reflections on roots and other stuff

Thanks for the bibs, Aunt Alida. Very timely delivery.

Right now, the dishwasher is whirring, the washing machine is cleaning bibs, and the feed pumps are giving out the last feed of the day. I am very thankful for electricity. With the recent windstorm, a.k.a. Niagara Hurricane, this past Thursday, we were one of few homes that did not lose power. Feed pumps, washing machines and suctioning units need power. Did I mention I am very thankful for electricity?

I am also thankful for pipe insulator -
keeps the scratches and dents to a minimum.

Looking ahead to this week...

NPCC radiothon: So far, with extended family and friends, and the Beacon community, over $1000 has been raised in loose change. Awesome. If I made you a coin coffee cup, or you collected coins, you can bring them to NPCC this week, or you can bring them to our house or Beacon before Friday. Thank you. Very much.

Garage Sales: This Saturday, May 7, there are two garage sales worth checking out. If you live in the Niagara area, please stop in at 32 Eagleson Dr. here in St. Catharines. This is an enormous garage sale, raising funds for our friend Ella.

The other garage sale, on a smaller scale, will be held in Kitchener. It is the first (kickoff?) fundraiser for our own family. We are beginning some fun... fun-draising, that is. A number of friends and family have gathered their wits and wild ideas to help us raise support to obtain a wheelchair accessible van - for two wheelchairs, two caregivers, two parents, and two awesome big sisters.

A website is being created as I write,, and there is already an open group on Facebook (thanks, Justin and Rhoda). The website and the Facebook group will inform our friends and family - and their friends and families - about upcoming events and all the other details. You will be able to access the fundraising team through an email, and the team will keep the appeal for wheels website updated.

The garage sale? Steve and Michelle Fluit (Steve's my stepbrother) are having a garage sale this Saturday morning on their driveway as part of the Manheim Madness (local joke) to start the fundraising ball rolling. More on our van fundraising to come next week.

Tonight Ralph took the casts off Rachel so she could enjoy swimming tomorrow morning at NPCC. She is casted each Tuesday morning. Not surprisingly, she sleeps very well on Sunday and Monday nights.

Thanks again for the tin snips, Dennis.

Lately, Janneke is more curious than ever to bust through that screen door,
bump down the steps, and join her sisters.

This past Saturday, I had the opportunity to attend and participate in our church denomination's Disability Concerns conference. I was asked to join a panel of two other women, to share my family's story and engage in dialogue with participants.

I was amazed at the stories that surfaced. I was particularly struck with the depth of sorrow in the stories shared regarding emotional and mental health. My daughters' disabilities are obvious, so I was drawn to learning more about the invisible disabilities - such as related to mental health. Living with depression or similar circumstances is a private struggle, one that torments all involved, and the cycles are most often unpredictable. I am not a public cry-er, but my soul ached when I saw the tears fall as the words were shared.

It was not all dark and dreary. Those who shared deep sorrow also shared a deep faith in God. Amazing. I remember one conversation with a woman who shared her thankfulness to God for medication that has helped her find a normal life.

How does one not walk away from God when their earthly life is filled with such darkness and disappointment?

But, it was said, more than once - God is faithful and walks alongside in the darkness. Those words weren't trite or flippant. They were genuine and honest.

As I drove home, I reflected on the experience, and I couldn't help but notice the songs that came on my playlist - those words meshed with the stories shared...

I will stumble. I will fall down. But I will not be moved.

We've stumbled over the trials of life. We've wrestled the unseen. But only One can calm the storm inside our souls.

Some have said they are more aware than ever before of their need to be deeply rooted in Him. That made me think of the huge trees that came down in our recent wind storm. It was strange to see such enormous trees down, with their roots exposed, and other trees, similar in size untouched. Such huge trees but with such shallow roots.

Perhaps appearances can be deceiving.

Peace for your week. I look forward to taking back any coffee coin cups for NPCC.


By the way, fallen trees are also great sport for girls on a Sunday morning. A little sap on the hands, a scratch on the legs, but a lot of fun, to be certain.