Monday, March 7, 2011

Honoring a Man Who was an Important Part of My Faith and Marriage

Last night my mom called to tell Carl and I that our former Minister, Rev Reg Miller  had passed away. At first I shed a tear and reflected upon the impact he had had on my life and then my sadness turned to happiness for him. He was finally Home, and finally back with his beloved Monica.
Born in 1918 in Cadiff, Wales, he trained as a Marine Engineer and served with the Royal Navy during WWII as a Chief Petty Officer. In 1954, he immigrated to Canada with his wife, Monica and 2 sons. He attended Mount Allison University and Pine Hill Divinity Hall and was ordained in 1959.

As a student minister, Reg's first charge was in Malpeque, PEI, where he condusted his visitations on horse and wagon in the harsh island winters. The Reverend Reg Miller, served the United Church in Nappan and Springhill NS, where he frequently served as Chaplin at the Springhill Insitution, a medium security facility.

In 1963, he and his family moved to Chatham NB, where he served as minister until 1983. Until his death he filled an honored role as Minister Emeritus with our former church, St Paul's United and this is where I first met this wonderful man.
He was a short man with a huge Welsh-accented voice, a huge heart and an even larger faith in God.

I had always believed in God, but not until I took confirmation classes with Reg did I find my passion and understanding of the Lord. During our classes he told stories of how he found his faith as a young man, mixed with stories from the war. He had a deep passion for God, and for serving others. When Carl decided to join the church, he also took confirmation classes with Reg.

So when we were planning our wedding we couldnt imagine anyone else marrying us then Rev Reg. He was going to be 89 the week before our wedding and he had a tendency to forget things but we didnt care. A few weeks before our wedding we met with him at his office at the church. We discussed marriage and he offered us one piece of advice. "if you argue, never go to bed without making out" , now both of us heard him but didnt say anything till we left his office and looked at each other and said "did he tell us to make out?". We know he meant make up but but it became a wonderful joke between us that an old minister told us to "make out"  and now it sometimes it becomes a great way to end an arguement when one of us jokingly says well "lets make out now cause Reg told us too". He made our wedding day so special and I am thankful everyday that he was able to be there and perform our ceremony. He created one of the most memorable moments of the day for me. When I started down the aisle, Carl wasnt facing me, all I kept thinking was, "oh he is nervous and cant turn around, he is missing this" all of a sudden I see Rev Reg nod his head and Carl turned and looked at me, all I could hear was "WOW". Later Carl told me that Reg had told him to face him and he would tell him when to turn and face me, thank you Reg for creating that special moment for me. Another cute memory we have is that he had our names written on a piece of paper in side his Bible so he wouldnt forget our names during the ceremony.

during our wedding rehersal
I feel so blessed that he was there to marry Carl and I. We were truly lucky to have him perform the ceremony and bless our marriage.

He played Santa at the church Christmas party. He always called everyone his "Brothers and Sisters" and he loved to sing, always made us sing a hymm a second time if he thought we didnt give it enough effort, and he loved the song "Jesus Loves Me"When he gave sermons at church he would remove his watch and set in on the pulpit in front of him so he wouldnt preach too long. His sermons were always about not fearing death, how wonderful it would be to go Home and be with his beloved wife again. He taught me not to fear death, to have faith in God, and to have a passion for everything I  do.

So today with the passing of the man who taught me those things, maybe I will "make out " with my husband and sing "Yes, Jesus loves Me" with as much passion as Rev Reg did. I pray that he is happy at the foot of His Father today holding the hand of his beloved Monica and smiling down on all of us. I was so blessed to have met him, learned from him and have had him made an impact on my life. Thank you God! See you some day Rev Reg!


Friday, March 4, 2011

Ways to Simplify Your Life

"The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak"-Hans Hoffman

Life can be incredibly stressful. But only if we let it. But when we simplify our lives we are able to slow down and enjoy each moment. By slowing down we can be present in each moment of life and we are able to give the things that matter  our full attention.

Here are some ways that you can start to simplify your life:
1.Turn off your cell phone
2 Ask for help
3 Create a stable sleep pattern
4 Have defined goals
5 Limit your computer time
6 Get a grasp on your finances
7 Be Honest
8 Keep an open mind
9 Clear Clutter
10 Create a weekly Meal Plan
11 Check email only twice a day
12 Read your Bible
13 Drink lots of water
14 Get outside and breath in some fresh air
15 Cherish the little things
16 Do something you love
17 Meditate
18 Be understanding and forgive others
19 Be optimistic
20 Focus on one thing at a time
21 Smile more
22 Get yourself ready each night before the next day
23 Let go of the idea that everything has to be perfect
24 We all make mistakes, learn from them, move on
25 Laugh more
26 Apologize
27 Write in a journal daily
28 Cut out negative experiences and people
29 Create a Wish List of your dreams and goals
30 Learn to say NO
31 Dedicate time each day as "Me" time
32 Be YOU, dont fake it

There are countless more ways to simplify your life. Create your own list and go through it and work it. We are all different, so what works for one wont work for another. The key is to TAKE ACTION, simplify your life today, you wont regret it!

I would love to know what is on your list to simplify your life, please feel free to share!


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Sweet Potato Biscuits

We love biscuits in our house. There isnt a soup or stew that is served without them. Recently I decided to try sweet potato biscuits and now they have become a favorite, they are easy to make and a great way to use sweet potato leftovers(if there is such a thing!) So here is the recipe, hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

You will need:

1 cup sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed
2 cups flour
6 tbsp butter
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of nutmeg and ginger
3 tbsp brown sugar
2/3 cup buttermilk(if too dry add more)

Sift flour, baking powder, soda, ginger and nutmeg together. Add sugar, cut in butter, make a well in the centre and add mashed potatoes and buttermilk. Mix and knead a few times, roll out and cut with biscuit cutter, put on a cookie sheet close together. Bake at 400 for 10-12 minutes.

Serve warm with butter or maple butter! Enjoy!


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Meal Plans and Grocery Lists

I think the best way to save time, stress and money is to make a meal plan.

Do you always hear "What's for dinner?
Do you make frequent trips to the grocery store?
Do you find yourself eating out alot?

If you answered yes to these questions than meal planning maybe something you need to try. If you have never meal planned before, it may seem like a daunting task but once you get into the groove, it will become easier and fun...I promise!

Here are some easy steps to help you get started:
1.Decide on the length of your meal plan, depending on what works for your family and your budget. and whether you are going to plan for all 3 meal, or just some of them. I do mine for 2 weeks at a time because Carl gets paid every two weeks and  I plan mostly dinners, and all weekend meals.
2.Get a blank calender, a worksheet or blank paper and write out what works for you. Below are some examples.

3. Make a list of your families favorite meals. There are certain things we like to eat on a regular basis, like pizza, speghetti, nachos and chicken wraps, so I include these on my meal plan on a regular basis. We actually have certain nights that we always have these favorite meals, like Friday night is always pizza night at our house. Its a fun way to create traditions.
4. Search for new recipes you want to try, you may want to pick one night a week where you try the new recipes, you never know.. ..your family might love it and it could become one of your regular meals.
5.Write out your meal plan, making a grocery list at the same time of ingredients you need to make these meals.
6.Once you have your ingredients on your grocery list, write down items for snacks, and if you didnt make a plan for all meals, write down what you need for breakfasts and/or lunches.
7.When you do go to the grocery store, stick to only what you have written down on your list. This will save you money!!
8.If you have to... try to only go to the store once in between major shopping trips to pick up fresh items.
9..Be flexible, things may come up, switch nights if you have to, its ok!
10.Post your meal plan on the fridge or wherever is convenient for you, this way your family can see it and they wont have to ask  "Whats for Dinner??" and neither will you!

I hope this helps