Sunday, November 29, 2009


There are so many things in this world that are completely meaningless - stuff that will not matter one iota at the end of it all. This past Friday, people lined up for hours in the US to spend money they didn't have on junk they didn't need. Moms and dads are waiting like a circle of lions at the gazelles' watering hole, waiting to pounce, outside of toy stores to get this year's "It" toy - a toy that their kids will likely play with for a few days (if they are lucky) before discarding it onto the pile of toys in the corner of their bedroom.

At Matthew's school, they had tryouts for a floor hockey team at school, and the competitiveness and elitism of the whole thing just sickens me. Matthew is small and not a hockey player, and would prefer to cheer on everyone as the puck rolls by him. It wasn't a surprise when he didn't make the team, but I still felt bad. HE didn't care (at least he said he didn't), but I felt bad - so bad that I bought him a cool bionicle, and while I told him it was because of his great report card (which was great, mind you), it was really so he'd play with it all weekend and forget about floor hockey.

It's great that Matthew doesn't really care, but I think what bothers me is that someday he WILL care, and then what? Do I want him to be at a school that appears to only care about who wins Cross Country and who was on the Floor Hockey team? I guess school was always that way, which is probably why I was dreaming about my high school last night. The cool kids were the jocks, and I was a jock, but didn't hang out with the cool kids (I thought they were a bunch of morons). But still, most kids DO care and that's how they get into trouble. When kids care more about the clothes they are wearing and whether the cool kids give them the time of day, they start getting into trouble. I used to think it would be neat to have "cool kids", but what happens to those kids after high school? Not much, I'm guessing in a lot of cases.

And so I've been thinking about Solomon a lot lately, and his words in Ecclesiates, the words that captured my attention on Mother's Day 2007. It's so depressing, this world of ours, and we need to find some meaning in a world that seems void of values and genuine good. But how do we find that meaning when those closest to us don't even seem to care?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Rocks and Minerals

Yesterday I was lucky enough to hang out with a bunch of grade three kids at the Telus World of Science. It was pretty fun, and I realized that Matthew is just a normal grade three boy - they all dance around and stand on their chairs and act silly. We had a classroom session on rocks and minerals, and many childhood memories came back: Going rock hunting in the field behind our house, going to Drumheller in grade 8 (especially when she pulled out the Gneiss rocks) and being a kid. When Matthew and I hopped in the car, he said "Mom, I'm really glad you came today." So even though I had work to do and people to call, it was worth spending those hours with Matthew. In a few years, he won't even want me around, so I had better take advantage now if he wants to hang out with me. It's sad to hear people say "They grow up so fast." I don't think they grow up too fast - I just think we're all too busy to notice them growing.

We also saw an Imax film on India, and the narrator remarked that 80% of Indians live a slow paced life in small villages. I've tried to slow down, but for some reason it's just not happening. October and November have whizzed by at the speed of light and here we are, faced with Christmas, and I don't have the tree decorated yet! I thought that by staying home and limiting activities to those in Devon would help slow down the pace, but it hasn't. There is some elusive factor that I can't quite put my finger on. Maybe it's the fact that we can't live in the moment...there is too much to think about down the road.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Give 'em the Finger!

Wow, it's amazing how things are all starting to come together. To backstep a bit, on Sunday night, just before the prostitute flagged me down on 96th street, I noticed a cute little white church just before the Mustard Seed. Strangely (or not so strangely?), I had a message this morning from the Pastor of that cute little church, asking if I could call him about FPU. I called, and had a great chat with him, and thought what a ministry he must have, to preach to the inner city and on financial peace. I sent him my notes about one of the more challenging sessions, and he joked that I should just come over and give a lecture on it. Next thing you know, I'm going to be a guest speaker at Edmonton Family Worship Centre on December 8th, travelling into the inner city, passing the homeless and the prostitutes along the way, to speak about financial peace.

After my "issues" from last night, I woke up this morning raising my finger in the air, giving the finger like I was preached on Sunday, speaking allowed, "This is for you, just for you!" And look what happened.

God is amazing...I am awed to tears right now....

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Otter and The Beaver

Last night at the People Pleasing sermon the Pastor mentioned that you know you're a People Pleaser if you take criticism personally. It means that you continue to care more about what others think of you than what you believe in your heart to be true. At FPU (which has been criticism free until tonight), I was criticized for not having more small group discussions - this coming from an Otter personality who likes to talk and is "a party looking for a place to happen" (Dave Ramsey's words, not mine!). What Otters don't realize is that not everyone wants to have small group discussions about everything. Beavers (like me) prefer order and rules, and I have been running the class on order and rules. This is about results, not discussion - our culture is far too full of talk and not enough action.

Anyway, I let this criticism anger me, and then I doubted myself and why I was leading the class, but then I remembered from the sermon last night - "Give them the finger!", meaning to raise your index finger to the sky....I only answer to one person, and that person is Jesus. We all have different styles and preferences, but my call from God is to teach this class and get results, and get these people out of debt so that they can fulfill their God given purposes. I'm not compromising my style, because it is working.

Boy, I am so glad I was called to the sermon last night...otherwise I might be handling this whole criticism thing way differently....He knew what I was going to need today!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

People Pleasing

Since I left my job in the city in June, I thought that it would now be the perfect time to throw myself into all the stuff I had wanted to do for so long but didn't have the time. I thought that I would finally be able to fulfill the purpose for which God put me on the Earth, and that seemed to mean saying yes to everything and everyone that has come my way.

As a result, I am now once again overloaded with stuff, pulled in a million directions, and I don't think I'm doing what God wants me to do. I have become resentful of the church, I don't want to go but have to go because I made a commitment and no one else will help, and I'm mad that people can just waltz in and out of the church without contributing at all. I've know for a while that there has been a problem, but kept thinking, no, as long as I am doing God's work, I can't be resentful, it's all for Him, etc., etc., but the truth is that I hate going to church on Sunday mornings.

So we've been listening to the White Horse Inn program on Sunday mornings (it has actually piqued Scott's interest), and have thought for a while that we should go to the local sponsoring church, an Orthodox Christian Reformed Church in Edmonton. Scott took the kids to Vermilion today, so I thought it would be a great opportunity to check out the church and then bring Scott back. I wavered on it all day, but a small voice kept telling me to go, so I was sure that God was leading me to a church that Scott would connect with.

As I drove through downtown, I saw the people on the streets, just walking around, some huddled in front of bars and other buildings, most with no place to go. I was flagged down by a prostitute on a corner, and when she saw I was a woman, she waved me along in disgust. My heart went out to these people, and then I drove past the Mustard Seed Church, dark and quiet until 700.

I arrived at the Church just past six, and the first thing I heard was AN ORGAN! Oh no, what had I come into? This wasn't a "contemporary service" as the pastor had advertised....this was like a church service from 30 (or more!) years ago. I thought it would be rude to leave, but a voice was calling me away....calling me to go back to Church on 99 to catch the end of their service.

And so I drove down to Church on 99, parked in the overflow since I was 20 minutes late, and was greeted by a young usher and booming music....during a baptism! The energy was amazing, and the band played one last loud song, and I knew this was where I was supposed to be tonight. My suspicion was confirmed when the Pastor began to speak on People Pleasing. It truly is a form of idolatry.

I am a classic People Pleaser, can't say no, don't want to offend, want everyone to like me, and as a result, I cannot fulfill my true purpose in life. I have overcommitted myself to my church because it's "the right thing to do", and now I hate going on Sundays. I have no issue with FPU on Mondays, as it is there I can help people, which is where my heart is. And my heart is with those people downtown, and that prostitute who scowled at me, for no one is a mere mortal, they are all children of God. I know what my calling is, and I will serve where I am supposed to be serving. Of course, I can't give up anything I've already committed to - and that's not People Pleasing, that's just common courtesy. But I'm not volunteering for anything else and I am leaving all ministries other than my Fnancial Peace ministry.

Does that sound selfish? I don't know - maybe to most people it does. All I know is that by caring about what others think means putting people before God, which should never be the case. I've said yes to too many things and now I have no time for the Ministry I'm sure He meant me to be involved in.

It's time to do what He put me here to do.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Goodbye Victoria

We just returned from what could be our last trip to Victoria for a long, long time. Mom and dad have sold the house and are moving into the condo, so we have nowhere to stay if we visit. We don't want to travel at Christmas and they move January 29, so this was our last chance to say goodbye to the house. It was kind of sad, but more because I remembered when we lived there in the basement, and Matthew was cute and innocent and worryfree, and when I went into labour with Elizabeth, almost not making it to the hospital, and that was her first taste of home, if only for a couple of weeks. There was the memory of Matthew splitting his head open on the bed, walking to the Lucky D for junk food, and inhaling the wonderful aroma of the ocean only blocks away. It was a time that seemed simple compared to now, and I miss it.

So it will be time to make new memories in Canmore once mom and dad find a house there. Memories of hiking trails and the wonderful aroma of the mountain air on a crisp morning. It's so nice to have memories...I think we all take them for granted.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Mr. Brown

Last night we had a rehearsal for our church Christmas play, and Zacharias is being played by Mr. Brown, one of the senior members of the church. He came into the practice with his lines obviously well rehearsed, and read them with such passion - it almost made me teary eyed. At one point he is supposed to get down on one knee when Gabriel is speaking to him, and he joked about having trouble getting up, but each time he read his lines he still dropped down on that knee without complaint.

Mr. Brown's generation of people never ceases to amaze me - they are regal, have tremendous values, are caring, and continue to work hard without complaint. They show up at church in their Sunday best, and truly believe that they are going home to their Saviour someday. I wonder what they think of the younger generations, who sometimes appear to have no respect for anyone but themselves (and that even comes into question on occasion).

We need to learn from this generation who is not going to be around forever. A little more compassion and respect would turn our culture upside down.... for the better.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


It's the one thing that makes my job tough - the need to schmooze. Schmoozing is one thing I can do if I have to, but I sure don't like it. However, I have realized that I'm not going to build my business sitting at home waiting for the phone to ring - I actually have to go out and network.

So I went to the Leduc Chamber of Commerce lunch today and it was actually pretty good. Not much time for schmoozing, so that was a bonus, and the food was very good. We had a speaker from Economic Development Edmonton informing us that we are technically out of the recession, so all is good in the world....right?? I guess if we say it often enough, it might come true.

I'm glad I went - received a framed certificate as a new member, and met a couple of nice people, but it's definitely out of my comfort zone. On December 9th if I'm feeling the need for a good lunch, I may even go again. It's better than hanging out in my pajamas, I suppose (?!?).