Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Retreating - Jesus style


 From Joy's desk to you ...

How did Jesus retreat?  What was his style?  In Scripture it talks about Jesus and how he withdrew to a quiet place to spend time with His Father.  Period.  It doesn't talk about taking food with him.  It doesn't talk about going to a local guest inn.  It just talks about Jesus withdrawing - taking time away - to spend time with His Father.  If I let my imagination wander, I can't help but think - Father?  Were you visible to your Son during this time?  Did the rocks hear a conversation between Father and Son?  Jesus - did you make yourself a little place to lay down and just rest, knowing your Father was with you.

I love reading about Jesus retreating because it just underscores for me once again, the importance of stepping out of the hustle and bustle of life to be with the Father.  I always wonder why we think we don't need to retreat.

Years and years ago - what seems like another lifetime - when I was a daycare director, working full-time, studying "on the side" (at one time I was taking a two online courses, from Athabasca U, Lethbridge College, attending a course at U of M and also RRC) and as well I was doing church volunteering .. it was a crazy time of life - literally was the beginning of my "undoing" and if I could go back, I would not have done it this way!  HOWEVER during the early years, my good friend Sherryl encouraged me to retreat and build it into my months.  SO that is when I began retreating.  I went to St. Ben's.  Sometimes just for a day.  Often for one night or two.  I remember those early retreats, one in particular where I just wanted to grab a 15 minute nap - which turned into an hour ...  I remember waking up and feeling like I had wasted my precious time there.  But in spending time talking with the LORD about it, He just let me know that "resting" was exactly what I needed.

Breathing in - breathing out.
Stepping out of the traffic of life - to JUST BE.

This is what we are about.  This is what our ministry provides - the space to step out and just be.  I have often had people come in through the doors, and tell me they (upon entry) experience a peace that they can not put into words.  I can tell you what it is - it is the presence of the Holy Spirit.
I do not take this for granted, and I know that even those who come with no faith background or knowledge have expressed this sense of overwhelming peace.   I believe it has to do with the early years - this time 10. years ago when we asked people to come and walk and pray - and rain on the place with prayer.  As we built - we prayed, others prayed, some drove around the loop and prayed while others walked through the house praying as we worked.  The prayers and the presence of the Holy Spirit inhabit the place.  I know that.  I experience that outpouring as well.  Thank you LORD.

We offer the setting.  The place to come and Just BE.  To be still and experience the presence of God.
We don't know what Jesus did during his retreat - but we know he retreated - and that is good enough for me!!  

I am attaching our video once again - and hope that you will share it with others.  Maybe YOU want to come!  Email today to womenrefreshed@gmail.com

With love and thanksgiving,

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Evening of Celebration and Giving : A Time to Dream

We would love to invite you to attend our 4th Annual Gala.  

Why do we do this?  Since we are a non-profit, we rely on fundraising.  Thus - the gala!!  

Perhaps YOU would like to join us!  The tickets are $100 per person, with everything over the cost of the meal being tax receiptable.  

We are also gladly speaking with anyone who would want to sponsor a table, and fill it with your friends OR perhaps you can't attend, but youwould like to donate toward the event but not fill a table. 

If you would like to sponsor - donate - or buy tickets - then Phoebe would love to talk with you - you can reach her at celebratethewell@gmail.com

So what do you think?  Would you join us?
We look forward to hearing from you!

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Country Mouse Scones (Gluten FREE and the 2nd most asked for recipe)

Country Mouse Scones 
Joy writes:

I have been asked for this recipe more times than I can count, and so I decided to put it here, on the blog/ministry site so that others can bake them if they want.

Now, I have to say that the "original" recipe was posted on my daughter's blog called TRYING l TASTING l EXPERIMENTING & ENJOYING and the post was called "Emily & Ashley's Amazing Bowen Island Scones.    The original recipe is delicious - and Ashley makes this recipe often.
However, when I started the ministry, I decided that I would just substitute some things.  LITTLE DID I KNOW that you just "CAN'T" do that with gluten free baking!!  But, I didn't know that, and well, don't EVER tell a Thomas-Klassen that you can't do something!!

ANYHOW, I did substitute - the first thing, I substituted the spelt flour for brown rice flour ... and the rest is history.  I can not tell you HOW often I have made these for NON GLUTEN FREE people to enjoy!  Perhaps some of you have eaten them and you didn't even know!

My daughter told me I should just name my recipe since it is so different from hers.  It is a bit of a teasing in my family as I have a blog www.thoughtsfromacountrymouse.blogspot.com and my kids lovingly call me "country mouse" at times SO she suggested I call it Country Mouse Scones.

So here is the recipe:  Country Mouse Scones by Joy :)

1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
1/4 cup GLUTEN FREE Oats
1/4 cup ground almonds
1/4 cup sugar   (I have used brown, white, and coconut palm sugar and it is all good)
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup olive oil (or I have used grape seed oil)
1/4 cup chocolate chips or more!!
1 tsp vanila
2/3 cup fresh cranberries (or other fresh berries, or even frozen berries)
                                         ** I love the tartness of cranberries, and use them often
1/4 cup hemp hearts
1/4 cup almonds
1/4 cup ground chia seeds (or whole)
1/4 cup coconut
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup walnuts or pecans
about 1 cup buttermilk or yogurt (I prefer buttermilk, but both work)

**other options:  you could also use raisins, craisens, and also I have cut up dried apricots and used them

REGARDING THE BUTTERMILK OR YOGURT - you may have to add more depending on other things you may add in - or whether you don't add in everything I did.  Start with 1/2 cup and work from there.  The mixture should be workable- wet but not sticky.

I put all dry ingredients in a bowl, and stir it all together.  Add the oil, vanilla and buttermilk or yogurt.  Stir it together with a fork.  Once it is mixed together, turn out onto a cookie sheet.  If you want, use parchment, however it is not necessary.  Pat it down into a circle about 7 inches in diameter.  I then take a straight edge baking utensil (can't remember the name lol) and but it like a pie - into 8 sections.  I sprinkle sugar on top.  It's ready to put into the oven!!
Bake at 400 degrees C for about 20 minutes.  Since ovens vary - check at 15 min.   It will look nice and golden on top and ready to cool and enjoy! 

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Unless a seed falls to the ground and dies ...

It is fall.  Well, in Manitoba it feels more like an early winter.  The other day we were planting about 18 trees in the yard, the back third that is yet to be completed.  Working with wet mud and cold water made for 4 cold hands!! (Alvin and I).   However, in the cold, and the wet, and the wind I have seen the beauty as things have died, and are hunkering down for fall!

One of those sights was this - my milkweed plants.  They were beautiful all summer - and produced monarchs (5 of which I raised indoors after taking the caterpillars inside, and watching the process!). Then I returned them to their place of birth in the yard!!

The other day I saw how they had pods, which had dried and twisted open, and the seeds were tumbling out and flying.  Unless a seed falls to the ground and dies ...
What an example of faith - and how we are called to die to ourselves and let the Saviour do his work.
Oh LORD work in us!!

Please keep us in your prayers - as people come and go.  As women and men alike allow me/us into their lives.  We hear stories.  Some are really hard stories, but we see where God has been in them.  We appreciate your support - in prayer, in your presence as you walk with us, in any volunteer work, and definitely in finances!  We could not do this without you.  This ministry is way bigger than the two of us - and we continue to open our hands and allow God to do HIS work.  This is HIS.  TO GOD BE THE GLORY!!

Sunday, May 20, 2018


Our 3rd Evening of Celebration and Giving gala was a huge success.  We had about 175 people filling the room at the Niakwa Golf and Country Club on April 19, 2018

We are very thankful for those who so generously helped to sponsor the evening.  Please go to the top of our site and click on FRIENDS OF THE WELL.

We also showed our video for the very first time publicly.  We are so pleased with the work that Matt did, bringing the video together.  So PLEASE take a look.  Again, go to the tab that says VIDEO.

We are excited about SPRING having arrived and seeing the many different shades of green in our yard!  God knows how to show off HIS creation!  Here are a few pics!  ENJOY!

love the buds that are happening on the trees and shrubs

This was one of my sister's first bikes! It got a new paint job and will find a place in the garden.

The evergreens are in bud!

I always stand amazed at the beauty of the garden!  

Lots in process

as I said ... lots

thankful for the work and help of Maxine Gacek, and the ongoing work of Joy's husband Alvin

These got planted in 2010... and are now a very nice windbreak of evergreens!

Maxine has been doing some work on this berm ...  lots of thought behind the process!

This is a picture of the OUTDOOR SANCTUARY that is going to be built
in a couple week!  We are excited about this.  Timbers and metal are ordered.
Now just looking for some old doors!

Monday, December 18, 2017


Mark your calendars and save the date for our annual Evening of Celebration & Giving which will take place on Thursday, April 19th, 2018.

Stay tuned for more details about the evening, as well as information about purchasing tickets or sponsoring the event!