Friday’s Fave Five #55

FFF spring

It’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

1. Our ladies’ retreat last weekend was a blessing. It was lovely to spend time with friends from various churches in Alberta and Saskatchewan, to be encouraged in the Word, and to enjoy warm weather in a camp setting.

2. My daughters and son-in-law prepared a nice Mother’s Day dinner, which we celebrated together on Monday night. I cherish time we can spend together as a family.

Because of that warm weather I caved in and planted my seedlings early this year. The rule of thumb in our area is not to plant until the Victoria Day weekend (a week before Memorial Day for my Stateside friends.) Then we had an unexpected night of frost, and all my plants perished. Ah well, back to the drawing board!

3. We purchased our home in the winter so I was absolutely delighted to find dark purple lilacs bloom the first spring we were in this house. Due to the exceptionally warm weather, they have bloomed early this year. I really love the dark purple variety!

Beautiful dark purple lilacs

Beautiful dark purple lilacs

Purple lilacs

Purple lilacs

4. I have not been feeling well and consulted my doctor this week. She is supportive, encouraging, and gives me latitude to work on my health concerns in non-traditional ways. I really appreciate her.

5. My youngest daughter accompanied me to the ladies’ retreat and helped me tend the book table I set up each year at the retreat. I talked in to driving home the back way so I could look for some rural scenes to photograph. I got us lost for a while but we had a good chat and I found a few things to photograph. It was precious time spent with one of my children.

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Weathered

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Beyond the fence

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Rural charm

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Sunset sky

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Friday’s Fave Five #52

FFF daisies

It’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

No longer Bleak Midwinter In a land where cold and darkness reign in the winter (think of the setting of Christina Rossetti’s In the Bleak Midwinter) the sunny days and budding trees of spring are welcome and appreciated.

New roommate for our daughters We met a lovely new young lady who is currently rooming with our daughters. She’s lived in many of the Commonwealth countries and has a delightful blended accent one enjoys listening to. Best of all she is a sister in Christ and we enjoyed fellowshipping together with her this past week.

They’re sprouting!! I planted some of my seeds in an indoor container last weekend and am already seeing sprouts! Because we’ve had such lovely warm weather this year, I’m tempted to plant these in my nice raised bed planters outside, but overnight temperatures here are still getting down to freezing so I simply need to be patient.

Taxes done Our tax prep is done and with our tax lady. It’s not my favorite thing to do, so I always breathe a huge sigh of relief when all the information is collected, logged, and organized to turn over to the capable Mel.

Drive in the country We live in a small town south of the city of Edmonton, Alberta’s capital. Any direction out of town takes us through large sections of farm land. I find it peaceful and relaxing to drive past these vast parcels of rural agriculture. Saturday evening my husband took me for a drive in the country. Here are some of the pictures I took that evening.

Spring moon

Spring moon

Hello, deer!

Hello, deer!

Twilight pasture

Twilight pasture

Misty fields

Misty fields

Rural peace

Country charm

Sunset whisper

Sunset whisper

Impoverished hope

Impoverished hope

Rural trio

Rural trio

Almost gone

Almost gone

Hope you have an encouraging week full of blessings and hope.

 

Friday’s Fave Five #48

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It’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

1. This week we were able to enjoy the fellowship of a family temporarily here until their immigration papers come through to serve in ministry elsewhere. It was a blessing to get to know them a little this week. We’ve also had a fellow minister and occasional teacher at the college staying with us this week. He is a blessing to our family in every way and we always enjoy having him in our home.

2.Freshly returned from their honeymoon to Rome, our daughter and son-in-law regaled us with stories of their travels and explorations of the City of the Seven Hills at our weekly family night dinner. It was so much fun to discuss special places we discovered on our visit there a few years ago and learn what’s the same and what has changed.

3.This week I began rereading some of my missionary biography collection. I was looking to source a quotation which I thought was from Amy Carmichael’s God’s Missionary and ended up reading the whole thing. It’s a booklet, so not hard or long to read, but Amy Carmichael’s writing tends to be introspective and somewhat mystical so it requires some contemplation, evaluation, and simplification when reading her works. I did not find the quote I was looking for so began perusing Elisabeth Elliot’s work on Amy Carmichael, A Chance to Die. Still haven’t found my quote, but I shall persevere! (Ahem * Grumpy Grammar Lady reminds you that this word is pronounced “per-se-vere.” Do not be bamboozled, hornswoggled, or flimflammed into saying “per-ser-vere.” There is no ‘r’ in the second syllable of persevere. But I digress…)

4.Someday some smart researcher will be able to definitively explain why cloudy days and stormy weather make some of us ache physically (my arthritis and fibromyalgia yell at me when it’s cloudy outside!) or feel down mentally. We’ve had a few of those days this week. I am grateful for every clear and sunny day and the positive influence they have on my outlook. More sunny days coming! Sunday is the first day of Spring.

5.I am grateful for brothers and sisters in Christ who willingly discuss thorny theological issues and controversial topics without judgement, but with an understanding that our mutual goal in any such discussion is to be made more conformed to the image of Christ.

I didn’t get much photography practice this week, but did get a few gloomy day pics of rural Alberta on Saturday.

Near Beaumont 2 Near Beaumont 5 Near Beaumont 7

What were some of your blessings this week?

Friday’s Fave Five #47

FFF daisies

It’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

I stepped away from writing for several months for personal reasons. Today I want to resume the FFF and share some blessings from the past few weeks.

1. One of our daughters was married on February 27. It was a beautiful wedding with a peacock colours theme. We love our new son-in-law and are enjoying getting to better know his wonderful family. (Thanks, Nicole VandeKamp for this picture of the entire wedding party!)

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2. Our son, who lives and teaches in China, was able to come for the month of February (during the Chinese New Year break) and stay with us to help prepare for the wedding. His wife stayed behind for some intensive language study, but the kids got to come with their dad. Normally the whole family stays with us for a few weeks every summer so it was a special treat to have them with us in winter. Though we had unusually warm weather this entire winter, there was still some snow for the kids to enjoy. They loved playing in the snow!

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3. As wonderful and joyous as weddings are, wedding planning, preparation, and participation are exhausting! This past week we were able to get away for a few days to our friend’s cabin a couple of hours south of us. It’s in the middle of a large farming area where just about all that’s available nearby is peace and quiet. Exactly what we needed! My dear husband sacrificed some of his time to drive me around so I could get some photos of rural Alberta.

01 Mountain view near Sundre - Copy

02 Mountain view near Sundre 3-16

05 Torrington area fence 2

06 Torrington area fence line

10 Torrington 3-16

09 Torrington abandon

12 Near Three Hills

08 Near Olds 2 (2)

07 Torrington community hall

11 West of Torrington

04 Torrington ice fog 3-1603 Near Olds 2

14 Torrington sunset 3-7-16 2

13 Torrington sunset 3-7-16

15 Torrington sunset 3-8-16

4. Because of my arthritis and fibromyalgia, ice is my enemy. Winters in central Alberta tend to be very icy. We have thoroughly enjoyed extraordinarily warm weather this winter, reminiscent of the welcomed Chinooks we so appreciated while living in Calgary. Today it’s 10 C (about 50 F) and ice everywhere is melting furiously. Yay to banished ice!

5. Our youngest daughter has completed her current phase of education and returned to us last month after her studies in China. It’s fun to have her home for a while. We are looking forward to seeing how God leads and provides for her and for each of our other children in future days.

It seems too early, but I have been reminded that we need to turn our clocks ahead this Saturday night. I don’t want to be late for church!!