Friday, December 9, 2011

Weeping over the Mail

It has been a couple weeks since we were overwhelmed with support of people who love us and pray for us.  Sometimes being overwhelmed is a good thing!

Today however, I was again overwhelmed to tears!  I went to the mailbox to get the mail and when I arrived home, I went through it and pulled out two letters that were self-addressed to Women Refreshed at the Well.  (we had done this for the open house).

I opened one of them first, and was sweetly blessed by the written note along with a substantial donation to the ministry.  The words blessed us!  They were an encouragement and affirmation of our call to this ministry.

The writer penned "Our Prayer for you is that the promise of John 7: 37-39 will be fulfilled in a wonderful, abundant and continuous blessing to many."

John 7:37-39

The Message (MSG)

 37-39On the final and climactic day of the Feast, Jesus took his stand. He cried out, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Rivers of living water will brim and spill out of the depths of anyone who believes in me this way, just as the Scripture says." (He said this in regard to the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were about to receive. The Spirit had not yet been given because Jesus had not yet been glorified.)

Then I opened the next envelope and once again I was overwhelmed to see another very substantial donation.

So overwhelmed by the two - that I wept.  Sometimes I will admit, I ask God if He is really sure that we are up to this! Sometimes I still have moments where I am overwhelmed by feeling inadequate.  Sometimes I am overwhelmed at the enormity of what He has called us to do, or at the uncertainty of it all.  Me ... the one who is a combination of "flying by the seat of my pants but wants my ducks in a row" type of woman.  Me - the one who so often feels so unqualified for such a mission as what He has called us to do!

We have been blessed again and again.  Alvin came upstairs for coffee and I read him the note and showed him the cheques.  He said, "just when we wonder where money will come from, we get a cheque in the mail."

We (Alvin, my sweet husband and builder) are overwhelmed with thankfulness!  Words are inadequate.  But our hearts overflow!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Open House reflections!

We had the open house and Alvin and I were completely overwhelmed by the support of family and friends.  Being that I was in my "boot" still (due to my fall down a couple steps) I was basically dependent on everyone.  I really do have to say that I could not done most of "my" stuff without my daughter Ashley, who is so efficient at multi-tasking and also administrative stuff.

AND to add more - she baked about 150 cupcakes for the event! Audrey (our friend who lives around the corner from us, graciously baked a few too)

The week of the open house, things were a flurry of activity at the house.  The floor in the sanctuary and then the pine flooring of the house was being laid.  Lights were being put up (at least some of the one that the girls and I had purchased).  The gas line was being inspected so that we could run the gas fireplace.  While it doesn't have the much-loved smell of burning wood, I am going to LOVE the convenience of just turning it on with a switch.

During the week some of our friends also helped out, taking over on things after the boys finished for the day.  Willy and Elmer joined in some of that work.  Jeannette and Phoebe helped clean to get ready for the event.  Jeannette - your organization skills came in very handy in the lower level!  Betty was so willing to take on the food part (with great easy and accuracy!)  Jeannette picked up the stuff for the hot apple cider!  I just could not have done any of it without you all.

And then the morning of the event, Kim came and helped make icing and decorate the cupcakes with us in the morning.  (another flurry of activity believe me!)

And then our board, who graciously came, and mingled and did some "tours" with people and answered questions and just were there to greet!  Thank you all of you!!  We also could not do this without you all.

It was quite the event.  We are so blessed.

Here are some pics from the event!

cupcakes galore

Preparing the day before the open house

Betty was in charge of the other goodies!

Many good conversations happened around apple cider and coffee!

family and friends!

Betty and Phoebe sharing a moment!

a giant cupcake on top with the logo!
(logo created by Lorie Mayer!)

my brother Tim and sister-in-law Jody, hand out
our newsletters and talk with people about donation opportunities

some favuorite women in my life!
I have been prayed for a lot by these two!!

my office - with my art that I purchased from Faye Hall!

we hung pictures around the place - that show the journey 

looking down from the second floor

not finished yet, but this is the "Sanctuary"

looking out the window of "SPRING"

we will gladly take Canadian Tire money!

We want to thank you ALL for coming!  We are able to send out the newsletter via email (current one as well as future newsletters).

We thank each one that gave a donation toward the ministry.  We ARE a recognized charitable organization and can give TAX RECEIPTS.

If you would like to be on our mailing list either via email, or snail mail.  Or are considering a donation for the 2011 tax year - we would love to hear from you.

Email us at:

And our mailing address is:    Box 38116
                                                      East St. Paul, MB

Thanks so much!! We covet  your prayers as we continue along this journey, and we WILL keep you informed when it is time for our ribbon-cutting grand opening.  The Open House was just a way to show you where we were at this time!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

You're invited to our Open House!

Click on the invitation to enlarge it
We are having an open house so people can come and see how things are progressing. It is a come & go, and we will have some refreshments for you to enjoy.

Sunday, November 20th
5839 Henderson Highway

Come and see us, and bring all your friends! 

Monday, November 7, 2011

snow settles over the land

Today is Monday, November 7th.  Oh where does time go?  It snowed last night so this is the sight of the house from the barn.  There is a thin covering of the white stuff over all.  SNOW.  How the seasons are transitioning before our eyes.  Alvin is very glad that he got the siding down above the garage on Saturday afternoon.  He and our friend Mike F came and gave him a hand, and when they were done, Alvin was breathing much easier.  Now winter could come.  I guess technically winter is not here officially until December, but somehow the snow just seems to BE winter to us!

So the boys are at work inside the house.  It is nice to be in there where it is warm and dry and with lights.  We are very thankful for these things.  It is a much different story than this time last year.  Our boys worked through some very cold cold winter days!

Where are things at?  Well - the first and second floor are nicely painted!  With color names such as HUMBLE, LATTE, ARCTIC WHITE, HYACINTHE, DEJA VU and SIZZLE ... you have to know that this house has taken on a new character of its own!  You will be greeted with warm and inviting colors!  We love the look so far!

Alvin and I, and then Alvin and Willy, worked at assembling the cabinets for the kitchen.  That will be the next big project - getting the kitchen ready!  I can hardly wait.

The pine for the flooring, was ordered and picked up last week!  Another thing that will make the place warm and inviting!

We are still needing work to be done in the lower level, which will house our private suite, but well - it will be done when it's done!  I am not about to put any pressure on my sweet husband to do this ... he puts enough pressure on himself.  God continues to bless the work of their hands, and I am so thankful that thus far, the build has been without incident or accident.  Thank you Lord for your provision and protection thus far!

There is still a lot to be done, but we are so thankful.  The color I chose for the siding takes on a different hue depending on how sunny it is.  It is a navy blue, but often looks more steel blue.  I love it and we have had many compliments.  It will eventually be complete with a nice star by the RED door.  Right now we still have an old temporary door on.

What else can I say?  We are moving along.  We are grateful.  So, as the blanket of snow covers the ground, if you opened the door you would likely hear the music playing, and the sound of three men working!  Day by day, one bit at a time.  Thank you Lord!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Season's Song? What does this have to do with Women refreshed at the well?

Season's Song.  What in the world is Season's Song and WHAT does this have to do with Women refreshed at the well.  ???

Well, here is the story.  When Alvin and I were applying for our building permit, one of the conditions was that we also apply FIRST for a business licence since we had applied for being able to run a bed and breakfast/retreat place.  It was rather frustrating to be totally honest.  Even thought the application fee is not that much - $50 per year for a business permit from the municipality - the biggest issue was that we could not have our building plans approved with the permit to start UNTIL this was done.

As we looked over the information to apply we realized that it was much more complicated than just applying for a permit.  The complicated part is that we (Alvin and I) are putting all of our personal money into building the house.  The way the house is built - the second floor will be totally used for women's bed/breakfast/retreat) as well as the main floor.  Our "private" space is in the lower level (aka the basement) but we will also have a massage therapy room down there, and an exercise room.
SO all of our money is paying for the house to be built, as well as the barn.  WE ARE NOT USING MINISTRY MONEY FOR THIS.

So when we started to investigate and ask people who have the knowledge in this area, we were encouraged to form a business for ourselves and then to "rent space" to the non-profit ministry to operate out of.  (have I lost anyone yet?)  This way also, since it is our home, we can claim some of the expenses of operation.  Yes, it gets murky.  But anyone who rents space for anything would operate in like manner since not every organization or business has the money to build their space for themselves.

As a family, we did things the same way we usually make decisions.  We talked about what to call our business.  I have sat often on the front deck and just listened to creation around me.  That really speaks to me!  God is so good to us - in that He has created such beauty in nature!  The birds that fly overhead. The Blue jays that flit from tree to tree with their loud raucous cawing.  The chickadees that surround the bird feeders and don't rush away when we come close.  I love the whispering of the leaves when the wind blows through them.  This has already been such a wonderful place of retreat for me!

We began to talk about names - names that would capture the essence of nature and the sounds that we hear.  And we decided on Season's Song.  It captures the ideas of Seasons (in our lives as well as in creation) and Song - well that just doesn't need to be explained.  It implies a sound that is beautiful.

I went to the Companies Office and did a name search.  Season's Song was granted to us.  Then I registered it.  YES!

Next step was to go to the RM and ask for a permit - which I did.  I filled it out as best as I could (considering that we were not operating yet and didn't know all the answers to the questions yet) and then I paid some more money.  Within two weeks I got the permit approved and stamped and in the mail.

So, to make a long story short.  Our business is Season's Song, and the non-profit ministry Women refreshed at the well will operate out of Season's Song building!  Is this as clear as mud?

If you need more explanation or info - 
please feel free to email me at

Monday, October 10, 2011

A couple pics from today

Well, the girls and I have selected colors for each room.  Now THAT was some task!  Adam is going to come and begin painting tomorrow so Alvin and I have been covering the windows and doors.  All of a sudden you realize HOW MANY windows there are in the house.  We are covering them because he is spraying the primer on.  Hard to believe we are finally at that point!

Here are a couple pics from today!  This is Thanksgiving Weekend.  I am very thankful that God entrusted this vision for women's retreat ministry to us ... very thankful!  It has been an adventure so far - I can hardly wait to see how it all unfolds.

We praise HIM for all He has done, and is doing, and will do!!
Happy Thanksgiving!

The pics were taken with my ipod and appear to be dark!  Sorry 


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

the art of taping

There is an art to taping drywall.  I have watched a few people do it, but I have to say that I have been amazed at Will, who is doing the drywalling in our place.  I don't think standing up high on scaffolding is something that everyone can do!  But somehow he is making it look easy!

We are at the point where we have to pick up some primer and pick colors.  The upstairs is taped and sanded.  The downstairs is mostly done.  And then .. the lower level (basement) will need Alvin's attention too!

I walked through the house tonight just as the boys were cleaning up outside.  The sun was coming in through the windows and shining on the walls.  I never cease to be amazed at the work of their hands!

Here are some pictures from today.  Alvin was pleased that this afternoon, he and Michael were able to begin doing work on the overhang/roof coming from the sunroom.  They want to shingle so that then they can get ready to do the siding.  I am a little nervous about the color we have chosen .. but I think it will look nice!  Time will tell!!

Here are the pics!

still hauling in gravel

the red looks good in every season

the trusses on the sunroom are beginning to be built

the sun begins to rise this morning with just a hint of red in the sky

the trailer etc in the forefront belongs to our neighbour 

had to zoom in to try to get the sunrise

looking down from the loft, onto our grandson's play structure

more sunrise pics

at the other end of the day - I found the sunroom and the roof overhang over the deck
being built ... the house takes on another look

Will climbs up on this scaffolding to tape the ceiling...

and there was ALOT of taping to be done on the ceiling!

looking at the kitchen

the sun shines through the windows onto the wall

this is upstairs in the sanctuary

looking down from the catwalk - onto the great room

the boys had to insulate the area at the top of the garage - because of the heating/plumbing up to the room
that is located over the garage

the garage is taking shape inside

gravel, gravel and more gravel!