I See You, But You Can’t See Me!

It all started innocently enough. Just messages back and forth between me and one of the popular young men. I was impressed that such a man would even pay attention to little old me who didn’t quite fit in with the others. However, the messages quickly went downhill. They slid straight down the cliff right into the territory of sexual harassment and even leading into threats of bodily harm. And what was my reaction? I hid. I hid the messages. I hid my reactions. I hid my fear. I thought I would be fine. I put up a false front of bravado and toughness, even towards him.

Then came the night, a couple, that I knew quite well, sat me down and asked me straight out about this young man. When they first asked me, I was stunned. I stopped and stared at them in utter shock. How did they know? Who told them?! That’s when  I found out that it had been happening to more girls. Then they asked if I had any evidence. Yes, I did. Somewhere around 48 pages of typed out messages that I had saved! We ended up going to the local police and making a report. That’s when I found out that they couldn’t legally do anything because we were both consenting adults, and I had not said “no” in any of those thousands of messages. I was devastated!

I’ll quickly answer some questions you’re probably wondering right now. One, why did I save all those messages? Because somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew that this was all wrong, and I had an inkling that I might need them in the future if anything he threatened would actually happen. Two, how did he sucker me into this? Well, I have a history of childhood sexual abuse that was not dealt with at that point. I was a prime target for a master manipulator.

The police officer I spoke with did give me hope when he said that he would personally call the young man and speak to him man to man. I had hope that that would be the end of it, but it wasn’t. Not by a long shot!

Now, in addition to previous trauma not dealt with, I also had this trauma to process and deal with. I soon moved to a place where I could receive counselling and start attempting to heal. However, the place I moved to was very close to where the young man lived. Every time I went out in public, I was worried. I was hyper-vigilant and anxious. Every time I saw a face or profile that looked vaguely like him, I panicked and hid myself. I didn’t know what he would do if he found me alone, and I didn’t want to find out. I worked with different counselors in the meantime and did find a certain level of freedom.

Finally, I was ready to move home. I thought I was good. I still dealt with lingering effects from the trauma, but  I thought I could handle it. I started a new job and went to college. I didn’t worry about ever hearing from this guy again. All of a sudden, early one Saturday morning, I got a mysterious text, and then more and more of them. I quickly recognized the tone of them. The mystery person refused to identify themselves until I called them out, and it was the same man, after being silent for three years! My whole day was suddenly derailed!

I went to fire academy that day and tried hard to concentrate on the ropes and knots we were learning. Instead, I was extremely jumpy and almost punched my lieutenant when he unexpectedly came around the corner of the fire engine toward me. Meanwhile, I kept getting calls from this man. I didn’t answer, but would try to call him back. He would never answer me. I blocked his number, and five minutes later he would have a new number. After the day of training, I asked the lieutenant if I could use the station phone to try to call him. I was granted permission, and I tried to call him, but he refused to answer.

I confided in one of my close friends what was happening, and he told me that he would watch out for me. I tried so hard to not let it affect me. I did my normal every day things, but I realized, after the man began messaging me my location and what I was wearing, that I would need to take further precautions. I alerted the security team at the college where I worked. I told my supervisor, who then always walked me out to my car. I told my ambulance partners. I told my fire lieutenants.  I told my friends at church. I was escorted by one or two men whenever I was out with friends or walked to my car after dark at work. I blocked numbers, changed phone numbers, locked everything up tight on all social media, made numerous police reports, but nothing worked to deter him. It became a way of life for me.

Once again I was on high alert at all times. I was always scanning my environment. I sat with my back to the wall. I knew my exits and always had a clear path to them. I knew which of my friends had concealed carry permits. I got on a first name basis with a local deputy and the college security officers. Meanwhile, I tried different strategies with the man. I ignored him, blocked him, told him no, answered his calls, screenshot everything, and even appeared before a judge to attempt to get a stalking order against him. This man sent emails with pornographic pictures to one of my friends and tried to say that the pictures were of me; they weren’t. My dad, brothers, former boyfriend, and the deputy all tried to get him to leave me alone. I was resigned to just having him in my life forever.

He literally knew where I was at all times. When I took a cross country trip, he knew where I was. When I stayed at my cousin’s house, he told me what clothes I was wearing. When I changed jobs, he knew before I told many people. When I changed numbers, he had my new one within twenty-four hours. After awhile, I kind of got used to it. I got used to the hyper-vigilance. I got used to being escorted. I got used to scanning faces. I got used to planning my actions if he ever suddenly physically appeared in my life. I got used to saving screenshots and telling him “no” repeatedly. I got used to talking to judges and officers and other legal people. I got used to the constant fear. I almost became calloused to it. (Even typing this out now, my heart rate is increasing slightly.)

Then one summer I met some people who taught me that the things we fear have permission to happen. Well, I was afraid of this man. I was afraid of what he would do. I was afraid of where he would appear next. I was afraid of looking at my phone or seeing a number that I didn’t know. Then I decided that I didn’t want to be afraid anymore. I was tired of it. I was tired of fighting back with no positive results. I wanted something different. I wanted him to disappear from my life. So, I prayed. I released him to God. I released the whole situation and decided that from now, I would not be afraid of him. No longer was he gonna be able to ruin my life and steal my joy in living life.

Instead, I was going to use wisdom. Having no fear, did not mean that now, I went fully public with every detail of my life or that now I didn’t take precautions when I was by myself. It just meant that I didn’t have to hide in a corner anymore. I didn’t have to fight panic attacks every single time I was in public. I was still cautious and careful, just not afraid. And you know what? That was almost two years ago.

Since then I have not heard from him again. I have been able to live my life. Sure, sometimes I still wonder what I would do if I met him unexpectedly, if he suddenly showed up in church or I met him in the grocery store. I wonder if he’s really gone forever or if he’s just waiting for the three year mark again. My heart still skips a beat if I suddenly see someone who looks like him out of the corner of my eye. I don’t know if I will ever fully get over those kind of things, but I’m not afraid of him anymore. He no longer controls my life. And now, I have even a bigger support system, even more men in my life who would do their utmost to protect me. The number one man is my husband, Aaron. I know that I would not have to face it alone, if it did happen again. So I’m not worried.

For way to long, this man controlled my life. He was protected by his parents and church members. He has consistently denied any wrongdoing. However, I refuse to be his victim any longer! I am a free woman. I am protected. I am safe. I am clean. I do not have to fear his threats of rape and bodily harm. And that makes me confident enough to share this story on such a public platform.

Just know that no matter what has happened in your past, you can make the choice to no longer be a victim. You don’t have to let those people, that trauma, affect your every day life any longer. All it takes is a simple choice to start the healing process! And if you need some support, let me know. I’ve been there! I love you and want you to know it can get better! Just keep going!


A Paramilitary Church?

After reading this article (click here) about vets and what they miss most about being in the military, it struck me that this is also one of the things I love the most about the fire service. The sense of someone always having your back, watching out for your safety, and leaving no man behind. I have thought for awhile that the church could learn a thing or two from the military and other paramilitary organizations.

First let’s look at what makes a paramilitary organization work. I am familiar with the fire service so I will use that. (Disclaimer: I am basing this writing on my experience. That is not to say that all fire departments are the same. I had a very positive experience.)

The first thing you learn when joining an organization like this is the clear rank of people. Bottom to top are probationary (probies), firefighters, engineers, lieutenants, captains, battalion chiefs, assistant chiefs, and then the chief. You know what your rank is and what your job is. It is made very clear from the first day. If you are a probie, you follow orders from just about anyone and give orders to no one. You may question an order, but ONLY if it involves a potential safety hazard. However, after voicing your concern, you are still expected to follow orders that are given. You will be paired with a more seasoned firefighter and placed on a squad led by a lieutenant. They are your partners, and you are expected to listen to them and follow their directions while learning from them. Questions are encouraged, but it’s usually best to wait til after the fire scene or a training.

Your superiors are there to help you succeed. They will push you beyond what you think you are capable of. Drills become a way of life. You may even get told, “Don’t train until you get it right; train until you can’t get it wrong.” And through all of this, somehow, there is a feeling of safety and empowerment. You know where you fit and how to act. There are times when you might not understand or might become frustrated with the way your instructors push you and make you do things over and over. But in the end, they are there. Your friends. Your family. Your biggest supporters.

Strong support. That is what I think the church, as a whole, could learn from them. What if in the church we had one on one mentoring? What if the pastors’ and bishops’ and ministers’ goal was to see their congregation succeed, not just as a whole, but on a deep personal level? What if every person felt like they belonged to a great big close knit family? What if everyone learned to work together, not only during crisis moments, but during every day situations?

Ranks. Could we implement “ranks” of a sort where people were given specific roles based on their maturity, ability to pass tests, and ability to lead effectively?  What if we trained the leaders to lead squads who also had specific tasks to accomplish? We could teach and train people toward that goal. Chiefs aren’t afraid to train up new leaders, nor should the church be. When squad leaders are strong and can work in unity, more work can get done quickly. People get more of a chance to feel heard and important when they are part of a squad with a specific job. I feel the need to point out that there is no difference of importance on the fire-ground, but without the ranks there would be no flow, no efficiency, less teamwork.

Teamwork. The church as a whole, from my observations, could do with more teamwork. Teams work best with a clear leader who delegates tasks out to specific team members. They also work best when each team member knows how to complete their given task. Each team member is vital to getting the job done efficiently and well. It doesn’t matter if you’re the one controlling the nozzle to put out the fire, or if you’re the one behind them helping to move the hose, without each other the task would not get done! Some churches have this teamwork thing down really good for certain situations. Need a barn built? Call the church! Need disaster clean up? Call the church. But what about in other situations? Sketchy, messy, nitty gritty situations? Someone has mental health challenges? Abuse situations? Young woman wavering between abortion and adoption? What about those situations that don’t fit neatly into any little rule book? Where’s the teamwork then?

As firefighters, we trained for the messy situations. We trained to rescue each other and civilians from various types of entrapment. We trained for those situations that we hoped never happened, where one of our own was in crisis. We tried to imagine the worse scenario possible and train for that. Once the scenario happens, it’s too late to train then. It’s too late to come up with a proactive plan then. All that’s left at that moment is reaction, and reaction isn’t always the best option.

Being proactive. I believe the church would benefit from being more proactive. Look around you. Observe what’s happening. Imagine the worst scenario possible. Sit down with your team and come up with a plan of action should that scenario ever happen. Then practice.  Check in with people. Make sure they know the plan. Make sure both old and  young ones know what to do, both mature and immature.

Be involved. Get involved with your community. Know your at risk populations. Know the streets. Get to know the homeless and the lonely. Be known in your community as someone that people can turn to in case of emergency. I believe the church should be just as known for this as firefighters are. Feeling lonely? Call the church. Need a hot meal? Call the church. Have a family emergency and need some assistance? Call the church.

Will you be the one willing to look outside the norm and learn some lessons from a paramilitary organization? There are good lessons, if you only look! Mentoring, support, family, teamwork, and helping each other and the community succeed.

“But She Doesn’t Know You!”

Today I went to see my maternal Grandma. She has Alzheimer’s and lives in a nursing home. I try to stop in as often as I can when I am in the area. Today I thought about why I even bother.

Someone asked me why I even bother going if she doesn’t know me and this is my answer.

My grandma usually doesn’t know me. Sometimes she doesn’t even know my mom. Today I told her several times that I was getting married, but she doesn’t remember. After I’d been there almost an hour, she remembered my name; but next time I go, she likely won’t. She doesn’t remember what she had for lunch or if she’s having a good day. She forgets that I don’t speak Pennsylvania Dutch and so returns to her mother tongue when talking to me. So we sit together. I ask her questions and she answers. She asks me questions repeatedly, and I answer them. I tell her about my day and what I’m doing. I tease her about keeping the nurses busy, and she tells me that she keeps an eye on everyone. 

The nurses stop by and tell me the latest shenanigans that she’s up too. How she tries to walk or tells them that they need to get busy and do their work. She says she put on her ankle monitor  and the nurses laugh. Even if she doesn’t know them or me, she’s friendly and happy. At times she can be feisty.

So why do I stop in and spend time with her? Because she’s my grandma, my one remaining grandparent. I lost one grandparent to Alzheimer’s already, and I want to experience as many good things as I can with my grandma before it gets worse. I love my grandma and I know her even when she doesn’t know me. She’s my family and always will be. Most of my life I lived 3000 miles away from her, but now I get the chance to be with her more often, and I love it!

Today she told me that she hopes if I have babies that I will tell her about them. I assured her that I will. She also complimented my skirt choice. She appeared restless and a little upset when I arrived, but within a few minutes of my being there, she relaxed and cheered up. 

My grandma is spunky, even at 89 years old with Alzheimer’s. She is an amazing woman who raised 8 children. She can tell me stories about her growing up years. She is determined. And I love seeing where I inherited certain traits from. I inherited her spunkiness, determination, the way she doesn’t let anything stop her, and even the way she sleeps with one hand tucked under her face. 

I love her a lot and want to spend as much time as I can with her. That is why I bother.

Mosaic Masterpiece

This is something I wrote back in 2013 when I was going thru one of the toughest spots of my life. I recently rediscovered it and decided to share it with you all!

The girl stood looking in dismay at the remains of her shattered vase. 
Once again her bouquet had been tossed on the ground and stomped on. Her vase had been hurled to the ground and smashed into a thousand pieces.

Once again she’d tried to show forth her value, her beauty, and once again it had been smashed into unrecognizable bits.

She sighed. She’d long ago given up shedding tears over it. What did they help? Nothing. No one cared. Why should she care? 

And yet…deep in her heart, she did care. She longed to feel value, to be needed, appreciated.

She turned away, determined this time to never pick it up again. She’d tried so many times before and it never lasted. She’d pick up the pieces, glue them back together, and five minutes later it would be laying in pieces on the ground again, shattered in even more pieces.

It had been patched and glued and put back together and broken so many times it was a most impossible task to put them together the way they were meant to be.

She turned away. She’d given up.

*ahem* She heard someone clear their throat.

Startled, she turned to face this new person. Who dared to intrude on her private burial of her vase, her value?

“Would you give the broken pieces to Me?”

What?! Was this Man crazy?! He wanted the broken pieces?! Why? So He could pick them up and throw them away? “Why?”

“I like broken things. I like to use the pieces in mosaics.”

“Mosaics?!” The girl’s voice was hard and critical, guarding herself. “I HATE mosaics!”

“Why? I love mosaics.”

“Cuz every time I see a mosaic, I see all the broken pieces and think about how painful it must have been to get broken like that!”

“Ah, but I see the whole beautiful picture and joy in the skill that it must have taken to put all those little pieces together into one beautiful masterpiece.”

“You do?” The girl was puzzled.

“Yes, I do. Would you let Me do that for you? With your broken vase?”

“Um…weeelll, I guess You could have them if you really wanted. If that is what would bring honor to You.”

“Yes. I will put the pieces together into a beautiful mosaic masterpiece. It will be done with such skill that people will look at it and wonder who it is that has such skill to make such a beautiful thing out so many ugly, broken, scarred pieces. Then you will be able to answer them and point them to the Artist. Because everyone will know that there was no way YOU could do such a thing. They will be drawn to look to Someone else. That will be how you will be able to point others to Me, and how You will bring me glory.”

The girl bowed her head. “Yes, Abba. I will do that. I am willing to be Your mosaic masterpiece in order to bring glory to You.”

And in that moment, she was given value beyond anything she’d ever imagined.



Respect. This is something I’ve been thinking a lot about recently, because I’ve been attempting to get it across to my school students that if they respect each other, there is little need for other rules. Today I went a little deeper and looked at what the Bible has to say about this subject. Here’s some of what I found and my current thoughts on the subject.

First let’s define respect. According to the dictionary, it means “due regard for the feelings, wishes, rights, or traditions of others; politeness, courtesy, civility, deference; honor, esteem, feel or show honour or esteem for, care, consideration, to care for, show consideration for.” Basically, be nice to others even if they aren’t exactly like you in every area. Is that so hard?

Now, the Bible doesn’t say much about “respect” but it does talk a lot about honour. Honor according to the dictionary, means “nobleness of mind, a nice sense of what is right or proper; great respect, high regard; respect highly, think highly of; show respect to; be an honor too.” In this blog post, I am using the Bible word honour in place of the more familiar word respect. I believe they have a lot of the same connotations. 

According to the Bible dictionary, honour means “of the price paid or received for a person or thing bought or sold; of the honour which belongs or is shown to one, of the honour which one has by reason of rank and state of office which he holds.” Think about this for a bit, “the price paid or received for a person bought.” What was the price paid for us? Jesus died on the cross for every single one of us!! How valuable does that make us? And if we view every other person as having that same value how could we do anything else but show them respect?

Matthew 7:12 “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” The Golden Rule. This is a basic rule of human rights and expectations. Everyone wishes to be treated with respect and kindness. If everyone treated everyone around them as they themselves wish to be treated, our world would be a much better place.

Romans 12:10 “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honour.” This is how we as Christians should act. Outdo in this verse carries the idea of being a leader. It means “to go before and show the way; to go before as a leader.” We should attempt to be the leaders in showing value to others, everyone. Every human being has the same value as the next one, from the worst criminal in prison to the most influential king. All humans were paid for by Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. That price gives them value. When they accept Jesus as their personal Saviour, they become sons of God. This puts them in an honourable position, which is just another reason to show them honour.

Philippians 2:3 “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” 

Titus 2:7 “Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show, integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.” Wow! That is a high standard! In ALL respects we are too be a model of good conduct. Part of this good conduct is to show honour. If you always show honour and respect, who could condemn you for that?

I Peter 2:17 “Honour everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the emperor.” Honour in this verse carries the additional meaning of “to fix the value of something belonging to one’s self.” If something belongs to you, you are more likely to treat it with respect. Christians are a family, your family. Treat them with respect due to family members! 

John 13:34-35 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another.” Love is part of honour as well. We cannot honor others if we have no love for them. Like the song says “They will know we are Christians by our love.” I think sometimes we don’t do such a good job at demonstrating our love for each other.

Romans 13:10 “Love does no wrong to a neighbour; therefore love is the fulfilling of the Law.” 

I Thessalonians 5:12-13 “We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labour among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves.” Honor those in positions with authority.

I Corinthians 12:24b-26 “But God has composed the body, giving greater honour to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all members rejoice together.” I believe these verses hold some very valuable keys for us as we learn to always honor others. We might be tempted to look down on someone because they are different from us or less honorable in our estimation. But who are we to say who is less? All humans are created equal; therefore all equally worthy of our honor and respect. 

This is something we’ve been working on in my classroom. Currently, if they are all respectful and do not earn any consequences for a whole week as a class, they will all be honored. If, however, one person is disrespectful, the whole class will suffer with them by not being able to attain to the honor in store for them. This way they learn that their disrespect does not only negatively affect them but it also affects the whole team. This builds an atmosphere of positive peer pressure to do the right thing. 

Girls side of my classroom

Boys and younger grades side

Respect others and they will be more likely to respect you. Annoyed with rules and guidelines that seem unnecessary? If everyone walked in respect to each other, most rules and guidelines would become moot points. If a first grader can understand and know what is respectful and what isn’t, so can you as an adult. 

When you are respectful of others opinions and beliefs, they are more willing to respect yours. You do not have to agree with someone to be respectful to them. Example: I am a Mennonite who tends to the more liberal side of the spectrum, but most of the students in my school are Amish. Their parents are Amish. We dress differently and probably believe differently on some things, but that does not stop us from working together just fine. We have mutual respect for each other. And our outward appearances have never been an issue. We worship the same Jesus and side by side we work together towards the same goal of advancing the kingdom of God. Respect works! (And baffles those who receive it from the unexpected places like someone completely different from them.)

Go out and be respectful!!

*All verses taken from ESV Bible.

Honour Thy Father and Mother

Today I was sitting in a teaching session and the speaker was talking on honouring our parents. Talking about the things that we inherit from our parents, both good and bad, and it got my brain to thinking what are the good things, the blessings that I have received from my parents? So right now I would like to introduce you all to my parents and tell everyone about what I have learned and the ways I have received love from them in my short life time. 

Me with my parents

Let’s start with my dad. My dad’s name is Maurice but to me he was dad, daddy, or papa bear. Here are some of the ways he showed me and my siblings love and some things I learned from him…

…read books to us in the evenings after supper and before bed. He read mostly true books from what I can remember and a lot of missionary stories. Some of the books I can remember are Cry of the Northland, Where the Wind Blows Wild, Flying the North, Bruchko, Peace Child, Lords of the Earth, a book about Jim Elliott, and the Laura Ingalls Wilder series.

…we sing together a lot. He even had got a book and taught us some music basics. Now we sing and play instruments together as a family for other people. It’s a lot of fun! 

…my dad always did his best to keep his promises to us. And he tried to not make a promise unless he was sure he could actually keep it.

…taking us out for breakfast on our birthdays. Just us and him, one on one. It still means a lot to me, and I’m almost 25.

…when we were little, he would play “Shark” in the pool with us. My brother would be the shark coming after me and I would quickly go to my dad and get him to protect me. 

…we would go with him to the fire department where he volunteered and spent a lot of time there with him.

…when he worked at Gremco, we would go with him to work on Saturdays or sometimes evenings if he had to go to a customers house and work on a well or something.

…we went on road trips and made many memories that way. We drove to Minnesota, Ontario, Canada; Sonora, Mexico; and Pennsylvania with many adventures along the way.

…even tho my dad was not big into hunting, when we children began expressing our interest and desire to go hunting, he brought out his Winchester .30-30 lever action rifle, took us to Hunter’s safety courses, and took the time to take us out hunting. He was with me when I shot my first deer! 

…he always provided for us. We may not have had the best or most of everything, but we had enough and were content. We always had clean clothes to wear, plenty of food to eat, a roof over our heads, and even fun extras. Even though it was with great shock that we learned when we were teenagers that according to national standards we had been raised far below the poverty level. 😂 

…my dad also encouraged and welcomed our questions. Any and all questions were welcomed by him. I specifically remember one instance where we had gone as a family to the coast for one day and on the way home we had quite the discussion about the book to Revelation in the Bible. My dad did not shy away from our questions no matter how hard or ridiculous they were.

…it’s important to be involved in and serve the community where you find yourself living. My dad showed us this by example. He was a volunteer firefighter and EMT for 26 years or so. And when there was a community event such as a National Night Out or potluck or sing along, we were there.

…obedience to God is the most important thing in life. If we remembered nothing else from what he taught that is what he wanted us to remember.

…differences do not mean division. You can believe different, live different, look different, and it doesn’t matter. We can still get along. 

…family is important and family is family no matter how distant the relation. You support and love family even if you don’t always agree.

…have the courage to pursue your dream Even if they don’t fit into the “normal” Mennonite box and it’s ok for a conservative Mennonite to go to college.

…think for yourself and have your own beliefs and be able to defend them if questioned or challenged.

Now some things about my mom.

My mom’s name is Jane but to me she was always mom or mama. Here are some ways she showed me love and some things I learned from her…

…how to be a homemaker with homemaking skills like cooking, baking, canning, freezing, butchering, gardening, and sewing.

…listen to other’s hearts when they speak and hear the things they aren’t saying. 

…be a welcoming hostess and always have room for visitors or one more person.

…have practical every day faith that God will provide for our needs, especially when dad went back to school to get his nurse’s degree and wasn’t able to work.

…show interest and excitement in the passions and interests of others even if they don’t interest me.

…occasionally my mom would let out her crazy side with us children and we would all spend hours laughing and laughing so much. (My mom is hilarious!)

…my mom is not afraid to being Jesus into any conversation. Even conversations in town with random strangers. I have not yet gotten that courage, but I admire it greatly.

…always be willing and engaging when people want to ask about our headcovering or dresses.

I know I’ve learned a lot more than just these few things from my parents, but I wanted to just take time to bless them and thank them in this very public manner. 

Thank you mom and dad for all that you’ve taught me and the many good memories that you’ve given me.

Love your oldest child, Elizabeth

“Wherever You Are, Be All There.”

“Wherever you are, be all there.” -Jim Elliott. This is one of my all time favorite quotes and it’s how I try to live my life. Live in the moment with your whole heart. (Yes, this post is a result of being posted for hours at work.) 😂 So I thought, “Why not share some of my adventures over the last few years?” I’ve certainly had a lot of them.

I’ve lived in two countries, three states, and visited two provinces. I’ve been on bus trips, road trips, and had many interactions with lots of awesome people. Here’s a glimpse, in no particular order of happening.

Playing with children on Kingfisher Lake First Nation in northern Ontario. I lived there six weeks

Loved these kids! Eddie and Rain

Saturlene and Yolanda. Sisters with Tikinagan that we spent hours with during evacuations for forest fires

Me and my school students from Canada

Birchwood Christian School in Dryden, Ontario. I taught first and second grade

BCS students in costume for their Christmas musical

Joys of teaching in northwestern Ontario. Bundling up in layers and layers of clothes in order to play outside in below zero temps

My co-teacher Michelle and I were best of friends

Before I left BCS we did a bff winter photo shoot

Family time is super fun!

Swimming at the river with the littles

Youth dress up night

Redoing our kitchen floor

Siblings at Fort Stevens in 2011

Camo face paint…best kind of makeup 😂

With my dad while he was still a volunteer firefighter

Work and volunteer times

Nancy and I doing medical standby in tactical kilts on July 4

Fire Academy live burn

Ropes training for search and rescue

Chayne and I. Went to EMT class together and then were co-workers for awhile

Mock search mission for training

Wearing a TB mask for a very long transport

Throwback to when I still worked as a nurse’s aide

Work Christmas party 2015

Lab Assisting at the college with my creepy manikin

EMT class!!

And other various happenings and adventures…

Playing coed softball with Accident Prone

Holding a cow heart in Manitoba

Helping chore at the neighbor’s

Snowmobile riding in Manitoba!!

Jumping at the beach

With my unofficial niece Eliana

Rowboat on Beaver Lake in Dryden, Ontario

Yes I’m a hunter and a country girl at heart.

Playing games at LBS with my student Knaqweyza in 2013

Yes, I love life! And today I’ve been thinking about how blessed I am to have had all these wonderful adventures and times with friends and family. Go out and live in the moment!! 

God bless!!