Why I haven’t written a blog in a while…

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December was a rough month for my family and not for the usual reasons. We did celebrate Christmas as you may have read that post earlier in the month. It was hard for us because we found out that our beloved Akita, Tala, had inoperable trachea cancer.

I spent much of the month rushing her from one emergency vet clinic to the next while the doctors tried to figure out what was wrong with her. Tala has been my constant companion 24/7 for 8 years. People laughed when I told them I spent more time with her than I did my husband, but that was my reality.

For those who have never experienced the unconditional love of a dog, I know you don’t “get it,” for those that have, I know you will understand why I haven’t written, and I thank you for your compassion and understanding.

I would like to share my son’s tribute to his beloved girl:
“I’d say choosing you was the best thing we ever did, but we didn’t choose you – You chose us. From all the long car rides, playing outside and with little toy cars and bouncy balls, to training you (and having to retrain you whenever I got back from Uni because the parents slacked), to cuddles and being the welcome wagon at the ferry or airport, to being our constant companion and protector, thanks for all the love and laughter you provided all the years. Rest easy beautiful.”

 

 

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Early Christmas

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Santa came early to our house this year. But the decorations will remain up till January 6th.

Yes, you read that correctly, Santa came early. My son is already in Ontario with my family, and after a visit with them, he will then head to spend time with his father and his family. As hard as it is to be an empty nester, I’m happy for my son to have this special time with his extended family. Especially his aging grandparents.

I treasure every chance I get to be with him even if we aren’t doing anything. It’s special because he’s here with me. This year we got to decorate the tree and house as a family. He’s been away at university, so this was extra special for me. We spent our 4 days reading together, watching Christmas movies, playing a family board game, and he built his Christmas lego while I tried to work on my new novel.

I learned two valuable lessons early in life. One from my maternal grandfather. He always told me to pop in, even if it was only for five minutes to say hi and I love you. He understood how busy we were but at least those quick visits told him we remembered him and loved him. And the second one was from my mother. She always told us that whatever day we were together as a family to celebrate a holiday that was the day for her.

So, for me, I’ve had my Christmas. My heart is full. The rest of December will be spent working on my new novel and doing some crafts.

We have one more gift left. This one will be the gift of time and love. We will spend December 24th eating dinner with those who have no family.

Merry Christmas to you and your family. May you be blessed abundantly.

Advent Guest: Su Mcleod

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The story of Advent is a story we have heard and have told many times. It is also one of the most important stories that we have to share. It is one of anticipation, waiting, opportunity, gifts and lives changed. In a time when we see so much hostility and protectionism in the world, it is important to ground ourselves back in this origin story. Though the story remains consistent and solid, how we live it, celebrate it and anticipate the birth of Christ is different year to year, person to person.

One thing that stays the same is that we all have a part in this story. Lives are being changed in our families and our communities by telling this story and sharing gifts through hospitality, meal programs, Christmas hampers and in an abundance of other ways.

Sometimes we miss that, as things become routine and expected in the way of “well we always do that” rather than the expectant anticipation of the story being revealed to us anew with fresh ears.

At PWRDF we seek to engage others by sharing the stories of our partners and how we are living out the Advent promise of hope, love, joy, and peace so all might live in a truly just, healthy and peaceful world.

This new resource is a reminder to us that Advent Lives … and is changing lives, today, through the voice of animals and partner stories.

We invite you into this journey with us.

pwrdf.org/Advent2018

 

Guest blog

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I am pleased to introduce you to the lovely and talented Nicole Ensing!

BIO

Nicole Ensing is a Worship Coordinator and a singer/songwriter living in Guelph, Ontario. Ensing’s original music has been described as a combination of “jazz stylings with folk charm and rock ’n’ roll energy”. She also enjoys spending time with artists, either engaging in their studios or her own. www.nicoleensingband.com

WHERE ALL SOULS MEET

This time of year the Christmas favorites come out, and not just because my band has gigs lined up. While holiday shoppers are listening to remakes of remakes we look forward to sharing our original song, Child of the Snows, with audiences. Granted, we look forward to any opportunity to sneak this gem in but the Christmas season is when it really hits home. This song is about the nativity and it’s based on a poem by G.K. Chesterton of the same name. What strikes me today is the line “We follow the feet where all souls meet, at the inn at the end of the world.” I can’t help but think of the scene in C.S. Lewis’ book The Last Battle in which characters enter a door in a stable and find themselves in Aslan’s country. In Chesterton’s poem, we enter the stable and find an unlikely King, Christ, who promises hope in a harsh environment.

CHILD OF THE SNOWS ~ G.K. Chesterton

 

There’s heard a hymn when the panes are dim

And never before or again

When the nights are strong with a darkness long

And the dark is alive with rain

 

Never we know but in sleet and in snow

The place where the great fires are

The midst of the earth is a raging mirth

And the heart of the earth a star

 

And at night we win to the ancient inn

Where the child in the frost is furled

We follow the feet where all souls meet

At the inn at the end of the world

Listen online https://soundcloud.com/nicole-ensing-band/a-child-of-the-snows

Be sure to follow the Nicole Ensing Band!

www.nicoleensingband.com

Nicole Ensing Band on Facebook

https://www.youtube.com/user/NicoleEnsingBand

Nicole Ensing Band

A New Advent Calendar!

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Every year I look for new Advent Calendars, and this year I am excited to use the Reverse Advent Calendar. What a great way to count down the days to Christmas and give back to the community!

Over the years I’ve used some fun ones. This week I am on a mission to find some different Advent Calendars to share with everyone. If you have a favorite Advent Calendar, I’d love to hear about it and what made it your favorite!

 

Advent Calendar