29 March 2009

Let it snow!

[March snow photos to be inserted here.]

What's in a name?

[Sermon outline to be added here.]

17 March 2009

St. Patrick's Day at Mount St. Francis

[Photos of MSF, Hermitage hut]

01 March 2009

Dan's song

Tonight, for the second time in two weeks, I surprised myself (and my spouse and neighbours) by offering to babysit once again. The three little Rempels were angels; the oldest had put herself to bed by the time I arrived (she does that when she's tired), the second was lying quietly in bed, enjoying his last sippy cup for the night, and the third nodded off later in the evening after a warm bottle of her favourite drink.

(Although I have known each of the Rempel children since birth, and obviously love them equally, this little newborn has completely stolen my heart.) Last week I tried to talk her mommy and daddy into leaving their baby behind when they went out on their date, but they chose to take her along; this week she and I stayed home together and enjoyed some (baby) girl time. I dealt with long-overdue correspondence; she gurgled and made soothing baby sounds and finally slept. (And no, I haven't been lulled into a false sense of peace by these brief babysitting experiences; I visit our neighbours frequently enough to be familiar with the trio's top decibels.)

An incident that moved me to tears occurred when my charges' mommy and daddy came home after their coffee date. Dan's best friend also popped by, and Andrea asked her hubby to sing their wedding song for the four of us. Although he was reluctant at first, he finally agreed, warning us that he had been only twenty-one when he wrote it for his bride.


I cried through the entire rendition (I think Andrea did, too). It was the loveliest wedding song I'd heard in years—possibly since our own wedding day, fourteen years ago—and Dan’s lyrics affected me profoundly. What struck me was that this young composer had no idea at the time how his life would unfold, and his wife admitted the words were even more real to her now than then. Dan sang of storms to come, and of his commitment to his new family, and of the sword of hope to be found in Christ ...

In the past four years, their household has been blessed with the births of four children. One of these darlings has died, and the storms have raged. Yet here they stand: trusting in the healing and hope found only in their Creator. When their sorrows overwhelm them and they stumble and fall, they get up again. And again. God provides family and friends for the journey. His love reunites and gently carries them through each new season of pain, and growth, and victory.

Robin and I are proud of our young friends. They have lived such full lives already, and we look forward to growing old, old with them.