Be Voting!

Election time is in the air.

Signs flutter from the middle of people’s lawns.

Debates begin.

Advertisements.

I’m trying to grab the names that matter.

So I know who to X!

Take out your calendar.

Write down: Saturday, November 15th!

Take your kids.

Drive an elderly neighbour.

Vote.

WE ARE THE GOVERNMENT!

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If you are in Prince George, you could vote for one of my dad’s “Salty” friends.  You first met him here, he’s in the first photo with lovely Gayle.   Bryan Mix or Mixey as my dad fondly calls him!

 Here is Mixey getting interviewed on the radio! download (5)

Email Bryan Mix and let him know that you saw him on my blog.  hee hee.    bbmix@telus.net

and here is his website:    www.bryanmix.ca

 download (4)

Here are his stats on what he did before he decided to represent the people of PG!  He has been a busy guy!  I can see why my dad and Mixey are such salty friends.  Blessings to you Bryan!

Qualifications  and  Experience  

Chartered  Professional  Accountant CPA-­‐CGA)  Ret.

24  Years  SD  57  Secretary  Treasurer

Past  President  BCASBO (BC  Assoc.  School  Business  Officials).

Director  PEBT (Public  Education  Benefit  Trust)

Founding  Director  BCPSEA (BC  Public  Schools  Employers’  Assoc.)

Community  Involvement   Director  2015  Canada  Winter  Games   Director  AIMHI    (Prince  George   Association  for  Community  Living)

10  year  Co-­‐Chair  Community  Foundation  Annual  Two  Ball  Golf  Tournament   (FARR/WIC)

Former:Director  Family  YMCA  of  Northern  British   Columbia

President  Prince  George  Minor  Hockey

President  Prince  George  Spruce

Be Deserving Nothing

There is a sense of entitlement that is pervasive in our Western World.

“I deserve _____________________!”

There is a sense of entitlement that runs in my mind.

“I deserve this cookie/bag of chips/mouthful of nuts because I worked hard today/am tired/or just because I simply deserve it!”

“I was kind to this person.  I deserve to be treated nicely back.”

“My mom was a good person.  She deserved better, humane treatment in the hospital.”

“My dad doesn’t deserve to die right now.”

“I did this and that and this and that.  I deserve SHIT!”

I have never gotten what I deserve.

From the crap that I choose to put into my mouth, my body still manages to be healthy and function beautifully.

To the words I have thought and said about people, people have shown forgiveness and God has given me grace.

And to the many, many, many times that I have made rash decisions to do one thing or another, God has protected me from myself.

Yup, I definitely have lost my sense of entitlement over the last year.

I especially didn’t deserves this last week we had as a family!

Live concert with two great friends and Sarah McLachlan.

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Yes, we had front row seats!

Before the concert, we managed to get front row seats at a restaurant overlooking the lake.

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Our boys both were invited to birthday parties with a lovely family we met last year.

We played tennis as a family, with everyone getting a whack at the ball.

We drove mini cars at a Halloween festival.  Do you know any boy that doesn’t love mini cars?  My heart overflowed with joy watching them.

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One of the boys liked going off the road and bumping into the curb.  Can you guess who?

Now, this morning, I was fortunate to spend time in Vernon with my dad, doing something that he loves.  I don’t deserve this gift of time with him after he suffered a roll-over car accident last week.  (Glory to God! He is completely fine!  The truck is a write-off though!)

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Entitlement.

Gone.

Deserving attitude.

Thrown out.

Filled with gratitude.

Enjoyment.

Freedom.

Owing nothing.

Nothing owed.

God’s provision.

God’s grace.

God’s power.

One. Day. At. A. Time.

Be Resonating with Beth Moore

Sometimes I read Beth Moore’s daily devotional called “Breaking Free” and the words float on by. Often, I am in the exact same place as I read her word and scripture for the day and I am blown away.

Here was yesterday’s devotional:

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I was blown away as we ponder our time together as a family, our life in church, my new job and the ‘shoulds’ we perceive in our life.

May prayer continue to be our priority. I know I could ‘should’ all over myself every day and miss opportunities to truly live!

Glory to God!

Thank you Beth Moore for your depth of insight.

Be Having a Pumpkin Party

What rituals or traditions do you have, intentional or unintentional?

I love me some traditions!

Yearly activities to look forward to.

Our God, seasons and people to celebrate.

Four years ago we started a pumpkin carving party with some very good friends. We have managed to make it happen every year, even during last autumn’s cancer journey with mom. Here are 2013 photos!

My heart overflows with gratitude for this incredible evening we got to share together carving pumpkins.

Simple fun.

Together.

Memory making.

Creating.

Laughter.

Competition.

Food.

Friendship.

Fun!IMG_6592.JPGIMG_6593.JPG

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Look at these creative people:

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Proud boys.

Their very own creations (with help from Papa, Lizzie and Princess Penny).

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Be Standing in the Light

Me.

Yes, me.

I encourage you to stop.

Pause.

Stand.

Take one moment.

To be.

Watch your breath.

Listen.

Really listen to the sounds around you.

Right now.

What do you hear?

What do you see?

Why are you choosing to do what you are doing on THIS day?

Death is forever.

Life is now.

I choose to stand in the light.

Imperfectly me.

Humbled.

Vulnerable.

In His light.

Just being.

Me.

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I am not sure how I got this photo, but again it was through nothing that I did.

Just being.

In His light.

Be Grateful (Thanksgiving 2014)

Last Thanksgiving, when all was stripped away, my mom
brought us together and she was thankful. Even when cancer was ravaging her athletic body last fall she had us all over for dinner. We even took family photos.

IMG_6576.JPGAnd she showed gratitude at the effort we all made to be together. We were enough!

No complaints.

No ‘I wish’…

Just gratitude for the moment.

And talk about being cold!
(She was SOOO skinny!)

This year for Thanksgiving, I wanted to be somewhere else. I wanted someone to make my mom’s potato romanoff and someone else to shove their hands into a cold dead bird. Perhaps, someone could have organized this brood of boys into a drama troop like mom did in 2013.

Dreams.

Wishful thinking.

Long ago memories.

This year, it was my turn.

No running.

No excuses.

My opportunity to create memories and show gratitude.

I stuffed and cooked a magnificent Turkey. I turned mom’s special potatoes into a soupy disgusting mess. We had gravy, olives and apple pie. My boys played a song on the piano showing their new skills to their proud Papa. We shed a few tears with dad and we were together.

Remembering mom.

Wishing she was here.

Creating memories.

Full of gratitude for all that I can do!

Grateful for those who reached into my grief during another ‘first’ since my mom’s death.

Grateful for every person who has truly shown empathy to my family.

Grateful to be alive with my boys!

Be Searching for Dawn

I start pedaling as the moon shines.

Darkness unfolds over me and through me.

The grief is vibrating throughout my being.

Tears come easily.

My heart literally aches.

I don’t know how to live another moment without my mom.
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No recipe for grief.

No instruction manual or no expert that can tell you exactly what your journey will look like.

But I hold closely to my wise counselor’s words: just notice, don’t judge, just sit in it.

So I get on my bike and I sit.

Not responsible for anyone but myself and my grief.

Nowhere to go and no timeline to returned.

So I pedal and I wait.

I wait for dawn to break, hoping that my tears will be dried up by the time I need to return to my life, my beautiful life with my boys, and the wonderful people that surround me.IMG_6508.JPG
I see, now, that grief is no longer the end, it is simply the beginning.

An opportunity to shed unhealthy relationships.

A time to go within myself to look beyond the noise of the day-to-day stuff.

A new life to go deep inside my heart to realize how I want to spend my short time on this earth.

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As I look south to where my dad grieves, where my dear friends live, I know that the darkness in grief is quickly lit up by the light of people that you deeply, deeply love.

This Thanksgiving, I am extremely grateful for every person who has walked through and beside me during this incredibly difficult and rich time.

My tears are now pouring out because of the gratitude that I feel. The sadness is replaced but not gone.

I think I will most likely live the rest of my life a humbled woman who misses her mom.

Kisses. Air hugs. High fives.

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Off to attempt my first Thanksgiving dinner extravaganza. Now that would bring anyone to tears! Thank goodness for supportive Sexy Neck, helpful boys and old neighbours with sage advice.

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Be Short on Words for Awhile

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Wisdom.

Creating time.

Slowing the flow of input and regurgitation.

Change.

Create openness.

Slowly learning more than I thought I could.

Grief.

Creating space.

Slowly realizing I will live on earth forever without my mom.

Autumn.

Creator brings forth colour.

Slowly coming to peace.

Enfolded in His loving arms.

Surrounded by incredible beauty and colour.

Embracing this season.

With joy.

In tears.

Always with gratitude for life.

Be.

Just being Joanna.

I am enough. IMG_6416.JPG