happiness

I see God in everything 

I came into today with very mixed emotions – on the one hand it is the 16th birthday of my beloved son, on the other hand Father’s Day has become a rather difficult day in our household.

I have been doing A Course in Miracles and the lesson today was about how I see God in everything. I read it, I remembered it, I prayed about it – then I began my day.

I started by making the boy’s traditional birthday pie for his breakfast. The girl had stayed up late and left a trail of notes for him to read as he made his way downstairs telling him how much he was loved.

I thought how appropriate it was that he was eating pie this morning, not only for his tummy but also because my Dad loved pie and it was a nice way for me to remember him. There was definitely God in everything around me.

 

I dropped the girl at her morning ball game and the boy at church and then headed off to Glenbow Ranch to have a little quiet time in the flowers so I could honour my Dad. Wildflowers were my Dad’s thing and he had taken me to this park the summer before he died so we could look at the flowers.

 

After I walked around a little bit I stopped beside this wood lily which just happens to be my favourite flower of all. I sat on the side of the hill and cried a little bit (thankfully I was alone – the public crying gets to be a little much sometimes). I was looking up the hill for a while – as in the photo above – and then turned my position and looked west. I realized that from where I was sitting I could see the ranch, I could see Moose Mountain, I could see home. It was really comforting to just sit there in the quiet with the flowers around me, holding memories of my dad, and just be thankful for the life I have. I could sit there beside that flower and really, truly see God in everything.

After the girls won their ball game – and it was a very hard earned win – we took the boy out for lunch at Mr. Mikes. Talk about trying to cram everything into one day – I was worried I wouldn’t get to spend much time with him on his birthday because the win meant that the girls were off to at least 2 more ball games in NE Calgary and the boy had to work this evening. But we grabbed the small moment and made the best of it – God in everything. 

The girls played hard this afternoon. It ended up being the same team from the morning and they battled it out for two more games to finally become tournament champions. This was no small feat – these girls were certainly the underdogs at the beginning of the season and they dominated. Jenna is still flying high. God in everything – it was easy to see as the parents cheered and laughed and as the kids played and thrived.

The win was celebrated by a very late supper with the boy at his work. This work has brought out so much in him, it has been a great step into adulthood. God in everything.

 

I gave the boy his present late last night. I had ordered custom made Mala beads a few weeks ago – it was the only thing he had asked me for. Every bead was put on with love and in prayer. It was added to a box that was filled with letters written by the important people in his life – his loved ones, his family – and a HUGE thank you to all of you who wrote the letters. He has been sitting and reading them and smiling with glistening eyes. It is something he will treasure for the rest of his life. God in everything, His hands in the love in those letters that the boy will be able to pull out and read for the rest of his life and always remember that he is loved.


This day may have started with mixed emotions, but it was a day of big happiness, and one that I am incredibly grateful for.

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happiness

Bag of chips

I had coffee (or tea for me) with a couple of dear old friends this morning. I’ve known them since forever and our families are tied way back. I love these kinds of relationships – where the common bonds are so close it’s just easy.

We were laughing about how much different it is for kids learning how to drive now. One of them mentioned how bad it is now that texting exists. I said but when we were learning how to drive we had a coffee in one hand, and were usually waving the other one around doing something stupid. And one of them piped in and there was always a bag of chips stuck between our knees.

I laughed and told them a story of how I once almost ditched the suburban doing a turn while eating chips. The steering wheel got caught on the chip bag and for some reason my hand refused to let go of the bag almost sending me crashing into the ditch. They giggled and said the same thing had happened to them except they hit black ice and the driver had a hand in the chip bag. After doing a 360 and ending up in the ditch the chip bag was still intact – car needed a little help.

I love sharing these kinds of stories. Stupid, silly laughter stories of days gone by. That is happiness.

 

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Walking again 

After what feels like a really long break due to bad weather and hangry bears, the girls and I went out for our evening walk/bike ride/dog walk. June in Alberta, and particularly at the ranch,  is absolutely stunning. I love where I live. And I don’t just say those words, my soul deeply loves being in this spot where our roots are, where my memories live, where my family is. That is happiness.

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Building bonds 

This morning we had a walk in memory of my dad. Actually, it was supposed to be a flower walk in his memory, but the weather was terrible so we ended up doing a walk of a different kind. Not what I had expected, but very good and filling and exactly what it should have been. There were memories of dad, but new ones as well, and different old memories of this town – the weddings and family events that have happened here – and ones of the ranch around it. My kids and my niece and nephew ran around squealing and having fun; my mom, sister and I were together, my aunt told stories of the movie site, friends of my parents listened and asked questions. Life keeps moving on.

This evening we had a community potluck supper which was a bonding moment in itself. This time I was able to visit with a bunch of family who I normally don’t get a chance to chat with. It’s interesting coming from this large extended family – we have so much in common and yet in many ways live completely different lives. A real blessing since coming back home has been getting to know parts of the family that I didn’t really know all that well before.

We are part of a pretty amazing tribe. I think when I was a kid I just assumed everyone had families like mine, the older I get the more I appreciate the roots that have been planted here and where I come from. My immediate family, memories of my dad, my extended family – that is happiness.

 

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Spring band concert 

Tonight the girl got to show off her mad clarinet skills at the school band concert. She missed the Christmas one due to her concussion so this was the first time we got to see her play. She really seemed like she knew what she was doing! It’s amazing how quickly they progress over the year. 

She goes to such a great school – it really has been a godsend and a safe place for her to land over the last couple of years. I couldn’t have imagined a more loving place for her to have had to hold her as she has healed and grown over the last two years. 

Seeing her there in her community, chatting with her principal who not only knows her, but the whole family so well, that is happiness. 

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A new dress

I wore a new dress today. The last time I wore a new dress was exactly 2 years ago today at my dad’s funeral. Today, instead of the dress being black and tears of sadness being shed, my dress was purple and the tears were of joy.

Our church put on a mother daughter dinner in celebration of the grade 6 girls who are graduating this year. The supper was prepared and served with love and care for these special girls who are loved so dearly by their moms, their families, their communities, their church, and by God. Between each course of the 4 course meal we were given questions to answer and this led to wonderful stories being told about the girls.

I will share one of the questions I was given – it was How do I see God through Jenna. I said that Jenna has this beautiful and open heart, but she also has this intense inner strength. When you need something, if times are tough, and you want someone to have your back – Jenna is just quietly there with her strength, holding you in her space. The combination of this open heart and incredible inner strength gives her such unique character. I adore this girl.

I feel so blessed that we are part of this church community, that the kids have this huge sense of belonging – to their family, to their church, to God. It’s what happiness is.

Jenna, in her new dress, with her friends. 

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Home run

Tonight the girl hit it into June at her softball game. She made the first home run for the team of the season, got 3 people home (including herself), and with that her team won the game.

To say it was exciting and that she is walking on air would be an understatement. I am so happy for her. She loves this sport, she’s good at it, and now she has her first big run under her belt.

That is happiness. Happiness shared with someone I love.

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