Saturday, March 26, 2011

Looking Up
photography by revival art studio

Yesterday we looked up 
It was the one year anniversary of the 
passing of Christian Friesen, my nephew 
and a few of us gathered at the cemetery to 
place his ashes in a beautiful wall, called Dogwood.
Instead of hanging our heads in sorrow, 
we released balloons and 
looked up.
It was a sign of hope
A choice
to keep going-
to have faith in tomorrow
to keep dreaming-
to LIVE.
Yesterday was also a celebration of a birth
....I picked up 2000 copies of Love Shines !!
My goal was to have it ready by March 25 
so I could give the first copy to 
my brother and his wife...
and that happened.
Love Shines in the middle of our darkness
Love Shines is a CD filled with hope. 
I'm so excited to share this with everyone.......
April 16th - come to the 
CD Release Concert- 
and celebrate LIFE with me.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

'singing through it all'

today I felt tired.  It has been a wild 3 weeks.  Dad has been in and out of surgery and things are still uncertain for him as he remains in ICU at present. Mom has been a trooper but fighting her own health issues & caring for dad.  My sister Grace had a heart attack.  My sister Val had to deal with a biopsy that we found out yesterday was cancer free (yay).  We are also facing the one year date on Friday for Christian, the son of my brother Randy.
wow - some moments have just felt completely overwhelming.  At the same time I've been aware that many people go through moments like sometimes brings things on a pile.
I've been reminded of some of the words from the song, Courage for Today.....coming out on the Love Shines album.
I sang these words to myself today as I walked through the woods.....

'my song is singin'
my song is singing
my song is singing through it all
Because Love is strengthening me, givin' me courage for today,
Ya, Love is strengthening me, givin' me courage for today.'

lyrics from Courage for Today ......from Love Shines  - being released on April 16th, 2011

Sunday, March 20, 2011

photography by Revival Art
Song Stories 
Love Shines CD Project

'Breathing Together'

Ps. 23 ’you make me lie down in green pastures; you lead me beside quiet waters. you restore my soul.’

This weekend I've spent time with both my parents in Vernon, most of our time together being spent in the Intensive Care Unit.  Both my parents are physically exhausted from the stress they have lived through these past 2 weeks in particular.  They are also facing much uncertainty in the days ahead.  Dad is still in ICU and his condition is 'serious'.   There were moments in our time together where we shared great memories from the past, laughed about crazy moments, and spent time in quiet silence together - overwhelmed at the present circumstance.  A couple of times, I said to dad, 'let's just breathe together' and it was a way to share our time together without need for conversation.
The concept of 'breathing together' has become powerful for me these past few years.  One evening 4 years ago I was having a difficult time and having a hard time breathing due to stress.  A friend came, placed her arm around my shoulder and didn't say anything.  She just 'breathed' with me, until my own breath was steady and calm. Somehow the power of her presence was much more powerful with quiet breath than with any words she could have ever said in that moment.  

The song, 'breathing together' reflects the heart of this experience and the invitation to rest that I find in psalm 23.  

excerpt from 'Breathing Together'  from the Love Shines CD
When my soul is weary,
when my heart is heavy
Then you come & you tell me
Lie down, lie down

As I rest my body
then you lie beside me
And you breathe with me
And you breathe with me

Friday, March 18, 2011

Today - In ICU

I arrived in Vernon today.  My dad has been in ICU for the past week due to severe complications from a surgery and has come close to death.  Right now his condition is serious and we don't know what the next few days will bring.  On Sunday, my older sister Grace had a heart attack and joined dad in ICU.  Needless to say, it has been a rather stressful week for all of us.  Grace is recovering and will probably be discharged tomorrow.
I've been very concerned about my father and it was good to finally be at his side this afternoon and evening.  Tonight became a significant moment for the two of us.  It is hard for dad to talk and each word takes time to be formed and communicated.  He made a big effort to communicate some things that were on his heart for me.  He told me that life is too short for dreams not be be realized.  He reminded me of some of the difficult years I have been through and that he admired me for keeping a dream alive in spite of so many challenges.  In short, he offered me a blessing and let me know that he 'sees' me and is 'proud' of me.  This is a great gift and one I will cherish as I live into my dream of sharing my songs.

And so on behalf of my dad, I invite us all to pay attention to the dreams that are deep within our hearts - listen to them, nurture them, honour them - life is too short not to live into them.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Stories from Love Shines
Steven Lacoursiere
Nephew Extraordinaire

Steve was born when I was 11.  I'll never forget how excited I was when he came into my life!  I was the youngest of 4 kids and I was thrilled to have a new baby come into the family.  As Steve became a toddler and young child I spent a lot of time playing with him and taking him for walks around the
 neighbourhood when my sister would come home with her family.  Steve was a precocious child and seemed to always get into mischief.  But I adored him.
Steve has had a huge part in the Love Shines CD especially over the past 5 weeks.  He has put together the graphic design for the album which you will see in a few weeks.  He has put in countless hours over the phone with me and invested his evenings and weekends into this project as a gift of love.
To receive all that he has done for me is very humbling and I am truly grateful.  Yesterday topped the cake though as he made extra phone calls on my behalf to deal with some practical challenges we were facing.   He really didn't need to do this for me, but he did.
I love this guy - have ever since the day he was born.
And I think I am now realizing - he loves me too.
Thanks Steve.