God's Mountain


I recently read a book about a Canadian scientist who went to work as a medical missionary in India. Within a couple of years he was struck by polio and paralyzed from the neck down. By using a “wooden lung” found neglected in the hospital courtyard and a spare inner tube left behind by another doctor they managed to keep him alive long enough to get the medical attention he needed to live. He went on to study and to teach even though he never regained the use of his legs and only the partial use of his hands after transplant operations.

I found his philosophy in God’s Mountain a refreshing and a more realistic approach than some of the other messages I’ve been hearing regarding sickness and calamity. In chapter six James Ashwin says the following:

“A profusion of puzzled thoughts converge on one idea: God spares righteous people from trouble and disaster and He gives special favours to those considered as His children. Does He?

Those who persist in believing in this kind of God will eventually be disappointed. What kind of world would we have if there was a law that saved the righteous and struck down the wicked? A fearless bunch of Christians could soon clean the world of gangsters and thwart all kinds of impending calamities. But “righteous” people often find themselves opposing each other in politics, love, and battle situations. The outcome in every instance certainly does not seem to depend on righteousness.”

Last Friday I went for my lumpectomy. The doctor removed tissue about the size of two Bic lighters side by side. First stop was the imaging centre where they placed a wire down to the lesion to direct the doctor to its location. The process was unnerving and painful. And then I waited … and waited… seven hours before going into surgery. I was the surgeon’s simple procedure for the day. The two patients next to me both had a breast and lymph nodes removed. It was hard to feel sorry for myself when they had it much worse, but I managed to sneak in quite a few “woe is me”.

The surgery went well and I don’t remember a single thing – thank goodness. The pain is manageable and I’m well on my way to recovery.

A special thank you to all of you who took the time to text or call, bring flowers, or a meal. The gestures are soooo appreciated and help to lift my spirits in the discouraging moments.


Have yourselves a wonderful week!


How I Failed as a Parent

When I was growing up, if we heard the annoying buzz of a fly in the house my dad would reach for the nearest stack of newspaper or a magazine. A hunt would ensue until the flying annoyance was firmly squished against one surface or another by the rolled up weapon. As we got older, we kids became the hunter; the flies, unfortunately, stayed the hunted.

We never asked why the flies weren’t permitted to live once they were discovered. It never entered my mind to suggest we could live peaceably with another creature instead of resorting to violence. We just did it because that’s what you do.

In our own home, we stepped up the assault and purchased proper weapons. I have two swatters in my kitchen just in case one breaks down. Our children were witnesses to the same behavior, immediate death to all flies. We never talked about the reasons; I don’t think I could have explained why. No one ever told me.

I must admit I was surprised by one of my adult child’s cavalier attitude toward the same nasty fiend. I remarked on the number of flies buzzing about their kitchen and was told “they would probably leave the same way they entered.”

Hmm, the comment caused me to ponder. Perhaps my bias was purely cultural. Had I in fact chased after buzzing little monsters my entire life for no reason? Could we and the flies live in a mutually respectful environment? I did not chase the flies in their kitchen; nor did I encourage anyone else to do so.

How were any of us to know the resourceful little fellows would find a rotten potato in the pantry? A female fly can lay up to five hundred eggs and so they did. I wasn’t around for the next stage as the juicy white maggots began squirming across the floors to look for a cool dry place to pupate. Nor was I there for the discovery that the long piled area rug was the hiding spot of choice. I am very thankful I wasn’t.

Did you know - squishy maggots aside - flies are responsible for spreading over one hundred different diseases by carrying the pathogens on their bodies and spreading it to our food?


Have a super duper week!

The Best Medicine of All

I bought a card last week a lovely card expressing lovely sentiments:

God’s Gift of Time

We all need a time to grieve - quiet time for reflection

to sift through memories

 and come to grips with what has happened.


We all need a time for tears,

not for the one who is now

at peace in heaven,

but for ourselves as we realize that things will never be the same.


We all need a time to just “be”

when we can open ourselves to God

and let the reassurance

of His everlasting love start to heal our broken hearts.


Lovely sentiments indeed unless you are delivering the card to a friend who's suffering with a heart condition and in the hospital with pneumonia. I was at the hospital when I realized I’d exchanged a bereavement card for someone else with a get well card for my friend. Which still wouldn’t have been a problem if I hadn’t passed the card around at church and eighteen people signed it! Don’t they know you are not supposed to sign your name without reading the document first?  

It’s nothing a few artful strokes with a pen and the odd word added here and there wouldn’t fix. It wasn’t pretty, but this is the card my friend received:

God’s Gift of Time

We all need a time to grieve –quiet time for reflection

to sift through memories

and come to grips with what has happened, and our limitations.


We all need a time for tears

for ourselves as we realize

that things will never be the same.


We all need a time to just “be,”

when we can open ourselves to God

and let the reassurance

of His everlasting love start to heal our broken hearts, minds, and bodies!


What do you think? Should I take up greeting card writing?


Have a wonderful two weeks!



Beating the Odds – 2

So I met with the surgeon last week.  Thankfully, I was given the head breast surgeon in the Red Deer area. He was young, funny, and intent on doing a great job. He told me to lie back on the gurney with my hands behind my head and pretend I was on a beach “A really weird beach,” and proceeded to do his examination.

We talked about the stages that had brought me to his office: mammogram abnormalities, follow-up mammogram abnormalities, biopsy suspect of DCIS, and finally surgery consultation. He answered my questions concisely and took lots of time to make sure I understood his answers.

       How do you get to the back of a breast from the top? In my case, from making                   an incision  across the upper edge and then going down.

       If the clip they inserted during the biopsy has moved 1.5 centimeter how do                they find the original sight of the lesion? He appeared genuinely surprised by                   this question. The paperwork on his lap said the clip was in the position it                   was originally placed in. I’d brought my copy of the results saying the clip                   had moved and he promised to look into it.

        Will I experience pain down my arm like I did after the biopsy? Will it go away?               Apparently pain down your arm after a biopsy is unusual; however, the                         nerves fan out from your shoulder and across your chest. He did not expect                 that I would have any more pain with the lumpectomy than I had with the                   biopsy. If I did, it should go away as it did for the biopsy.

        How long will the incision be and how much will he take out? The incision                          should be about two inches long and he will take out matter a bit larger                      than a marble. The space will fill with fluid and scar tissue.

         Does he have a steady hand? Is he good at sewing? I couldn’t bring myself to                     ask. His being young worked in my favour. The stitches are sewn from the                   inside so he must be halfway decent and they are dissolvable so you don’t                   have to have them removed. A friend who just went through the same                           surgery and had several lumps removed remarked the stitches were much                   like wearing a bristle brush in your bra.

         Will I still be able to wear my string bikini? This has become a non-issue as I’ve                looked everywhere and I can’t find it.


“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” (I Pet. 5:10 ESV)


Have a super week!

Beating the Odds

I’ve entered a strange new labyrinth. One I knew existed, and yet I didn’t give it much thought. Many have entered the labyrinth before, myriads of websites are devoted to its exploration, entire hospitals are established for its eradication.

According to the Canadian Cancer society less than .6% of Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer this year yet 2 out of 5 persons will be diagnosed with it over a lifetime. It is the leading cause of death in Canada at thirty percent of all deaths. Sixty percent of those diagnosed will live more than five years - eighty-seven percent if its breast cancer.

The statistics don’t bring much comfort when you’re faced with it. At each stage through the process, I was told just a very small number will go on to the next level of treatment. After my biopsy in January, I was told less than three percent would go on to surgery. I don’t feel particularly lucky knowing I am one of the chosen few.

My breast cancer was caught early. About as early as you can catch it.  It’s called DCIS and doesn’t form a lump but involves one tiny cluster (for me) of micro calcifications. The odds of survival are great as it’s contained and most likely won’t return. I meet with a surgeon shortly to discuss the details of my operation and I do have some questions:

·         How do you get to the back of a breast from the front?

·         If the clip they inserted during the biopsy has moved 1.5 centimeters how do             they find the original sight of the lesion?

·         Will I experience pain down my arm like I did after the biopsy? Will it go                     away?

·         How long will the incision be? How much will he take out?

·         Does he have a steady hand? Is he good at sewing?

·         Will I still be able to wear my string bikini? Ha.

My thoughts and prayers are with all of you (the diagnosed, the family, and the friends) who have travelled the cancer journey and its many pitfalls. May we soon see a cure for this dreaded disease!

Update - My own doctor said to consider the lesion DCIS but the surgeon I met with today said the biopsy was too small and carried some of the markers but not all of the markers of DCIS. Surgery in the coming weeks will either confirm DCIS or it may all have been removed in the original biopsy and in that case we will never know. 


Take Care.


While unpacking Matt’s suitcase after a weekend away, I pulled a gargantuan bobby pin from one of the inner pockets.

            “What’s this?” I asked.

            “It’s yours isn’t it?”

            “Really? If I wore this it would cover half my head.”

Perhaps it’s the curse of the fiction writer but I quickly conjured up in my mind the size of woman who would wear such a pin. She looked about six foot eight with an oversized bunch of unruly blond curls, high tops, and long, skinny arms or perhaps the mature woman with flowing, grey locks, thick glasses, and bright, bohemian skirt who liked the simplicity of such a fastener. Whoever she was, why was her paraphernalia in my husband’s suitcase?       

The conversation went on for a few more moments and involved accusation and denial - both good components to any marital discussion. Matt hasn’t travelled alone for several years and I don’t usually unpack his things. Most likely he honestly did pick up the bobby pin in some hotel thinking it was mine regardless of its unusual size.

Our discussion reminded me of how important it is for each one of us to protect our relationships and guard them against temptation. Bill and Pam Farrel, in their book Men Are Like Waffles Women Are Like Spaghetti (a great little read for improving your marriage) share their own boundaries to guard their relationship. “We are never alone with a person of the opposite sex in a counseling setting. We never dine with those of the opposite sex alone, nor do we travel alone with members of the opposite sex. We even make it a practice of dropping off those of the opposite sex before we take home those of the same sex in a carpool situation. But more importantly than these structural boundaries, we have emotional boundaries. We do not share with others what our spouse should hear first. In other words, our deepest sorrows and greatest thrills are not shared with anyone until first shared with each other.”

Great ideas, don’t you think?


Have a superb week!


P.S. Our granddaughter has improved a lot over the last week and can now roll over and push herself up on her knees. Praise the Lord!


February, the one month of the year we turn our eyes from the fluffy piles of snow outside our window inside - toward the ones we love. Our thoughts linger on flowers, chocolate, perhaps a romantic dinner out. And what better way to send loving sentiments than with a poem. I set out in search of the greatest love poem ever written only to discover there was little agreement between the list makers. If a poem was on the top ten of all time, it didn’t appear to make the cut for the top one hundred on someone else’s list. I felt sorry for some of the list makers with their poems of drinking and aloneness. Not my idea of a great love.

Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116 made a few of the lists and took the number one spot on a couple of them. Though it is not mushy, it contains a foreverness that comforts and buoys up the soul. Happy Valentines!


                                          Let me not to the marriage of true minds
                                          Admit impediments. Love is not love
                                          Which alters when it alteration finds,
                                          Or bends with the remover to remove:
                                          O no; it is an ever-fixed mark, 
                                          That looks on tempests, and is never shaken;
                                           It is the star to every wandering bark,
                                           Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
                                           Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
                                           Within his bending sickle's compass come; 
                                           Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, 
                                           But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
                                                   If this be error and upon me proved,
                                                   I never writ, nor no man ever loved.


Jeremiah 31:3 NLT

"I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.”

Why not?

“When you are waiting for a train, don't keep perpetually looking to see if it is coming. The time of its arrival is the business of the conductor, not yours. It will not come any sooner for all your nervous glances and your impatient pacing, and you will save strength if you will keep quiet. After we discover that the people who sit still on a long railroad journey reach that journey's end at precisely the same time as those who ‘fuss’ continually, we have a valuable piece of information which we should not fail to put to practical use.”

ANNA C. BRACKETT, The Technique of Rest

We wait for so many things: a job, an engagement, a new baby, a holiday, results from a biopsy. If waiting produces patience (like the wise would have us believe) I have apparently not waited enough. For some reason Anna doesn’t suggest languishing with a stack of cement landscaping bricks on your chest while staring up at the grey sky to pass the time. I’m not sure why not. Imagine in your mind a train full of people, some composed and resting in their comfortable seats, others lining the aisles on their backs in various states of discomfort to distract them from thinking about the destination. Shouldn’t it be an option?

Anna C. Brackett, a gifted, American, female philosopher who lived her life in the pursuit of better education for others wrote The Technique of Rest in 1892. What could she possibly know about the modern world?

“May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy.” (Col. 1:11 ESV)



My grandaughter continues to improve and although she does not have feeling below her neck she can mostly use her arms and pull up one knee.

Flipping through the TV channels on Sunday, I caught Joel Osteen mid diatribe telling how he ousted someone from his real estate team because they mentioned bylaw difficulties and other negatives in the pursuit of Joel’s mega, basketball stadium turned church. He went on to say we should surround ourselves with only positive people, only people who will encourage us …

Thankfully, the closest object to throw at the screen was the dill pickle, chip bag whose contents I’d consumed earlier. The message did not encourage me in my Gollum like state.  My entire body wore a raised reddish/purplish rash which puffed out my cheeks and lips. An allergic reaction to one of the medications I was taking. Perhaps from the diverticulitis antibiotics prescribed the week before or maybe the bridging blood thinners to prepare for a breast biopsy (excuse the alliteration). I can assure you; in the mental and physical state I was in, Joel would roust me from the team too.

But would Jesus? Imagine Him saying to Mary and Martha, “I see you’re sad about the death of your brother, Lazarus, and you’ve allowed yourself to be surrounded by other sad people. I’m sorry, but I won’t help you, you’re not positive enough, goodbye.” Or perhaps having the following comments for the woman who’d been bleeding for twelve years, “That’s a long time to be sick don’t you think? People say you’ve spent all your money trying to get well and now you’re worse. I can’t surround myself with such defeatism – go your way.”  

I guess those of us who find ourselves pressed under the difficulties of life will have to settle for our team captain being the God of the universe.

“In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:17 ESV)

 “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  (Hebrews 13:5)


Update on my granddaughter: Her parents hope to bring her home from the hospital in the next day or two. She has not regained voluntary movement of her legs but the doctors think, with aggressive physio therapy, there will be improvement.



How do we cope with tragedy when it befalls us? Is there a course we can take to prepare for the fateful phone call throwing our world into a tailspin?

Me? As the reality starts to sink in, I like to curl up in a ball under my covers and pretend it’s not happening. Thank goodness for shock or whatever you want to call the initial hazy feeling when you’re hollow inside and you keep putting one foot in front of the other out of habit.

Two weeks ago my daughter became concerned about one of her six month old twins. She wasn’t moving her legs much and acted weak and lethargic. The doctor thought she might be coming down with something and they weren’t concerned until she lost movement in one hand - and then they were very concerned.

In the hospital, the little one continued to lose movement in her arm, her torso, her neck, the ability to laugh, smile …

Watching my baby girl, watch her baby girl, slipping away wrenched and wrung out my heart like few things have in my fifty years. It’s the kind of pain you don’t want to acknowledge. It’s the kind of pain that sneaks up on you in the shower and you hope the spray of the water drowns out the sound of your sobbing.

She lived! The Lord preserved the life of the precious little girl and she’s regained some of her mobility. The doctors haven’t discovered the cause and her legs have a long way to go without another miracle.

Can I - can you – learn to give thanks in all situations?


“Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,” (Ephesians 5:20 ESV)


“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26 ESV)




Welcome back! Here’s hoping your Christmas and New Year’s celebrations brought joy and comfort as you spent time with family and friends. It goes by too fast doesn’t it?

Canada Post took one final kick at 2016 with a single envelope in my post office box on Friday, perhaps a holiday bill or Christmas Card straggler?  No, it was from the Alberta Breast Screening Program informing me I needed further tests along with a pamphlet telling me “DON”T PANIC”. The bold words imply there might be a reason to panic, however; I should avoid the impulse to do so in order to save my energy for the actual crisis. Easier said than done.

Good to know only ten percent of all those who go for further testing have breast cancer and often abnormal results are simply benign cysts or calcium deposits. And so, I enter the waiting game of additional appointments and further results - like many of you have.  If only we could see into the future.

2016 taught me a lot, more than I cared to learn, actually. Life is full of mediocre days followed by sorrowful lows, and incredible highs that crash headlong into serious trouble. The only constant remaining through the joy, and the distress, is the Lord and His presence.

I love the comfort brought by the lyrics to the Natalie Grant song – Held:

Who told us we'd be rescued?
What has changed and why should we be saved from nightmares?
We're asking why this happens
To us who have died to live?
It's unfair.

This is what it means to be held
How it feels when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved
And to know that the promise was
When everything fell we'd be



Have a wonderful week!

The Best Christmas Present Ever

One of my favourite Christmas memories involves my brothers and me running out early Christmas morning only to discover very little under the tree and my parents nearby with smiles on their faces as though keeping some secret. I’m not sure who noticed the keys hanging amongst the branches, but one of us plucked the Honda key ring from its perch. When we looked out the window, a brand new Big Red Trike sat in our driveway. The trike provided our family with years of adventure and my children rode it through the ditches and wilderness too. The memory reminds me of a different gift, one promising to bring peace and joy, not temporary, but carrying on into the everlasting …

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.  He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:1-14 NIV


Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year’s!

Gunfight, Really?

“The first click is the trigger sear at the quarter notch, and the second click is the trigger at the half-cock notch, which is where the expression don’t go off half-cocked comes from...” My eyes rolled back in my head at the mansplanation of firing a Colt 45.

Writing a gunfight scene proved to be more difficult than I imagined. I don’t know anything about guns. My experience with real guns comprised running around the forest with my brother and my dad looking for prairie chickens and taking turns holding a 22 something or other. We never did find a chicken. A couple of years ago I experienced the pure joy of shooting a black powder rifle and bruising my shoulder. To tell you the truth, I didn’t really want to know any more about guns or gunfights.

So, maybe I could have my hero, Cord, catch up with the bad guys and (bang, bang) shoot them in the back without warning. Game over. Might be hard to establish tension and characterization with that scenario, though, I needed help.

We hunkered down and watched several westerns. I highly recommend Django Unchained for laughs mixed with copious amounts of blood squirting out of bullet holes. Or the Magnificent Seven if you like lots of rolling, tumbling, and heaving breasts.

I also studied several author’s methods for writing action scenes: short bursts of dialogue, keep the actions simple, show interior thoughts to help readers follow the action, portray chaos.

And then I remembered a paint ball fight with our family amongst the trees back home. It was called president and five of us were assigned the task of protecting a Mexican exchange student (our President) and delivering her to the other side of the battle ground. We made it about two thirds of the way without casualty when a surprise attack ensued and bullets flew. Our entire team was wiped out in seconds. If you want to know the particulars of the attack, you’ll have to read about Cord and the Doc Rufus Gang in Fool’s Notion.

I think the novel is done! However, an editor or publisher often wants to add or take away material. We’ll see what happens when I submit it.


Have a grand week!

If Church was a Square Dance

Matt and I joined the local square dancing group sort of by accident eight years ago. We were homeschooling at the time and our youngest son needed dance credits to finish out his Phys Ed course for the year. I noticed an ad in the local paper and thought a few weeks of do si doing would fit into our schedule nicely.  When it came time to leave for the first lesson, our son refused to get in the minivan; we waved good bye and promised to have fun in spite of his lack of cooperation.

We were so glad we did! Our instructor Neil was in his mid-seventies and welcomed us with the joy of a long lost friend. Every week a beam would across his face at our entrance followed by a heartfelt hug and an encouraging word about our progress. His excitement in teaching the moves was palpable. We grew to love Neil and because of Neil we grew to love square dancing.

A friend asked me the other day if I thought a dessert night would bring new people to the church and make them want to stay. I thought back to Neil and the warm feelings of attachment we experienced because of his simple kindness. Maybe church could be more like a square dance. On Sunday mornings, when you walked in people wouldn’t just lift their heads from their tight circles and resume talking without a greeting. Nor would they look right through you like you were invisible. No matter what your maturity level, you would be genuinely loved and encouraged.

And because of the love and welcome you received, you in turn would welcome and love others who came through the door.

By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

(John 13:35ESV)


Here’s hoping you have an extra special week!



Fool’s Notion:  Week 16                Goal250                     Actual212

Ok, I didn’t make my goal, but thank goodness I’m getting close.


Christian Online Dating – 3

Lavinia joins us again to answer more questions about online dating from a Christian’s perspective:

Do you think it’s more difficult to meet someone online as a Christian, and if so why?

Yes, Christians are more aware of what they want and words aren’t as important as actions. Christians also aren’t willing to compromise or do one night stands. On the other hand Christian men, appear to be shallower in their body type wants. They all want athletic to slender. The non-Christian world is more open to body type variety.

How have you overcome the hurdle of dating as a Christian online?

I’ve joined non-Christian sites and become pickier. I’ve also added my spiritual requirements into my profile.

How do you handle rejection?

At first I wondered what was wrong with me and then I realized I don’t really even know the other person so they’re rejecting the idea of me and not the real me.

How do you handle letting the other person know you are not interested?

Most guys try and spiritualize it. I choose not to. I just point out nicely we are too different. The worst reaction I’ve received from someone I wasn’t compatible with was a tirade about how ‘I was self-sabotaging when it could have been a great relationship,’ and he asked for a topless picture.

What is the biggest drawback to online dating?

You don’t know if they are who they say they are.

Thanks so much Lavinia for sharing a glimpse into your personal life! We will check back in the near future to hear if you’ve met Mr. Perfect.

According to my research, one of the most common pitfalls to online dating is staying online too long. Many sites recommend a few emails and then progress to phone calls and then safe meetings to avoid misunderstandings, dishonesty, unhealthy boundaries, and generally wasting your time on a relationship that isn’t going to go anywhere.

Have a fantastic week!

Fool’s Notion:  Week 15                          Goal 240                     Actual 197

The great thing is my goal is 250 pages so next week I will start gaining on it!

Christian Online Dating – 2

Hi guys, we’re back with Lavinia this week and my interview about the highs and lows of Christian Online Dating. Lavinia dabbled in the sport/pastime/activity? for four years before going on her first date about six months ago. Before we hear more of her thoughts, here are some random statistics about online dating in general:    

          A quarter of all Canadians (18-34) have tried online dating

       52.4% of the users are men 47.6% are women

       Women receive 17 times as many messages as men

       Men use 21.9 % more words to answer a question on their dating profile

       Generally the most attractive men send the most messages

       Two spelling mistakes in a man’s profile will lower his response rate by 14%

       Spelling errors in a woman’s profile do not affect her response rate

 Christian Mingle has the highest percentage of women at 58.6%


Lavinia, compare Christian Dating sites and General Population Dating sites.

The men on Christian dating sites do not take initiative. 90% of the time you have to initiate conversations. If they did initiate conversations, the men were from the Middle East or Africa.I strongly questioned these men’s sincerity; however, I did receive an offer to become an African “trophy wife” in those words.

How many different venues have you tried? Which one is your favourite? How is it different?

I have tried five different sites for guys who fit my profile. I like “Plenty of Fish” for making contact; however it’s a general site and the men are just looking for dates and not long term relationships.

So who is your perfect man?

          Strong believer in Jesus and involved in his church

        Makes me laugh

          Kind, compassionate, honest


           Laid back

           Employed – no particular career – no farmers

        Tall, dark, light eyes, nice smile (I guess we all can’t love blondes)

        Mid thirties

           I’m open to previously married and with children

Sounds totally doable to me! Tune in next week for a continuation of Lavinia’s interview. Being introduced through friends or friend of a friend is still the leading way people meet their love interests, let me know if you have any possibilities.


Have a great week!



Fool’s Notion:  Week 14               Goal 224                     Actual 185



Christian Online Dating

But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Matthew 7:14 NIV


I have a friend, we’ll call her Lavinia, a bubbly, witty, blond in her early thirties traversing the world of online dating. And not just online dating but online dating as Christian who genuinely loves the Lord Jesus Christ. Her stories fascinate me, perhaps because I’m a hopeful romantic or perhaps because her story differs so much from my own … meet older boy in high school, go on first date (ever) with older boy, marry older boy two and a half years later. Did I mention he was older?

Back to Lavinia, I sat down with my friend in an interview to learn about her experience with Christian dating online and to share it with you. Her answers prove not only entertaining but useful for those looking for love online while walking the “narrow road that leads to life.”

Lavinia what prompted you to choose online dating as an option?

There are very few options in small town Alberta. When you’ve lived somewhere for a long time it’s hard to find someone you haven’t known forever or you don’t think of as your “little bro.” My female friends and I also find it difficult to meet Christian males who are dedicated to the Lord and not just “surface only.” I can count on one hand the romantic possibilities.     

What is your ultimate goal in dating online?

I’m looking to find my soulmate and get married. (Ahhhh) I have no timeline, but I’m OK with sooner rather than later. In my family, I’m an old maid. They all dated less than six months before getting married so that wouldn’t scare me either.

When did you first start looking for love online and where did you start?

Four years ago, I started dabbling in free online Christian dating sites like Christian Café, Christian mingle, and Christian dating for free. They typically have a free trial period from two weeks to a month and then you have to start paying $30 - $60 per month for the service.


More questions next week!


Fool’s Notion:  Week 13                  Goal 208                     Actual 167

The Silver Suitcase

Canadian Terrie Todd defies the odds with her debut inspirational fiction novel The Silver Suitcase. The publishing industry proclaims books set in a locale outside of the United States will not sell. Terrie chose to stick to her original setting in Manitoba and the book took off. The Silver Suitcase, published by Waterfall Press in 2016, has sold well over five thousand copies and reached the benchmark of a best seller in Canada.

Over the last week, I enjoyed reading The Silver Suitcase and dreaming of what it would be like to achieve such instant success. I fear my ego is not ready for the challenge and the Lord has seen fit to keep me a lowly book author/seller.

My successes have been on a much smaller scale. I was thrilled when a postal worker handed me a twenty for a copy while I was getting All That Glitters weighed for postage a couple of weeks ago. I was further ecstatic when a friend said she’d nearly sold out in the Wetaskiwin area markets (five books.) The local museum made my day when they bought four copies last week and yesterday the local book store shelf was empty. My two copies were either sold or stolen.

For now, I will have to leave the fame in Terrie’s capable hands.


The Silver Suitcase (I love the cover) weaves a tale between a grandmother in 1939 and a granddaughter in 1981. The granddaughter follows the struggle of her grandmother in giving a child up for adoption through diaries found in; you guessed it, a silver suitcase. We’re pulled into the reality of hardship for women and those they love during the Second World War. In contrast we follow the struggles of a modern family through job loss and its pervading effects on family and marriage. Both women experience a conversion, one much more dramatic than the other but I won’t spoil it for you.


I found the book to be a slow starter; however, I became intrigued with the characters and the ending was unexpected and wonderful. I recommend the read.


Have a Wonderful Week!


Fool’s Notion:  Week 12                        Goal 192                     Actual 149




In our new life of shift work, holidays pose a challenge. We could let them go by without celebration or move them. We chose to move Thanksgiving, and a week later we were delighted all of our kids and grand-kids could come and celebrate with us. Looking around the table it was hard to believe the two of us had become the seventeen of us. We added three more little people since last Thanksgiving alone!

Grandchildren are a lot of fun, just ask any grandma! For me, the best thing about them is the lack of pressure. Although I want to see the best for their lives, I am not responsible for making sure that happens. It’s a joy to come along side our kids and be a support in raising their children.


The Bible has a few things to say about grandchildren, too.

“Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their fathers.” Prov.17:6 ESV

“My Spirit that is upon you, and my words that I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, or out of the mouth of your offspring, or out of the mouth of your children’s offspring,” Isa. 59:21b

“But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him and his righteousness to children’s children.” Psalm 103:17


Blessings on you, your children, and grandchildren (and those to come!)


Fool’s Notion:  Week 11                      Goal 176                     Actual 136

Get the Bugs Out!

Our little house in the town holds the record for the longest we’ve lived in any one home, six years, three months. Over the course of our marriage, we’ve either renovated or built eight times. In every yard, we planted flowers, shrubs, and fruit trees but we never stayed long enough to see the fruit of our labour.

I love my current backyard and micro acreage. The orchard stretches nine feet by ten, the garden four feet by sixteen, and the vineyard one foot by two (just big enough for two vines to grow over a wrought iron archway).

The vineyard produced its first bumper crop this summer (actually its first crop ever). I was so excited I arranged a still life and took a photo. I didn’t notice until afterwards the ladybug strolling along the edge of one leaf. In my excitement of gathering the fruit, I overlooked the bugs.

Could the same be said about my own life? Have I marred the gracious fruit of the Lord “…love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control …” with an infestation of my own bugs?

Why should I love them, they don’t love me? Why should I be full of joy, have you seen my life lately? Why should I be patient, that person is so annoying? Why should I be kind, I don’t have the energy for it? You get the idea.

I can’t produce the fruit in my life any more than I can produce the fruit in my garden. The Lord can though, and He will. I must exterminate the bugs!

                 I surrender to You my petty irritations and excuses. Please                  grow a bumper crop of Your fruit in my life.

“For the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true.” (Eph. 5:9 ESV)


Have a wonderful fruit filled week!


Fool’s Notion:    Week 10            Goal 160              Actual 122