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Showing posts from February, 2015

David and Xiaoqian's Wedding

It was the week in which Canadians celebrated the 50th anniversary of our flag and David Stewart and his bride Xiaoqian Liu, celebrated their love by getting married on Valentine's Day. It almost felt as though a Divine event planner had been at work in bringing all these things together.











From different cultural backgrounds, their wedding bore testimony to the power of love to overcome obstacles, and the importance of young couples being surrounded by family, community and prayer.

David and Xiaoqian's wedding was both cross cultural, blending Chinese and Canadian traditions; and counter cultural in that the focus was on getting married, not "the wedding," although that was lovely. 

The reception hall in the church basement was decorated with Chinese lanterns, fans, lovely floral table centrepieces and origami birds.



The bride wore red; the traditional bridal colour in China; symbolizing good luck, happiness, vitality, joy and long life. Xiaoqian had ordered her red lace …

Our Maple Leaf A Symbol of Unity

We left for the city at 6.30 a.m. with a crescent moon still bright in the morning  sky. By the time we were on the Gardiner Expressway, the sun was up and washing the city of Toronto in a rosy glow as though trying its best to counteract the arctic chill of the coldest morning of the winter.

I told Paul that I felt like Forrest Gump, the movie character who was accidentally present at many historic moments. We were on our way to an event to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the flag of Canada, the distinctive Maple Leaf. Paul had been invited weeks earlier to be in a commemorative photo; a living recreation of the flag; but a few days before the event had received an email saying that there was still space and a significant other could accompany him if he wished! It felt surreal, and an exciting honour that we would both be in a photograph that would be included in the public record of this celebration. 

We made our way to the Mattamy Athletic Centre; the site of the old Maple Leaf G…

The Constant Friend

You were with me in a garden long ago; with  green shadow dappled lawns, edged with terracotta bricks; and trees filled with blackbird song. When I, a child of three or four, came in from play one day to say that I had talked with you.

You were with me too, in fields where I heard your voice above the distant lowing of cattle; on the wind that sighed, and riffled rolling waves of silver green grass. To this shy girl when eight, you were a confidante.

You were with me, stirring my heart when nine, to give the only gift I had; my life; to you, a fervent offering. Praying alone in the one room we lived in then, I said impulsively, "I will be a missionary." 

You were with me in the dark, helping me endure my many fears, night terrors, and deep insecurities.

You were with me in the songs I sang in school assemblies, through which I learned of your childhood; your life; and sacrificial death. Hot tears filled my eyes each year through Holy Week as we sang sad hymns about your crucifix…

A Little Adventure

It was in mid January that I got a text from my third eldest granddaughter Tori about picking up some rats from Owen Sound. I had promised to help, happy for any reason to spend some time with her.

"Hey Omie," she said in her text, "looks like it's looking good for getting the rats in Owen Sound. I will have enough money on the 30th. Are you still able to drive me?"

She doesn't know this, but I would go to the ends of the earth for any of my grandchildren. On second thought, maybe she does know it.

I knew that Tori's mom probably knew nothing of these arrangements and I was right, but Brenda was not surprised--Tori is independent by nature and goes about her life capably, just getting things done.

Following the recent death through a respiratory infection, of one of her two beloved pet rats; Tori did her own research. She said she did not want to buy one from a pet store, as they would have likely come from a "rat mill." She wanted a healthy rat, …

God Uses PayPal

Because Paul and I retire this year we have been preparing in many ways, one of which has been figuring out our finances, which involved meeting with a financial manager and drafting a budget. We have also been looking at our current spending with a critical eye, looking for ways to economize as in retirement we will have a more modest income.

One of my weaknesses is buying gifts and as we looked at our future budget, I agreed with Paul that I really have to be more careful in that area. So as I was planning an appreciation event for a committee I work with, I held back from buying the small "thank you" gifts until I could truly afford them. I knew that God knew my heart to give but also to be more careful with our money.

I considered my subscription to Feedblitz, the company through which readers can get my blog posts by email. I have used them for many years; originally the free service. Then I switched to the ad free version for what was a small fee, so that readers wouldn&…