(...in order of occurrence, not importance)
1. My husband Ernie retired - and we’re still talking!
2. We celebrated Mom’s 90th birthday. I organized (with lots of help from others) two back-to-back partes in the party room of Mom’s condo, where we hosted about 150 people. All my eight siblings, from Victoria to Saskatoon, and Kelowna to Fort St. John, were there!
3. My poet friend Barbara paid a visit.
4. I published my first poetry collection, Calendar.
5. I attended a writers’ conference in Guelph Ontario (Write! Canada - sponsored by the Word Guild) with friend my Helen Lescheid. Met many wonderful people and returned home full of inspiration and two prizes in the 2004 Word Guild Award competition - best story/article in the Children / Young Adult category and best story in the First Person Article category (image 118 & 110). On this page of photos, also spot Helen Lescheid, Janette Oke, Janice Dick, Nancy Lindquist, Sue Careless, Linda Hall, Denyse O'Leary - and others!
6. Ernie and I became part of the consolidation team* at our church.
7. I finished writing my children’s devotional Bible Drive Through and sent it off to the Writer’s Edge, where it was deemed publishable and is listed in their October bulletin.
8. I began this blog.
9. I became editor of the children’s column, "The Tree House" - FaithWriters Magazine. The first column ran in the December issue.
10. Our daughter Sonia was engaged to Matt.
In the context of current events, mainly the recent devastating disaster in Southeast Asia, I feel unaccountably blessed. I realize how tenuous life is, and that disaster can strike in an instant and change everything. I know the blessings I’ve experienced come from God’s hands. I welcome and revel in His good gifts. But I know He also sometimes wraps gifts in hard, painful, stretching circumstances. I hope when those come, as they surely will, I will be as effusive in my thanks.
Today, though, I cannot do anything but thank Him for a wonderful year. The paraphrased Psalm fragment below expresses the gratitude in my heart:
Praise Prayer (paraphrase of Psalm 21:1,2,6&7).********************
O Lord, I rejoice in your strength
How great is my joy in the victories you give!
You have granted me the desire of my heart
and have not withheld
the request of my lips. Selah
Surely you have granted me eternal blessings
and made me glad with the joy of your presence
For I trust in the Lord
through the unfailing love of the Most High
I will not be shaken.
* Consolidation team: Group of people who connect with those new-to-the-faith, making sure they get nurtured and plugged in to community.