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Monday, February 27, 2012

For I Know the Plans I Have For You....

It was a hot June day in 1991 as I lay beside our family pool with one of my best friends, Jennie.  I heard my Dad's voice shout a familiar, 'Hello?'

I wasn't prepared for what I would see when I popped my head over the deck.  Nor did I have any idea how it would change the course of my life.

There he stood, arm softly draped around the small of another woman's back.  A woman who was not my mother.  Now, it should be mentioned that my father was not having an affair, my mother had died of cancer 8 months earlier.  But for the hurting, angry 18 year old he might as well have been.

I stared blankly at them, unable to speak as though someone had poured liquid nitrogen on my voice-box and at that moment it shattered, unable to function.  I felt my skin bristle with the fury bubbling just below the surface.

'This is Marion, she's going to be having dinner with us', came my Dad's voice somewhat timidly.

I was still silent, still staring.

Sensing the tension and my inability to speak, Jennie piped in, 'Hi Marion, nice to meet you'.

I turned around and sat back on the lounge chair.  I could feel a volcano of hurt, anger and confusion boiling within me.

'You're staying for dinner' I managed to choke out to Jennie.  If anyone in the world understood me at this moment it was her.  Jennie's Dad had died of cancer just two months after my mom, a bond that linked us unlike any other friend.

A while later my Dad called out to say that dinner was almost ready.  As I walked up to our patio door I stopped in my tracks and my breath was seemingly vacuumed out of my lungs.  For a split second I saw my mother standing at our stove, cooking.  But then reality kicked me in the gut and I realized that not only was it NOT my mother it was HER.  It took every ounce of self-control not to start running and never stop.

We sat at the table to eat and since my voice box had been shattered it was still not functioning.  I stared at my plate, mechanically shoving food in my mouth while Jennie, bless her, made polite conversation throughout the meal.

That meal would be the first of many, as my Dad asked her to be his wife just a few months later.  As a teenager who'd just lost her mother I mistook it as a reflection of how little my mother had meant to my Dad.  I couldn't have been more wrong.

That was 20 years ago.  Over those 20 years my anger cooled, forgiveness came and finally understanding took firm roots. Today I have a heart full of gratitude and love for the woman who has now been in my life longer than my mother was.  She has been by his side, kept him young and been his best friend all these years. She is the only grandmother my children have known, and they LOVE their Nana.

There were times shortly after my mother died, that I would find my Dad sitting quietly, staring out a window, the shadow of sorrow covering his face and it broke me.  I didn't want to move away to go to school, I felt it was important to stay near him, I worried about him. But school did take me away, and as it turned out God had other plans for my Dad, better plans.

A scripture that brings me great comfort when I don't know how things are going to turn out or I am faced with troubling situations is Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you" says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope."

Marion has been that future and that hope for my Dad.  Can you believe she is almost 80?  She just celebrated her 79th birthday, and as you can see from this photo they are the picture of vitality.

So Marion, it's a little late but Happy Birthday, and thank you for sticking around despite that angry 18 year old daughter who glared at you from across the table.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Meat Fundraiser Details!





4 Types of Sausage-Plain, Garlic, Honey Garlic and Spicy
2 Types of Steak-NY(8oz/10oz) and Rib Eye (10oz/12oz)
        1 Type of Ground Beef – Fresh and tasty!

All Kinds of Yummy!

Sausages/Ground Beef $5/lb 5lb minimum order on sausage and ground beef, ground beef will be packaged in 1lb bags.

Steaks-$1/oz no minimum order, steaks are flash frozen and individually packaged!

These are the best sausages you will ever taste! No fillers, No gluten, made from fresh Ontario meat.  Get your order in today.  Meat will be ready for pick up March 24, 7pm Cambridge Vineyard.

EMAIL to place your order today.  Please include your telephone number.  Orders and Payment must be received by March 18th.  

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Meat for Missions

This fundraising journey has been an interesting one to say the least. The ways in which funds have been raised have been, well, unconventional I would say?

For those of you who haven't seen it click the link to the video below.  

We would love to see this launch us over the $3,000/month mark.  This will be an annual fundraiser which we hope will grow as people get to know about it and love the product.

All meat is from local farmers, grain fed, no animal by-products.  All sausages are free from fillers, gluten free and fresh never frozen, just great meat.  The ground beef, I am told is the best burger you've ever had.  Those who have tasted the sausages say they are delicious! Steaks are AAA grade, individually flash frozen and can be purchased individually.  

Here's what's on offer:

Sausages-Plain, Garlic, Honey Garlic and Spicy  $5/lb minimum purchase 5lbs.

Ground Beef-Packaged in 1lb lots, $5/lb minimum purchase 5lbs.

Steaks- NY 8oz $8, 10oz $10.  Rib Eye 10oz -$10, 12oz -$12 

We do have to ask that all orders are pre-paid to ensure we don't make more than we need.   If you won't be seeing us you can email your order and mail us a cheque.

The orders will be ready for pick up ONE NIGHT ONLY Saturday March 24th 7pm at the Cambridge Vineyard parking lot. (transported in a refrigerated truck) 

If you can think of others at work or elsewhere who would be interested in purchasing, please let us know and we can send you an order form.

Stock up for summer barbeques! Get us to Brazil! Enjoy some great meat!!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Promise of Spring

On the darkest coldest nights in the dead of winter it is almost impossible to imagine that summer exists.  Mornings begin in darkness and short grey days fade into another dark night until you forget what the warmth of the sun feels like on your face.  You wonder if it will ever end.

Finally, the grey heaviness lifts, the sun pierces the endless darkness, a golden light fills the earth and everything around you looks new and different.  The air smells alive and your whole being senses an incremental shift in the earths position as it transforms from the hopelessness of the longest night to the dawn of a new morning.

Spring. Life. Hope.  You take a long deep breath and sigh; maybe you can remember summer after all.

Although it is still February (and maybe the warmest on record) we have been feeling that shift from winter to spring in our journey.  The excitement is building as we can feel the pieces beginning to fall into place.

We are just $865/month away from our green light goal of $3,000 in monthly commitments.  Our team is growing and our needs are shrinking, it's an awesome feeling.  There were days in the winter of this journey that it felt like our spring, our new beginning might never come.

But just as God's promise of spring is true, so is his promise of provision.  The timing of these however is not always when we would like.  I would love spring to arrive in January, just after the Christmas season when snow has lost all it's magic for me. That would be perfect, no more boots, no more 'WHERE are your mittens?!" mornings before school.  Back to flip flops and long evenings and birds and grass and the list goes on.  But that would mess up the natural order of things and the ripple effect of which would be far reaching.

I choose to KNOW that spring WILL come.  It's a promise, not a maybe.

Ecclesiastes 3:1
For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.