know that He is "there",
somewhere in all of this.

I am propelled by the fear and anxiety towards
Vulnerable and exposed I feel shame.
Regret, bitterness, pain, self doubt, self hatred...
actually bring comfort-
for they are familiar.

My soul is the only place where the anxious thoughts cannot permeate.
The sacred place within me, that belongs to my heavenly Father.
It cannot be touched by disease, disability, shame, heartache or pain.
I hear myself praying.
I feel myself crying.
I know I am powerless,
I know I am fragile and weak.

I know that darkness will not keep Him away.
I know that His love is not limited or withheld.

For He created my mind
He knows every intricate detail about me.


chosing truth. a song.

Oh what I would do to have
The kind of faith it takes to climb out of this boat I’m in
Onto the crashing waves
To step out of my comfort zone
To the realm of the unknown where Jesus is
And He’s holding out his hand

But the waves are calling out my name and they laugh at me
Reminding me of all the times I’ve tried before and failed
The waves they keep on telling me
Time and time again. ‘Boy, you’ll never win!’
“You’ll never win”

But the voice of truth tells me a different story
And the voice of truth says “Do not be afraid!”
And the voice of truth says “This is for My glory”
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth

Oh what I would do to have
The kind of strength it takes to stand before a giant
With just a Sling and a stone
Surrounded by the sound of a thousand warriors
Shaking in their armor
Wishing they’d have had the strength to stand

But the giant’s calling out my name and he laughs at me
Reminding me of all the times I’ve tried before and failed
The giant keeps on telling me
Time and time again “boy, you’ll never win!
“You’ll never win”

But the stone was just the right size
To put the giant on the ground
And the waves they don’t seem so high
From on top of them looking down
I will soar with the wings of eagles
When I stop and listen to the sound of Jesus
Singing over me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth

The Voice of Truth by: Casting Crowns
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