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Showing posts from December, 2008

Thirty-five Years of Marriage--Part 2

Continued from "Thirty-five Years of Marriage--Part 1"


God seemed to be telling me to return to Tom but surely I wasn't hearing correctly! I fought long and hard with God about that until finally I put the whole thing to a test--a test that was so weighted in favour of what I wanted, that it could only be God if it went the other way.

It went the other way. I was so mad at God! Why? Why? Why?

Amazingly, when I showed up at Tom's door, pregnant, and told him that God seemed to want me to return to him, he was so eager he wanted me to move in right then--even when I told him how I really didn't want to. He didn't care. He wanted me back, child and all.

As I drove the six hours back to Regina, I cried and railed at God for sending me back to hell. I would obey him and return to Tom but my thoughts were defiant and angry. Strangely, things began to change in me as I drove until I was singing praises to God for what he had done. I was actually looking forward to my…

Wesley's New Year Prayer

I am shamelessly borrowing a post from "Throw Me a Bone," a blog by Dan Rutherford--a good friend, at one time one of my pastors and now pastoring in Victoria B.C. He writes:
The founder of the Methodist movement - John Wesley called all of his people to make an annual covenant prayer to remind them of the basis on which they were to live. He adapted a prayer for this purpose and instructed all people to renew these vows each year.

Look at these words, make them yours, ask God how He would use you in the months to come as together we seek to see His Church grow into greater Christlikeness.
I am no longer my own, but thine.Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.Put me to doing, put me to suffering.Let me be employed for thee or laid aside for thee,exalted for thee or brought low for thee.Let me be full, let me be empty.Let me have all things, let me have nothing.I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal.And now, O glorious and blessed Go…

Christmas Eve at Winnipeg Centre Vineyard

This is my first Christmas at my new church (been attending for a week shy of a year) and I had no idea what to expect for the Christmas Eve service. For years our family has gone to the service at another church and have always enjoyed it--the readings by candlelight, music by classically trained singers and, of course, lots of people we know and love. I love my new church enough that it wouldn't matter to me what the service was like, I would be happy to be there, but I wasn't sure about Tom and the boys. How would they adjust to a service, held in a 100-year-old (probably older) tractor factory in the worst part of town, that would be designed to be meaningful to all who would attend--prostitutes and homeless, little children and middle class professionals? It must be quite the job trying to have something that makes sense to all.

Church was awesome. Absolutely simple and profound. We have no organ, piano or choir but the "band" of keyboard, accordion and flu…

Thirty-five Years of Marriage--Part 1

Thirty-five years ago today, I stood on the brink of adulthood, certain I had all the answers and life would go on happily forever after. It was a huge shock when, the very next day, my crystal dream castle came shattering down, filling my soul with shards. Or maybe the shards were already there and I was unaware until things got shaken up a bit.

Tom and I married on my 18th birthday, two days before Christmas. We chose this time because his mother and brothers and my sisters had long distances to travel and we wanted them with us for this occassion. I hadn't realized how that would interfere with a honeymoon of exclusive time for just us. Tom wanted to spend time with his family, who he hadn't seen for a couple of years, and it was Christmas--definitely a family time--but I had my mind set on the ideal wedding, honeymoon and marriage and this was not fitting. I got so angry I gave him back the ring and stomped out. It's easy to see that drama objectively now, but at…

But Why?

I haven't been posting here very much lately. Things have been very stressful lately and for some perverse reason, those are the very times I find it hardest to come into my prayer room and spend undistracted time with God. Perverse because they are the times when I need him the most. And, stranger still, I love these times with God so why do I avoid them? Why? Why? Why?

Which reminds me that my mom was talking to my grades five and six teacher the other day. He called me the "But Why?" girl. I used to annoy him and my classmates by forever asking that question. Finally, to shut me up, he told the class that if we follow that question long enough, the answer we arrive at is, "Because God." We students experimented with that for a long time and found it to be true.

Merry Christmas, Henry (and May) Welch!

Second Book Signing

Debbie will be at The Light Christian Bookstore this Saturday, December 27, to sign copies of her new book, Searching for Love: One Woman's Spiritual Journey through Same-Sex Attraction.

The store is part of the strip mall just south of Bishop Grandin on Pembina Hwy., tucked in a little corner--the same space where Blessings used to be.

The book signing isn't meant to replace a book launch but I haven't yet been able to get a book launch organized and The Light Christian Bookstore invited me to do a second book signing this weekend, so I decided to take them up on that. I hope you can come.


Date: Saturday, December 27, 2008
Time: 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Location: The Light Christian Bookstore
Street: 2077 Pembina Highway
City/Town: Winnipeg, MB

View Map

Email: debbiehaughland@gmail.com

First Book Signing

I wasn't sure what to expect at the book signing. I've been to book launches but never to a book signing. A tall round table was set up for me not far from the cashier, with a tall stool to sit on. I could see whoever came through the entrance and, being up high, I could see across the store. It was "Customer Appreciation Day" so a hostess was offering cookies, coffee and apple cider to those in the store.

Not too many people I knew came by but, truly, on the last Saturday before Christmas would I want something else added to my to do list? Nope. But I had a good time.

Before going, I spent a bit of time reading some googled tips about book signings. Most of what I read assumed the event was planned weeks in advance, but I had only three days to prepare. One tip was very useful and I used it a lot. I think most people would have walked past my table quite oblivious to my presence so I would try to catch someone's eye and then, holding out a book, would ask …

Book Review--"...was hooked immediately"

An awesome book!, December 18, 2008 By Linda L. Dodd "leah777" (Missouri)

I purchased this book recently, started reading it and was hooked immediately. It's so well written, but it's so real and heartfelt right from the beginning.

This is a very insightful look into the healing power of God and what he can do with a broken and confused life when one turns that life over to him. Without going into all the lurid details of the relationship, the author gives the reader hope for healing of ANY PROBLEM, no matter how big or how small. She brings to life a God of our hearts who longs to heal the deepest parts of our being, and in doing so frees us to be truly his, showering on us all the affection and love that we have longed for all of our lives.

It doesn't matter what your struggle is in life, and most of us have them, this book will help lead you down a path of healing and restoration with the living God.

Review at Amazon.com

Book Signing at The Light Christian Bookstore

Debbie Haughland Chan's New Book:

Searching for Love: One Woman's Spiritual Journey through Same-Sex Attraction

Debbie will be at The Light Christian Bookstore this Saturday to sign copies of her new book, Searching for Love: One Woman's Spiritual Journey through Same-Sex Attraction.

The store is part of the strip mall just south of Bishop Grandin on Pembina Hwy., tucked in a little corner--the same space where Blessings used to be.

The book signing isn't meant to replace a book launch but I haven't yet been able to get a book launch organized and The Light Christian Bookstore invited me to do a book signing this weekend, so I decided to take them up on that. I hope you can come.


Date: Saturday, December 20, 2008
Time: 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Location: The Light Christian Bookstore
Street: 2077 Pembina Highway
City/Town: Winnipeg, MB

View Map

Email: debbiehaughland@gmail.com

Joy to Elmwood!

Tom and I were invited to the Christian Family Centre's Christmas banquet tonight by the congregation's Brazilian pastor, Elton DaSilva and his wife Ana. I've come away impressed by a number of things.

The congregation is warm, welcoming and very much like a family. It was cool to see everyone gathered together, standing in the foyer singing Christmas carols.

What was particularly moving was to see the Batende family* in attendance. Six siblings, refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo who watched their parents massacred in the middle of the night, are celebrating their first Christmas in Canada. Christian Family Centre is not their home church but they live in the neighbourhood and someone made the effort to include them.

The interior of the church is beautiful--far beyond what I would expect from a small congregation. It appears to be a work in progress, but what has been finished so far is very high class. I'm guessing the congregation has a few carpentry…

Stories

Most of my writing here is spiritually exploratory--thoughts that come to me mostly during my prayer times. But I've been having fun writing some stories and decided to give them special attention.

June 24, 2013
My Story (not exactly a "fun" story, but a story nonetheless)

February 6, 2009
He Wants Me!
Look, Daddy!

Added December 5, 2008
The Oaken Door
The Ring
Enveloped
Stepping Stone Oases
Here is My Warrior!


Apology to Subscribers

Please forgive all the posts I've made today. I'm reorganizing my website to make it more streamlined and the sidebar less busy. The posts added today are what the new links in the sidebar will connect to. I will update them from time to time as needed. Thank you for your patience as I work on this.

Periodicals Read in 2008

Reader's Digest
National Geographic
Winnipeg Women (it comes to the door free of charge but has some great, Winnipeg-focused articles. The men's version is on the flip side of the magazine)
Scientific American (my son has a subscription and leaves it in the bathroom)

Websites of Interest

March 13, 2009
Hackrifice My son Erik's site for footbag. Footbaggers around the world keep tuned to this site and when he was in Prague last summer for the World competition, competitors came up to him to say things like, "You're my hero!"

Mons Tunes My son Mons is an awesome musician. You can listen to (and download) some of his music here.

Faith Journal My son Mikael has been documenting his journey with God.

Mikael's Misadventures Mikael has had a lot of adventures--enough to make a mother cringe. But he is a good story teller.

December 5, 2008
All the King's Horses Jan was a lesbian in a long-term relationship with the woman she loved until she had a dream. Her story is gripping and worth reading.

Winnipeg Centre Vineyard My church since January 2008.

Tomfooleries My husband Tom occasionally writes in his blog.

My Prairie Home My son Konrad writes in his blog less often than his father.

Living in Nepal A childhood friend and her husband took their family t…

Fiction Read in 2008

The following list is not complete, because I only started to keep track in June, rather than January. The list is longer than that for non-fiction because I can read fiction so much faster.


Added January 2, 2009:

Salem Falls by Jodi Picoult
The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult
I'm disappointed that some of Picoult's books are steamier than I prefer. I figured that since Plain Truth wasn't steamy, neither would the others be. She's a very good writer though.

My thoughts on The Tenth Circle.

The Promise by Ted Dekker
A very dear friend gave this to me for Christmas.

Added December 5, 2008:
Playing for Pizza by John Grisham
Though the story is full of football, which I don't really understand, I loved learning about Parma, Italy. Interestingly, I had just finished reading the book when Mons received a package from a Parmesan friend he met this spring on his trip to some of Mediterranean countries.

Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult
A newborn baby is found dead in an Amish milking barn.…

Non-Fiction Read in 2008

Currently Reading (December 5, 2008):
Fire Begets Fire by Dennis Ignatius
Dennis Ignatius, former Malaysian Ambassador to Canada (and other countries before) was the guest speaker at the Manitoba Prayer Breakfast. He is a man who is passionate and on fire for God.

Added December 5, 2008:
The Transformation of the Inner Man by John and Paula Sandford
It looks like there may be an up-dated edition here.
My favourite chapters were the ones on homosexuality and on parental identification.

I am Hutterite: The Fascinating True Story of a Young Woman's Journey to Reclaim her Heritage by Mary-Ann Kirkby
There are a lot of Hutterite colonies on the Canadian prairies and many close to Winnipeg. My mother married an ex-Hutterite in 1984 (now deceased). He was a very gentle man who scrabbled for a living selling vacuum cleaners once he, his first wife and their eight children left the colony with only the clothes they were wearing. I knew him as a man who took great care of my mother, a school pr…

About the Author

DEBBIE HAUGHLAND CHAN
WINNIPEG, MANITOBA, CANADA

I'm married (35 years in December 2008) with four grown sons. I love my city (Winnipeg) and my country (Canada) and promote them both to whoever will listen. God (through Jesus Christ) is the biggest part of my life. I am learning to let him take control of all areas--though I do better at this some times more than others.

I have written a book that's recently been published about part of my journey with God. In it I tell how God confronted me with the same-sex attraction issues I've struggled with all my adult life and how he led me through them to a deeper and more meaningful relationship with him. God is amazing—his forgiveness, his love, his movement in our lives when we allow him and so much more. I suspect God will never run out of things to teach me or ways to make me grow and that’s a good thing (though often very painful).

I suppose I can say that what gives me the greatest pleasure in life is telling others about…

"Because I Err!"

"I like them to talk nonsense. That's man's one privilege over all creation. Through error you come to the truth! I am a man because I err! You never reach any truth without making fourteen mistakes and very likely a hundred and fourteen." --Fyodor Dostoevsky (Russian novelist)

The Oaken Door

She stands, pounding on the thick, rounded, oaken door with both fists. She pounds some more and then more again. It does not open. No one cares. She’s all alone.

Three look down. “Why don’t we open it for her? We say, ‘Ask! Seek! Knock!’ but she’s been doing this for years and the door stays closed.”

“It’s not yet time.”

“Not yet time? She’s lived more than half her life. When?”

“Watch!”

The little girl sits on the unfinished wooden stairs, away from the adults, holding a book she treasures but cannot read. She imagines the stories of the pictures, fills them with herself and wonders.

“She is so peaceful in her hiding place. But look! Someone is angry. He is grabbing the book from her and sending her outside. That’s not right! She’s not bothering anyone. Why take it?”

Unseen, but deeply felt, a giant eagle swoops to the little girl, grabs her chest with its talons and takes her organs as it flees. The Three can hear her thoughts: “I’m not allowed to want things. Anything th…

Do I Matter?

God, she isn’t interested in listening to me when I want to try to understand myself or resolve issues of the past. She’s not only disinterested, but flatly refuses. But this is a big part of my life right now. Her shutting me down (or not even letting me start up) feels like an attack against me. Everything in me churned and twisted when she repeated her stance: "Any further time I would spend on it would be time wasted; it's all so futile and frustrating for me when I listen to you."

I feel abandoned, not wanted, my stuff isn’t important. I listen to her and engage with her without judgement, but she won’t do the same for me. So what kind of friend is she? Does it all have to go according to her agenda? I’m not wanted. I’m not loved. I’m not valued. What’s important to me doesn’t matter. She might as well say she doesn’t want to be my friend because it feels like it amounts to the same thing.

I have to own my feelings. It’s my problem that I feel abandoned, …