Happy New Year’s Eve!
          Yes, today is the eve of a new Liturgical year. The house has been “ready” for a week but am I ready? I don’t mean have I finished making all my Christmas gifts, because that is easy to answer “yes”! I do mean, is my heart ready? Are my mind and soul and spirit ready? Hmm, maybe???
          As Advent begins my work around Day Camps continues to shrink inwards as there is no point in attempting to engage churches in planning for summer ministry nor is it easy to convince young people to give serious thought about short-term missions next July. At least this year I have a perfect excuse to immerse myself in Advent and Christmas albums as I attempt to choose the perfect Liturgical Dance piece, right now I‘m considering “O Come Divine Messiah” from this one!
         There is also no point in working hard to get the CTM Advent and Christmas newsletter published in a timely fashion. Thursday morning Jessica came over and showed me a bunch of templates one of which I selected and we are now only missing 2 articles before the document can go through  final proofreading and then be published. During the coming week it will also be necessary to send around another reminder to all those writing Manual Chapters as those are supposed to be submitted by December 31st.  But I’m getting ahead of myself…
        This past week has seen quite a bit of Newsletter work, Wednesday Words was published  (you can scroll down below this post and read it) and some work was also done on our 2018 Day Camps promo bookmark. There are plans for one of our committee members to give a presentation to a group of youth leaders in Toronto early in 2018 so we really want to have the bookmark ready to go in plenty of time.
     Outside of office hours I’ve still found (very) late autumn leaves to sweep up in the garden, a good deal of progress has been made on Jillian’s wedding gift, Christmas baking continues apace and there were two super early mornings helping with my Godson and his siblings and walking them to school.
    It is a good job I’m an early riser even on the weekend since this morning there was a knock on the door at 8am and it was the new handyman, Mario, coming to fit my new screen door. A screen door in December in Montreal does sound pretty ridiculous but since the old door has been broken for nearly three years the prospect of having it replaced, even in the winter, is pretty exciting!!! He actually did not finish the job today because, being an old house, the door frame is not a standard size so Mario will be back during the week and will take the door to his home workshop to complete the adjustments before fixing it permanently in place.  He is also going to stabilise a wobbly fencepost, which has been leaning precariously into the lane beside my house. He seems to be a very kind and competent person but I must confess to having had a little cry after he left since he pointed out so many issues around the house that he feels need to be dealt with (and that was only on the exterior!)  When St. Matthew’s closed I felt very strongly that the CTM office was meant to move here and that God would provide a way forward for me to stay here. On good days I certainly still feel that way but then the seeds of doubt return and start “sprouting” along with a whole bunch of “what ifs?” and dark clouds gather.
       So am I ready for Advent? Well not exactly 😟 All the more reason to play all that wonderful inspiring music, to listen to some great Advent Reflection podcasts and Liturgies, to pour over my stack of Advent devotional books and of course to spend time in prayer. Another Advent has arrived, and I am still here in this home. God is in charge, and Jesus is coming, I shall do my best to be ready for Him 😊
     Before I go to rescue a batch of gingersnaps from possible incineration in the oven we need a recipe!
     Last Wednesday Jillian’s fiancé joined us unexpectedly for dinner. I made Lemon Sponge Pudding for dessert. This is a very old Mennonite recipe, so simple and cosy for a cold evening 😊.
Lemon Sponge Pudding
  • 3 Tbsps. butter
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 2 Tbsps. flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • juice and grated rind of 1 lemon
Combine flour, sugar and salt. Add butter and rub into mixture. Add beaten egg yolks, lemon juice and rind and beat well. Add milk and beat until smooth. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff and fold into batter. Pour into a greased casserole  and stand in a shallow pan of hot water. Bake in a preheated 350º oven for 40 minutes, serve warm.
Serves 3 or 4.

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