Tuesday, December 13, 2011

What do cat scars, salty dutch licorice, fairy dust, and tree ornaments have in common?

So what do cat scars, salty dutch licorice, fairy dust, and tree ornaments  have in common? You may think I'm nuts and wonder what hat I pulled this idea out of? But trust me, they all link together. Keep reading...

Cat Scars
Yoda is my cat. I love him to bits. He has been with this family since he was 3 weeks old (we fostered him as a kitten along with his brother and 4 sisters). I used to walk the kids to school with him tucked into my coat pocket. All the kids, from each of my girls classes, got to know Yoda. They thought he was a cool cat. That was five years ago.
He still is a cool cat. He just gets himself into trouble every so often (shhhhh...he's not so bright). He drinks out of the toilet (not even my dog does that), he steals food from the counter (not even my dog does that), he torments the dog (yes a 4 pound cat can reduce a 60 pound dog to a whimpering mess), he even torments the neighbours dog (he has been seen poking his paws into the mail slot of my neighbours front door with a 100 pound German Shepard whining on the other side). He has climbed up the Christmas tree, he still climbs up on the kitchen counter (even though I've sprayed him with water, put Tabasco sauce on the counter top and grabbed him by the scruff of the neck and in a deep pack leader voice said, "NO", firmly), but it seems only the dog is a good listener. Yoda is not. He has attitude. When Yoda wants something, Yoda does it with out thought of the consequences. His choices have not always been good ones and this attitude of his has gotten him into a lot of trouble over the years and he has acquired a few scars, some physical... some mental.
Perhaps you have a few physical and mental scars yourself? I do.
Now, hold onto that thought while I get to the salty licorice.

Salty Dutch Licorice
I lead a children's program called Celebration Station, and this past week I spoke to the kids about choices. How do we make good choices rather than bad ones?
I brought a bag of dutch candies and licorice with me and some were sweet and other's were very salty. These zwaart and wit candies (see picture), were sweet on the outside and salty on the inside. Before I let them pick a candy I asked them, "How do you know to pick the one you like without taste testing it first?"
Here are their answers:
- You just try it and if it's yucky, spit it out
- You look at it and see if it looks good
- You ask questions to someone who has had some
 I added one other:
- Read the manual or in this case the recipe
On the first try, the kids picked the candies that looked good and one of them ended up with this zwaart and wit one.
"MMMM, I made a right choice!" they were so happy... at first... then they got to the middle.
"YUCK! I'm going to throw up," and they ran to the garbage can. 
I explained to them, that sometimes our choices may seem right in the beginning but we can still end up in a big yucky mess. That's why it's good to talk to someone you trust about the decisions you need to make in life, and it's good to read the manual or the recipe of life.

Fairy Dust
 My daughter decided to shake out the 'snow' (cotton batten we use for our Christmas village), not at the side of the house or in the back garden, but right at my front walk.
Last year we used snowflake powder to sprinkle our village to make it look as if it had new fallen snow. It sparkled and glimmered as the light reflected off the small flake like particles. It was beautiful, but it made a mess everywhere.
Now, it lay at my front door. Did I mention these flakes stick to the bottom of shoes and paws?
I swept up the mess two days ago, yet I'm still finding fairy dust sparkles as far as the upstairs bathroom. Where is it coming from? It's everywhere and so hard to get rid of. Just like dirt.
I wonder if it breeds?

Tree Ornaments
Every Christmas I take the time to sit and just look at my tree. It's not a perfect tree, it's tilted a little to the left (I blame the cat). Each ornament is different, home made, not one alike. Some ornaments have been flattened, a few punctured, squished, folded and have been broken and now wear the glue gun scars of wear and tear.
"That's the one I made in kindergarten."
"I made this one at girl guides."
"My mom crochet this angel."
No, my tree is not a perfect designer tree. I do not have stamped out ornaments made in China. Each ornament has a unique memory linked to it. And I love to just sit there and stare at my tree and reminisce.

Where it all comes together
We all have scars inside and out. It's a fact. Some of us try to hide them behind fake 'made in china' designer ornaments and pretend that everything is perfect. But, when we stick a band aid on the boo boo, the scars never have a chance to heal, they need air to dry out and time to heal. We need to sit and focus on each scar, not in resentment but look at what we have learned from the experience. God turns the hurt into blessings, when our focus detours in the opposite direction of resentment, our character grows up out of the hurts. No longer ugly scars but beautiful ornaments.
When we hold onto hurts, the darkness in our lives can spread to those we love. Just like dirt. When we let go and trust, Gods grace and light comes into us and reflects out so we can spread it around. Just like the fairy dust. Which would you rather spread around?
Some hurts come from the bad decision others have made, some have come from a fallen world. We have no control over these. We do, however,  have control over the decisions we make. Talk to those you trust. Understand that Christ knows all about wounds and wants to help heal yours, and if you find yourself confused in which direction to take, read the manual.

Love You!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Slow Down!

"What if we all slowed down just a bit? What if we all spent a little less time watching the lives of others and living our own." Kelli from Mini Vans are Hot

I was at a Fox hunt in Deroche a couple of weekends ago and I noticed this great sign put up along the dirt farm road connecting the barn with the main house.
"Old Dog, Young Dog, Several Stupid Dogs, Please Drive Slowly."
I loved the saying and I found myself thinking a lot about it all weekend, not because it was an intellectual saying with deep meaning, but because it made me laugh.
It also made me think about all the old dogs, young dogs and stupid dogs I meet in my day to day life. My life sometimes gets so hectic and fast that I zoom right past them, and at times run them over and hurt them with my unkind words or irritations. They couldn't help being in the way. They were on my path for a purpose, and I ran them over in my haste.
When we drive too quickly through life, we don't see the old, young or challenging individuals God places along our path. He brings all people into our lives for a purpose and reason. It is to learn something amazing, but if we drive too quickly, we miss the point.

Tonight at LTI class, I heard an audio presentation from Howard Hendricks, he was speaking on the art of managing your time and there was one thing he said that stood out, "Jesus was never in a hurry." He calls us to be like Him. Then why is this generation always in such a hurry?
"I don't have time." Has become the usual response. Why?
He goes on to say that, "we need to have clear cut objectives, otherwise we have only motion with no meaning" and that, "God has created each one of us for a purpose and he gives you enough time to do it. If you feel you have no time then maybe you're not doing what He asked you to do". Oopps!

When I drive too fast through life, please slow me down.
I don't want to hurt anymore of your amazing creations because of my hurried attitude.
I don't want to miss out on anymore lessons, because I don't have time.
I don't want to miss out on connecting with someone wonderful.
Slow me down dear Lord.
Let me see what you wish me to see.
May I do what you called me to do.
Let me love who you place along my path.
In Jesus name. Amen


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Where two or more are gathered

One of the "Deeds" ladies shared this with our group the other week. We were talking about the importance of praying together in a group setting.
I know for me, the hardest thing was to say out loud what I needed God to hear. I'm a very quiet person and to pray out loud was the hardest thing for me to learn. I didn't think maybe someone else needed to hear what I had to say. It was easier to keep it to myself.
Yet Jesus says, "Where two or more are gathered in My name, there I am in their midst."
He knew that sometimes we need to share with others (we trust) the things going on deep within our souls. The dark things that hold us back from becoming what God calls us to be. To speak them out loud, instead of keeping them inside where it festers and grows.
He knew it was important to bless and worship Him, to be grateful for life and to tell those in our midst that they are important to us.
He also knew it was important to learn and grow together as brothers and sisters in a family. Lift one and other up and equip eachother and remind eachother not 'who' we are but 'whose' we are.

Every Thursday morning as I drink coffee and cook or read or fill a need with a deed, and every Thursday night as I learn at LTI; I am reminded of how blessed I am to have such wonderful friends and I know when we gather, He is there.

I would love to hear your stories of fellowship and how God is in your midst. "Deeds for Needs" is not just about my stories, but our stories and if you feel the need to share one of yours please email me at anoesdelacourt@yahoo.com.

Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Never, Never Quit!

I'm too tired.
It's too hard.
You don't know what it's like.
I can't.
I just can't do this anymore.

I don't know about you, but I have said these words. I suppose most of us have at one time or another. Yes, life is tough. Yes, things don't always go the way we plan, but I like what Calvin has to say.

"I stand FIRM in my belief of what's right! I refuse to compromise my principles!" Says Calvin about not wanting to take a bath. The next image shows his mom entering the room and Calvin turned to make a dash for it as if to say, "No bath for me!" The last image in the comic strip is of Calvin in a bath full of bubbles stating, "I don't need to compromise my principles, because they don't have the slightest bearing on what happens to me anyway." 

I chuckled when I saw this, and I wanted to scan the image from Bill Watterson's book "Attack of the deranged mutant killer monster snow goons." but I had scanner problems. I could have given up. Lord only knows I spent at least 1/2 hour trying to figure it out. I didn't give up - I wrote it out for you in story form. I wanted to show this image, for this blog, because I know that, no matter what we may think sometimes we are forced into an action we may not like (in Calvin's case a bath) but, we can still stand firm in our belief of what is right, whatever the circumstances; and this little comic strip said it all in a few words and images.

Life is difficult at times. You need to do things you don't want to sometimes, but instead of giving up, stand up straight and stand up firm. Even if you have to make a 'GRRRRR' face like Calvin and Hobbes here, but just keep going and never, never give up!

"You, O God, are both tender and kind, not easily angered, immense in love, and you never, never quit." Psalm 86:15 (MSG)

AHA! Eureka! I took a picture of it in Photo Booth...
One slight problem... it's backwards... Oooppps... Back to the drawing board.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Washing the Stink Out

It was a glorious day. It was her favourite place in the world.
"Way better running here than at Larry Walker field." she thought as she leaped over a large puddle and continued the sprint westward. The birds were singing their glorious songs.
"What an amazing day to be alive! The sun shone and the sky was blue." she thought to herself as she ran along the dyke following Pitt River. She felt alive. She was doing what she loved to do, in the place that she loved to do it. Life couldn't get any better. Every passer-by could tell she was enjoying life to the fullest. Her smile was from ear to ear and it was catchy. She ran with full abandon. She even took the path less travelled and ran through the tall grass. It was glorious. She felt young again. Alive!

"What's that smell?" she stopped in her tracks. It smelled so good. And yet deep down she knew that smell would cause her a lot of trouble. It took her further off into bushes.  She couldn't help herself. It was bad, but it smelled so good. With careless abandon she sniffed the smell out and when she found it she rubbed it all over her body. It was bad. Deep down she knew it. But, it felt good.
"Angel." Her pack leader called.  Instant dread filled her being.
"What did I do?" Shame filled her soul. Any good feelings she may have had a moment ago were left at the edge of the river bank. She knew she did wrong. With tail between her legs, she slowly walked back to her pack leader. No more joy. Only the stink of death rubbed all over her.
"It was all that salmon's fault!" she cried, "Why did he have to smell so good?"

Not everything that feels good, thinks good or smells good is good for us. Sometimes, after we've rubbed ourselves all over something that we thought was good, turns out to be just a stinky smelly mess.

I have a dear friend of mine that believes our only purpose as humans is to procreate and spread our seed. I wonder.... If that were true, why is their music and art?
I believe this train of thought leads to depression, anger and doubt. To have no purpose or meaning in your life leads to a stinky smelly death.

If my only purpose in life was to procreate and spread my seed, then my life right now would have no more purpose. I have children, my job would be done. But, I believe my job isn't done just yet.

If our only purpose was to propagate the species, why are we so concerned that our children have a good education? Shouldn't our concern be to find a healthy mate for them? If our soul purpose was to just have babies, there wouldn't be any need for thought, education or science. We would just be marrying our offspring to the first healthy available species and then we would die. Everything else wouldn’t matter. Why be concerned? Nothing matters, if our purpose is over? Truthfully, why even have children to live in a life with no purpose or meaning?
Where’s the hope? With no purpose, life is over. People become depressed without hope. People get angry where there's no love. People doubt when there's no solid foundation to live by with purpose. 

Without purpose, there is nothing... so doesn't that make purpose everything?

Each one of us has a purpose greater than procreation and we have a God who believes we are so important, that he came to earth to teach, to correct, to heal and to love unconditionally a creation he loves. 

"While I am in the world, I am the light of the world." John 9:5
After Jesus said this he healed a man's blindness. There are times I know my heart has been blinded by thoughts and ideas that hinder me from being all that I'm called to be. He doesn't want us stuck in a darkness that holds us back.
God calls us to live in light. With purpose. To love one and other and lift each other up out of the darkness that holds us back. The darkness that keeps us 'just going through the motions' of pretend living. The darkness of a life in misery, anger, depression and doubt. 

I can’t live in that kind of darkness anymore. I'm going to take a shower and wash the world's stink off. How about you?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Every Day Blessings

Before I even crawl out of bed to begin each new day, let me whisper a prayer of gratitude. Let me be thankful for the ordinary and celebrate everyday blessings. 

Each day of life and breath within me is a gift.
It is not to be wasted with worry and sadness.
"Just keep moving" is a motto for death;
Zombie mode
It should be Keep LIVING!
Recognizing that this life,
no matter how hard sometimes,
it's too precious not to be grateful for each and every day.

This past week, I have withdrawn from others. I have been in a foul mood. But, I didn't wish to spread it. So I kept to myself, I didn't want to spread my dis-ease. Throughout this little depression of mine, I was certain of only one thing, and that was, it wouldn't last. God would put me back on track, as He always does.

I found out today that my friend has Cancer. A harsh slap of reality to the normality of life. But her attitude of grace and living in the present puts my sadness of the last few days to shame.
She writes in her blog, "Peoples' face book statuses don't seem so witty or, well, even worth reading.  I want to scream at them, "Stop your inane writing!  People are dying all around you!  I am dying! Can't you see?  Don't you care?". 
It was my inane writing she was speaking about. 

I know, everyone goes through hardships in life, no one is immune, but it's really our attitude that sets us apart. Giving way to whining and complaints may not be the best road to follow; although every once in a while we can't help but stop there; as long as we keep moving forward and fill ourselves with God's attitude. 
Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control (Galatians 5:22-23).

Life is a tough journey,
May our attitude be in the right place.
May we see each day God gives,
As a blessing.

"Yes, I do care!"

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Christmas Brightness

"WE ARE THE FIRST!" My husband boasted. Yes we are the first on our block to have our Christmas lights up. He was looking for a challenge and this was it. Amid the dirty stares of neighbours driving by he sang jingle bells and untangled and hooked up those beautiful red, white and green bulbs of brightness.

It was a bit dark and dreary these past few days, but no more bah humbugs here. I am ready for the season because it's time to celebrate something I had temporarily forgotten.

 "The Lord my Shepherd guards me well, and all my wants are fed: Amid green pastures made to lie, beside still waters led. My careworn soul grows strong and whole when God’s true path I tread. Though I should walk in darkest ways, through valleys like the grave, no evil shall I ever fear; your presence makes me brave. On my behalf Your rod and staff assure me You will save." McCasland goes on to say; "No matter what you're facing today, Jesus knows your name, He knows the danger, and He will not leave your side. You can say with confidence: The Lord my Shepherd guards me well." Psalm 23(paraphrased),  from Our Daily Bread.

"The virgin will be pregnant. She will have a son, and they will name him Immanuel," which means"God is with us." Matthew 1:23(NCV)

May I never forget.

 Rene is done with our Christmas lights... so he has time to help you with yours.
If you find yourself a little busy this season and need some help just call Sister Spade and Brother Odd @ 604-505-3755 and ask for Rene (he may even sing a carol or two).

Saturday, November 19, 2011

When You Fall, Get Back Up

It's been a tough week. My daughter was very sick, and I found out after 13 years of handling thousands of dollars in an accounting position within the airline industry, I was declined a cashiers position with a furniture store. I'm hoping it was because I was over qualified? 
I have sent my resume to many companies and very few have made any attempt at a reply. It's frustrating. Hence my foul mood last Wednesday, when my parents came for dinner.
"I'm looking forward to Christmas shopping," my mom sang. We were driving to pick up Alora from piano lessons.
"Bah Humbug." I sneered.
"What? That's not like you Anuschka."
"Well, that's the way I feel!"
"Just keep going," was my mantra this week. It came to a boiling point this morning in the shower when I just felt like I couldn't go any further. I fell down, and felt like I couldn't get back up.
"Why?" I cried. All week I tried to deal with it on my own. Wasn't it a few weeks ago, that wrote a sermon in my homiletics class about not holding on to crap in life? (That wasn't the title of my sermon).
"Just wash it down the drain Anuschka. Let it go." said that still small voice. It's hard to let go sometimes though. I tried my best. I pictured the worry, the anger and the frustration swirl down the drain. I knew I wasn't totally successful, when I got downstairs and yelled at Alora this morning. My neighbour was waiting to give her a lift to pony club and she couldn't find her boots. When I opened the door, I nearly tripped over a light green bag with a beautiful wash pitcher and basin in it. It was placed there on purpose. A reminder from God to wash it all away. He certainly works in mysterious and amazing ways.

 To that anonymous gift giver who listened to that still small voice, I thank-you. It's beautiful. An amazing reminder to give it all to God and wash those yuckies away.

Faith is to believe what we do not see; and the reward of this faith is to see what we believe.

Love You!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Heart to Heart with Mary and Martha

My Aunts are ready to answer your questions about life, love, parenting and cooking.

To see their blog go to:

Some of you may remember Mary and Martha playing Wii with Jesus at the Ladies retreat in Harrison Hotsprings and to some of you, they may seem  familar; but really, don't we all have a little bit of Mary and Martha in us?

To read how they started:
Mary and Martha's History

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

On Auto Pilot

Some days I feel like I'm on autopilot. Just going through the motions. Following a set railway that's hard to de-rail off of. The heart is just not in the daily routine. So, I get tired and cranky irritating those around me.
At times, I even feel resentment, because I'm not able to do what I want to do. So, I go on strike and don't do the things I should do. Again, irritating others.
Yes, within me lies a deep rebellion that's been handed down through the generations. I try to keep it under control... but... every so often... it rears it's ugly head.

It happens:
When I'm tired.
When I'm not feeling well.
When I'm weak.
When I haven't had much family time because life is too busy.
When I hold on to disappointments and hurts, trying to fix them on my own.
When I haven't spent time alone with God and His beautiful creation.

The world says I need to be busy, because otherwise I'm not successful. The world has beaten out a set path for all to follow, at least those who wish to be successful.

We need a new car.
We need a big house.
We need a Gucci bag.
We need our children to be in 13 million extra curricular activities, education, education, education!
We need a 200 inch flat screen T.V.
We don't need God or His natural creation.

Thomas Paine in his book called Common Sense, wrote on the 2 'states' of man. The state of 'civilized' life from which flow the advantages of agriculture, arts, science and manufactures and the 'natural' state or primitive state of man.

"To understand what the state of society ought to be, it is necessary to have some idea of the natural and primitive state of man; such as it is at this day among the Indians of North America. There is not, in that state, any of those spectacles of human misery which poverty and want present to our eyes in all the towns and streets in Europe.
Poverty, therefore, is a thing created by which is called civilized life. It exists not in the natural state."

"Poverty comes from civilized life." 
Is it not best to live in a more natural state then? If we could get rid of poverty, not only in a physical sense, but also poverty in a spiritual sense; wouldn't that be a good thing? I do understand that agriculture, arts, science and manufacturing would slow down considerably but in the long run it could save us from the misery of poverty inside and out.

Following what others want deprives us of following what we were meant to do. What we were born to do. What God created us to do.

Our life is a story. When we are born the letters form into words; as we get older the words form into sentences, paragraphs, chapters, and finally at the end we have a whole book.  Depending on choices we make at the cross-roads of life determines the kind of book we will end up with; a good read or bad one?

"We are not living in a world where all roads are radii of a circle and where all, if followed long enough, will therefore draw gradually nearer and finally meet at the center; rather in a world where every road, after a few miles, forks into two, and each of those into two again, and at each fork you must make a decision." 
C.S Lewis from 'The Great Divorce'

Is your life a top seller or is it a flop? You can change the direction by the decisions you make today.

Micah 6:8 (NCV)
"The Lord has told you, human, what is good;
he has told you what he wants from you;
to do what is right to other people,
love being kind to others,
and live humbly, obeying your God.

Don't ride through life alone on auto pilot. You are in the driver's seat!
And may I make a suggestion? Keep God in your co-pilot seat.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Being Ridiculed in Both of Canada's Official Languages

"Ta visage ressemble a une poubelle." My oldest sang out to her younger sibling.
"Tu etes un visage de poissons."My youngest pointed out and giggled at her sister.
"I knew these French immersion classes would pay off one day," I said to my hubby, "I love listening to them speak french." We had no idea what they were saying, but I guess that was the point. They had a secret language all their own. At least they weren't arguing. We had been in the car for 3 hours, without incident.
"Tu etes une vache!"
"Okay! That sounded hurtful." I piped in.
"Non." they both sang in unison, "We're just having fun."
"Say something french to me." Rene asked them, looking to get in on the fun.
"Papa que vous sentez comme un grand pet." If they had room to roll to the ground laughing that's what they would have done.
"Great!" Rene rolled his eyes, "They can now ridicule us in Canada's two official languages."
"I don't know." I said stroking his arm, "It sounded beautiful." Then the laughter got louder.
"Oui." I tried in my best french accent.
"Est-ce-que je peux conduire la voiture?"
"Sure honey!"

"Foolishness always results when the tongue outraces the brain."

Tip for today:
Communication is important, even in Canada's official two languages.

Ta visage ressemble a une poubelle (Your face looks like a garbage pail).
Tu etes un visage de poissons (You're a fish face).
Tu etes une vache! (You are a cow).
TU ETES UNE COCHON, GLOUTON (You are a greedy pig).
Papa que vous sentez comme un grand pet (Dad, you smell like a big fart).
Est-ce-que je peux conduire la voiture (Can I drive the car).

Here is a link for those of you who don't speak french and need a little help, like me: http://babelfish.yahoo.com/

Have fun!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Impatient Patient

"This hospital bed is like an ironing board," my daughter whined sleepily, "the pillow's too thin and uncomfortable," with a grunt she lay her head down and sighed, "How much longer is this going to take. Where's the doctor. I'm tired. I want to go home."
"We've waited this long honey," my husband stroked her hair, "just a bit longer."
"The doctor has a lot of patients to look after tonight. We have to wait our turn," he said gently and kissed her forehead, "besides the pillow's bigger than the ones you get on an airplane."
After 3 hours of waiting and tests they were home again with a diagnosis. Ruptured eardrum. OW!
"It's a good thing we don't live in a third world country," my husband said to me, "your daughter is not a patient patient."
Almost 24 hours later with a few doses of amoxicillan in her, she is almost back to her usual self.

Here is her story in her own words:

"We had to wait in the waiting room for a long time. Then the nurse took me in and did some tests, then put me back in the waiting room for another long time. Then someone called me and took me to a room. I sat there for the rest of the time. At first I thought they forgot about me and I would have to wait for the rest of the night, but dad said  there were a lot of other patients to attend to, so they would be a little late. Then I started to fall asleep, but I kept waking up and thinking how late we were going to get home. I just wanted my bed, but my ear really hurt bad and there was pus coming out with some blood. 
Finally someone came in. I thought she was the nurse, but she was just putting a cart of hospital stuff like band aids into the room. I fell back to sleep. After a while dad woke me up and the doctor was there. He asked dad a couple of questions, then looked in my ear and said I wasn't allowed to swim. He also told me if I take a shower I have to plug my ear up so that no water can come in. He gave me a pill and some children's Advil.
When we got home it was 1:30 am, so I went straight to bed (I'm not used to being up that late... only at sleepovers with my friends)." 

Thank-you to all for your calls, prayers and good wishes.

Love You!

Saturday, November 12, 2011


My daughter being her usual silly self
This is what I am doing now. Waiting. 
My daughter has an ear infection, and my husband is with her at the hospital. It's 11:19pm... they've been gone an hour. I'm sure I'll be waiting a few more hours. I hate waiting... 
So, I did the dishes, cleaned up the kitchen, wrote a poem and now I'm going to bake some bread. 


It's hard to watch your child suffer in pain. 
I wish I could take it all away from her. 
But, I can't. 
So I watch, sit by her and comfort her.
Give her the medicines she requires.
Pray over her.
Love her.

Now, I wait.
And I hope that I've equipped her enough to deal with whatever pain comes.
I can not always physically be there for her.
But my thoughts and prayers are always there.
So, I wait.

My Father watches over me.
He sees my pain.
He hopes that He's equipped me to deal with whatever pain the world may bring.
Even though He can not physically be there for me.
He is there.
And He waits.

Psalm 23:4
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (NIV)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Please Remember the Sound of War

Vimy Ridge

The Sound Of War and Peace

The sound of war is soldiers dying,
Soldiers are dying,
People are crying.
We won't forget the sound of war,
Or the death of someone we loved even more.

The sound of war is a dreadful thought.
The sound of peace must be taught.

Now you ask, what is the sound of peace?
Dig deep in your soul,
And you will find it.
But you only wish that you could confine it.

A farmer's field where we saw remains of shells and bones.
By Annette Reilly

At Vimy Ridge

Farmers tilling in the fields,
Still churn up bones for all to see.
Underneath the fresh green corn,
Lie soldiers remains, forgotten;forlorn.

Screams of pain
Smells of death
Some bombs still awake,
The tunnels where the Canadian soldiers waitied.
After 94 years of rest.

Standing in a trench of mud,
The intimidating shells shook the ground.
The men stood straight,
To show their valor.

Courage was the word that night,
No one knew the dawn would bring such fright.

The wild strawberries now grow,
Where the earth saw blood and destruction;
And sheep graze in peace,
Where the bones of men are at rest.

Where shells and guns,
Once tore the world to pieces.
Now peace exists,
At Vimy Ridge.

By Anuschka de la Court

The leftovers of war, churned up in the fields every year.
Sheep grazing for no mowers are allowed, because the shaking may make a 94 year old bomb explode.

A special Thank-you to all those who shared their stories and poetry.

Let us not forget those that died for our freedom.

To see more of what happened at Vimy Ridge click on the link.
Vimy Ridge

Thursday, November 10, 2011

All of Us Remember

Part of the wall the german's built around Zandvoort, Holland
I recall as a child the stories told from days of old. 

My grandfather having to hid under a bridge, so he could bring milk to his baby daughter (my mother), in the hospital; trembling in his boots as German soldiers walked by. You see, no one was allowed on the streets after dark, you could get shot, but a baby still needs to eat. 

Stories of my father having to eat tulip bulbs; the hunger pains of a war torn world. Then liberation and chocolate bars, when the Canadians came. 
Stories of a desperate, torn world that I have difficulty even imagining for I have lived my whole life in a world of peace. 

Thank-you grandparents for your courage.
Thank-you parents for sharing the stories.
Thank-you to the Canadian soldiers who liberated my family.

Anuschka de la Court

Here are a few words from those who remember:

Wim de la Court:

Wim and older sister Leni
 I was Born in 1940, and lived my young years during the war. In 1942 and 1943 the Allied bombers came over our house, they were aiming for  the railway repair shops; to stop the army of occupation to use the railway system. But, some of the bombs didn't hit he target. 
At the same time the German army, occupying Holland was rounding up every male who was able to work. They wanted sturdy men to work in their factories, luckily my father was sick, so he was able to stay home. He helped the underground movement by printing flyer's and news papers.
 Winter in 1944 was hard, there was no food and we had to eat dogs, cats, ducks, goats, tulip bulbs and sucker beets. Finally in May 1945, we heard the Canadian pipers crossing the bridge; and the first time in my young life we ate chocolate, cookies, chewing gum and white bread that tasted like cake. I remember feeling such joy sitting on the tanks and trucks of our liberators; and still after so many years when I hear the pipers on Canada Day or Remembrance Day the goose bumps and emotion overwhelm me. 

Thank you to all the Canadian soldiers 

Wim de la Court

 Jacoba Menks, my father's sister:

3 generations of Canadians
All of us remember the stories about wars and soldiers. The lives lost, so that we can live our lives in peace.
It's therefore, that I remember, those Canadians, who liberated my parents, sister, two brothers and Oma, in Haarlem-The Netherlands, 1945.
I was born in 1946, but I started to understand during the 1950's, what their lives had been about during those years of occupation by the Germans. We learned in school, about the hunger, the camps, the underground movement (of which my Dad was an active member), the loyalty to the Royal family, the small space in Ottawa (declared Dutch soil), Princess Margriet and the loss of a very small baby (a little sister none of us would ever get to know). We learned from our parents, that the hardships were worth every razzia, every shared potato, every hour of fear, every bombing, simply because it made the Dutch people strong knowing, that somewhere out there, there were Canadians fighting for their freedom!
And so it is no  newsflash, that I became a proud Canadian in 1975, after having made a choice in 1968 to immigrate to this beautiful country, to live and work and raise two beautiful children in total freedom and acceptance.
Please take a moment out of your busy lives, and remember those, who gave their lives for our freedom.
And when you hear the bagpipes, that longing sound, it's o.k. to feel a tear run down your cheek, for the longing belongs to the families left behind.
There will always be soldiers, giving their lives, so remember those of the past, respect those in our present and admire those in our future on this the 11th minute of the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month......................................

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

What War is All About

I'd like to share with you a poem from Thea. She was a child who lived part of her young life in a japanese concentration camp with her mother during WWII. Her father was taken away to work on the railroad, she never saw him again, he died of starvation. 
If you would like to read more of her story see her blog Coconut Connections

What war is all about. 

War is evil 
War is the devil 
War is between politicians 
War is about religions 
War is destruction 
War is not construction 
War is depression 
War is an obsession 
War is fighting 
War is killing 
War is sorrow 
War is no tomorrow 
War is explosions 
War is confusions 
War is blood 
War brings tears like a flood 
War makes you cry 
War makes you die 
War is death all around 
War makes you die on foreign ground 
War is fire 
War is not to admire! 
War is creed 
War is between different breed 
War is cruel 
War cost a lot of fuel 
War is amputations 
War is mutilations 
War last forever 
I wonder if it ends in Heaven 
War is only release 
For those who are killed 
It means 'PEACE' 

Tetske van der Wal