Her Diminished Size is in Me — Not in Her


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I am standing upon the seashore. A ship, at my side,
spreads her white sails to the moving breeze and starts
for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch her until, at length, she hangs like a speck
of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.

Then, someone at my side says, “There, she is gone.”
Gone where?
Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast,
hull and spar as she was when she left my side.

And, she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.

Her diminished size is in me — not in her.

And, just at the moment when someone says, “There, she is gone,”
there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices
ready to take up the glad shout, “Here she comes!”
And that is dying…

Henry Van Dyke




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Family. Where life begins and love never ends.

where we share sorrows and joys and learn and grow

where we fight and hurt and laugh and heal

where we challenge each other, irritate, and rub each other the wrong way

where we encourage, embolden, inspire and build each other up

where we run away from for independence and run to for comfort when we are afraid or overwhelmed

where we make tough decisions with tough love and hold each other up

where we weather the storms and bask in the warmth of sunny days as one

where even those who are no longer with us still teach us.

where no matter what we do or where we go, we always belong to our family

I just got back from visiting family back east and here are some snippets of my trip.

And Every day Mom checks in with her flowers; pruning, watering, caring for…

not so different from how we grow and care for each other in our families…



What does family mean to you?






#Canada150 #yyc


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I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.

― John G. Diefenbaker

Yesterday, I rode my bike downtown to check out the Canada Day celebrations.

I took some pictures to share with you. Also, I would like to wish all my fellow Canadians a very Happy Canada Day. We live in a beautiful country and I feel so blessed to be Canadian.

Nope. Not a statue.


In Those Times


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Kindness is for all times in all situations – not just when it suits you.

-Audray Landrum

Those times in life when it seems that evil continually prevails, when greedy people keep getting, and vulnerable people keep losing.

Those times when those who don’t follow the rules keep winning, when those who prey on weaknesses are exulted, when those who feel entitled are granted whatever they wish, and those whose genuine efforts and unselfish motives are overlooked time after time.

Those times when I can’t bear to watch anymore, when my anger overtakes me, when for just once, for just one God damned time, my utter hatred of their actions, my complete disdain of them, my raging judgment of them makes me want to squash them, to shine a light on their selfishness, expose their nakedness to every single person, and humiliate them in front of the world.

In those times, although it’s excruciatingly difficult, I must dig deep inside of myself with humility, recognize those same tendencies in me and acknowledge my own shortcomings. I must search for the good in them, reach out with love and kindness and pray it makes a difference.




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“Dad had such a deep voice,” I said to my mom on the phone a few weeks back.

“Yes, that’s why I called him my Brummelbär (Brummel bear), his voice rumbled from deep within,” she replied with tenderness in her voice.

I guess I’ve been thinking a lot about dad lately, with Father’s Day and his birthday looming closer. I used to dread June because it brought Father’s Day, my brother’s birthday and my dad’s birthday, and when I didn’t have a lot of money, it seemed taxing to buy three cards and gifts in one month.

Man, what I wouldn’t give to have that worry back, to have dad back.

Yet, I can’t really complain. I was blessed for 52 years with the best possible man for me, as my father. He was a good man, a kind man, a peaceful man. And he loved us.

As best as I can tell Brummel means rumble. And mom’s right. His voice rumbled from deep within like a bear. And it remains in my heart, in my DNA it would seem, guiding me, and still brings me comfort when I most need it.

So glad I captured his voice in this video!

Somebody Cares


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The other day, my beautiful daughter, Michaela, posted the letter below on her Facebook page.

If you are in your tweens/teens and feel alone, please know that you are not the first to feel like you don’t quite measure up. Things will probably get better and the things you’re learning now are making you stronger.

If you are the parent of a tween/teen remind them every day how much you love them and not just because they’re you’re kid and you have to, but because he or she is a beautiful person worthy of love.

Dear 12-year-old Michaela,

The first thing I want you to know is no matter how alone you feel right now, no matter how much you think nobody cares, your mom is your best friend and she gets you.

Being chubby is not the end of the world. I’m sorry that your peers seem to think it is. Fat does not equal ugly. Being mean and cruel is ugly. You are beautiful.

I know something really bad just happened to you. I know you’re scared. I know you are ashamed. Talk about it. Tell people. Talk to a counsellor. It’s not your fault. I promise you it’s not your fault.

I know you think you’ll never be one of the pretty girls. You are a pretty girl. Nobody needs to tell you. You have a beautiful heart, and soul and your outsides are beautiful too. Stop comparing yourself to them. You’re nothing like them.

Not everyone is going to like you, and that is so far beyond ok. It’s nothing you did. I know how hard you’re trying but sometimes people just don’t click. Michaela, let it go.
The sooner you learn to love yourself and that you are worthy of love, the happier you will be. It’s hard, it’s so so hard. But it’s coming.

Don’t feel ashamed for talking to a therapist. They are there to help you and everyone should. Shit gets hard, Michaela. You’re not weak, you’re human. Don’t be afraid to move. It’s not going to be perfect but so much good will come out of it, it doesn’t even matter.

Tell people you love them. It’s not lame. If you feel it, say it. It will change people and people will love you for it. Don’t ever be afraid to love.

Be proud of who you are, Michaela. You’re good enough. In fact, you’re so far beyond just enough. You are kind, and generous and sweet. You have so much love to give. Give it. It will come back in waves.

Never stop playing sports. I know there will be a time where it feels like you don’t even have time to breathe, but when you get that time back, get back to it.

On the same note, never stop doing what you love. Don’t let anyone’s darkness steal your passion. Your passion and joy is amazing. It isn’t lame. Screw anyone who says it is.

12-year-old me, I love you. I’m so sorry it’s so hard right now. I’m sorry you feel alone but people love you. You have no idea how good it’s going to get so please don’t be afraid. You are so beautiful. You are worthy. You are amazing. I love you, girl. It’s going to be ok.

Thank you Michaela for allowing me to share your beautiful letter on my blog. I hope it will help someone else to not feel so alone and hopeless.

Love you kiddo,



It’s Not What You Do, It’s How You Do It


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If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.’

Martin Luther King Jr.

When I moved to Calgary in 1990, I accepted a housekeeping job at a hospital.

I was so embarrassed by this job, when people asked what I did, I said I was an environmental engineer, which is what they called my position, and then quickly changed the subject before they could ask what that was.

I hated working there, so I cut corners and consistently scored low when my employer did surprise quality control checks.

But I started to feel guilty. So I decided to be grateful that I had a job, many did not, and I cleaned each room as if the next patient was Jesus.

A funny thing happened.

I began to take pride in my work.

I did little extras for patients.

I consistently scored 100% when my employer did surprise quality control checks.


Friday Pick 208 – Ubuntu



A few days ago, I read the post I’m featuring as my Friday Pick today. I was deeply moved by the raw honesty expressed in this post and the deep gratitude it inspired in the writer of the Renegade Press. Depression and suicide are often a taboo subject and I admire Chris’ courage to express his own experience here. I’m sure many others who feel the same way, will find comfort in knowing they are not alone.

In Chris’ own words:

Chris Nicholas is a twenty seven year old student and author from Brisbane, Australia who often refers to himself as an aggressively creative world eater. Priding himself on his willingness to challenge his own preconceptions and push the boundaries of his ambitions, he aims to create beautiful literature that will inspire his audience to do the same.

This week, I’ve chosen the post below as my Friday Pick.

In this post Chris shares his deep gratitude for those who stood by him when he needed them the most…

Ubuntu by The Renegade Press


*I’ve closed my comments in hopes that you will leave a comment on the writer’s page*

Vulnerability and Truth


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“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.”

― Brené Brown

It’s scary to be vulnerable, isn’t it? It makes you feel weak, and even worse it makes you appear weak to others.

Suppose you don’t know what to do about a situation at work, if you ask for help, would it seem like you cannot do the job you were hired to do?

Suppose you are grieving the loss of someone close to you, or are worried about the circumstances a loved one has found themselves in, if you talk about it or cry, would it seem as though you are too emotional?

What if you’re afraid to go to the dentist, or a job interview, or know you need to admit you were wrong about something, if you hesitate or show any anxiety, would you look like a coward?

I grew up believing it did. Crying was weak. Smiling or laughing made you look foolish. The only acceptable emotion was anger, which somehow proved that you were strong.

It can take years to finally know that vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage.


How to Tell Your True Story

I was immediately drawn to the title of this post and enjoyed it so much I had to share it with you. ❤
“Our temptation is to reduce people to one story. People are considerably more complex than a single story could ever convey.”

Looking for God in Messy Places

As the seventh graders started lining up to exit the classroom, the teacher said, “Not you, Sam Owensby. You sit back down. You’re staying right here. You’ll just ruin the whole assembly.”

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