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Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit


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Turning the Hearts of Fathers & Mothers

IMG_0722By Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

Most of us each summer have a desire to get away and be refreshed.  One of our favorite ways to do this each summer is through attending the BC Christian Ashram retreat.  This summer we brought Jim Wilson from Redding California to the Christian Ashram to speak on the theme: Turning the Hearts of Fathers and Mothers.  It is almost impossible to listen to Jim without waking up.  Jim’s messages were so inspiring that we posted them to over 17,000 social media followers on YouTube, Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Instagram. You too can access these video talks through the user name EdHird.

IMG_0906Spiritual refreshing is often described as a form of waking up from sleep.  Jim believes that we are in the early stages of a fourth Great Awakening throughout North America.  Many of us will remember the third Great Awakening during the 1970s and 1980s when over three million young people, including myself, came to personal faith during the Jesus Movement.  Times of awakening are usually unexpected and happen to the least likely people.  I had no intention of ever becoming an Anglican priest until one day I woke up.  In his recently published third book Kingdom in Pursuit, Jim said that “all that we need to do is to stop running away, turn to face Him, receive Him as our life and lifegiver”.  It is easy to run from God IMG_0873and not even realize it.  When I had my awakening in 1972, it was as if a light bulb went on inside.  My whole life, that had been out of focus, came back into focus.   Refocusing our focus is the essence of life-changing repentance.  Refocusing often has to do with small, often incidental changes in our daily life: “His idea of repentance is to seek His face and voice in the still and in the seemingly small.”

At the heart of transformation is awakening to our primary relationships as fathers and mothers with our children.  The Good Book says IMG_0792in Malachi 4 and Luke 1:17 that God will turn the hearts of fathers and mothers back to their children, and the hearts of the children back to their parents.  Our selfishness and busyness often wounds these primary family relationships.  Admitting that we are flawed is a good first step in reawakening a vision of what our families might become.  It takes courage to apologize to our children when we have fallen short as parents.  It takes humility to soften our hearts and forgive our parents when they have disappointed and disillusioned us.  What if we created a culture of open hearts between parents and children so that apologizing and restitution became the norm rather than the exception?  True repentance involves giving up our childishness so that we can embrace true childlikeness.  Only the childlike can be healthy fathers and mothers to our children.

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, BSW, MDiv, DMin

-an article previously published in the Deep Cove Crier/North Shore News

for better for worse-Click to check out our newest marriage book For Better For Worse: discovering the keys to a lasting relationship on Amazon. You can even read the first two chapters for free to see if the book speaks to you.

 

-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form.  Dr. JI Packer wrote the foreword, saying “I heartily commend what he has written.” The book focuses on strengthening a new generation of healthy leaders. Drawing on examples from Titus’ healthy leadership in the pirate island of Crete, it shows how we can embrace a holistically healthy life.

In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook. It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form.  Nook gives a sample of the book to read online.

Indigo also offers the paperback and the Kobo ebook version.  You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook.

To receive a signed copy within North America, just send a $20 cheque (USD/CAN) to ED HIRD, 102 – 15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC, V4A 0A5, Canada.

– In order to obtain a signed copy of the prequel book Battle for the Soul of Canada, please send a $18.50 cheque to ED HIRD, 102 – 15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC, V4A 0A5. For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD.  This can also be done by PAYPAL using the e-mail ed_hird@telus.net . Be sure to list your mailing address. The Battle for the Soul of Canada e-book can be obtained for $4.99 CDN/USD.

-Click to purchase the Companion Bible Study by Jan Cox (for the Battle of the Soul of Canada) in both paperback and Kindle on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca 


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Mothers Are Irreplaceable

 By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

Everyday there are computers being invented that take over more and more of our traditional functions. Many jobs that we take for granted will have totally disappeared within 20 years, due to technological advance. I am convinced that there is one position in life that can never be replaced by advances in technology: the position of mother. Think of your own mother for a moment. What series of machines or computers could ever take her place? What social bureaucracy could ever fill in for a mother’s warmth, caring, and reliability? Thank God for the wonderful gift of women who really care for their sons and daughters. Thank God for the security and rootedness that comes from having a mom who welcomes you home.

The more mature I become, the more I appreciate how much my own late mother has given to me. My sense of well being, of basic trust and confidence are all gifts that have come through the persevering love of my mother. I have counseled people who have been robbed of the gift of a caring mother, and I have seen deep woundedness in the area of basic trust and security. One of the greatest gifts a mother can give her child is the gift of feeling at home. A house that is not a home, no matter how luxurious, is a barren house indeed, I am thankful for my mother giving me the gift of feeling at home in my home. I am thankful for how she  sacrificed time and energy for me in so many countless ways that one can not really measure. Thank God for my mom teaching me what really matters in life, for pointing to values and standards for daily living.

bouquet bunch of flowers flowers gift

Photo by JÉSHOOTS on Pexels.com

Every Mother’s Day I am reminded afresh that I am the recipient of so many wonderful gifts from a wonderful mother. It saddens me how easily I forget to appreciate the many blessings I receive day after day: the gift of sight, the gift of hearing, the gift of family, the gift of a career, the gift of friends, the gift of the trees and the rivers and the mountains. Everywhere I look, life is full of amazing gifts that I so often take for granted. Without my mother having taken the courageous step of giving birth to me, I would have never been able to experience any of these wonderful gifts.

The greatest gift my mom gave me was the gift of her prayers. I believe that I am who I am today, in large part due to her patient loving prayers for me. Even when God was a non issue to me, I know that she never stopped pouring your heart out before the heavenly Father on my behalf. When I was lost and wandering, her prayers redirected me back to the values and standards that I had forgotten, When I was empty and lacking purpose, mom’s prayers rebirthed in me the hope that life still has meaning and significance. Through her prayers, God lit a candle in my darkness. Thank you, God, for my irreplaceable mother.

 

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, BSW, MDiv, DMin

-award-winning author of the book Battle for the Soul of Canada

-previously published in the Deep Cove Crier/North Shore News

for better for worse-Click to check out our newest marriage book For Better For Worse: discovering the keys to a lasting relationship on Amazon. You can even read the first two chapters for free to see if the book speaks to you.

 

-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form.  Dr. JI Packer wrote the foreword, saying “I heartily commend what he has written.” The book focuses on strengthening a new generation of healthy leaders. Drawing on examples from Titus’ healthy leadership in the pirate island of Crete, it shows how we can embrace a holistically healthy life.

In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook. It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form.  Nook gives a sample of the book to read online.

Indigo also offers the paperback and the Kobo ebook version.  You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook.

To receive a signed copy within North America, just send a $20 cheque (USD/CAN) to ED HIRD, 102 – 15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC, V4A 0A5, Canada.

– In order to obtain a signed copy of the prequel book Battle for the Soul of Canada, please send a $18.50 cheque to ED HIRD, 102 – 15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC, V4A 0A5. For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD.  This can also be done by PAYPAL using the e-mail ed_hird@telus.net . Be sure to list your mailing address. The Battle for the Soul of Canada e-book can be obtained for $4.99 CDN/USD.

-Click to purchase the Companion Bible Study by Jan Cox (for the Battle of the Soul of Canada) in both paperback and Kindle on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca 


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Thanks God for my Mom

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

Thanks God for my late mom always being there for me when I’ve needed you.  As I think about Mother’s Day, I remember times as a teenager when I felt confused and discouraged about life, and she was there to listen.  It is only years later that I realize what a tremendous gift that was to me.  There were times as a teenager when I felt embarrassed even to have parents.  I remember how uneasy I felt walking with Mom and Dad at the shopping mall, in case any of my high school acquaintances  would see me.  As a teenager I was so much into proving how independent I was, that I failed to appreciate that one’s family is an irreplaceable gift.  Thank God for my mom being so patient and forgiving with my teenage growing pains.  I really had very little idea how much she was sacrificing in order to give my sisters and me a loving and secure home.  I really did not see mom as a person with her own dreams, fears, and hopes.

It is only years later that I have come to see how much impact children can have on one’s dreams, fears, and hopes.  I will always remember meeting with a young couple who were expecting their first child.  This couple were avid skiers every weekend up at Whistler.  They said to me: “We are thrilled about having a baby, but it’s not going to change anything.”  I thought to myself: “Children don’t change anything….they change everything!”

Gary Smalley and John Trent, well-known authors and family counselors, said that one of the greatest gifts we can give our children is the gift of honour.  Smalley/Trent say that ‘honour’ is a decision we make to place high value, worth, and importance on another person by viewing him or her as a priceless gift and granting him or her a position in our lives worthy of great respect. Thank God for my mom giving me the gift of honour both as a child and an adult.  In so many ways, she showed that she valued me and really cared for me.

I am amazed, as I look back, at all the countless sports activities and clubs she drove me to.  To be honest, I took all her driving for granted.  I just assumed that parents did that kind of thing.  Having been a chauffeur to my own three sons, I realize that taking time to get your children involved in various extra-curricular activities is a real act of love.  Mom and Dad went to countless plays, school assemblies and pageants: not because we were the most talented children in the world, but because she saw her children as priceless treasures.  As a parent, I have been to Christmas school concerts where the concert never seems to start, where every child seems to be playing a different note, and where most spoken communication is muffled and virtually unintelligible.  The redeeming feature of those concerts for me was when one of my sons beamed a big smile from the stage and gives me a wave.  My sons felt honoured if I was there, and very disappointed if I was too busy.  Thank God for my mom never being too busy to come to my concerts.

There were many times that I did not really appreciate my mom’s spirituality…just how important God was to her.  As a teenager, I found church boring, unintelligible, and irrelevant.  So I went skiing at Mount Seymour on Sunday mornings instead.  Thank God for mom not condemning me when I strayed from church.  Thank God for mom never failing to pray for me that I would come to discover Jesus Christ for myself.  I believe that it was her prayers and the prayers of Nana Allen that softened my heart to let Jesus come in.  I have come to believe from personal experience that the persistent prayers of a loving mother are one of the most powerful forces in the universe.

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, BSW, MDiv, DMin

-award-winning author of the book Battle for the Soul of Canada

-previously published in the Deep Cove Crier/North Shore News

for better for worse-Click to check out our newest marriage book For Better For Worse: discovering the keys to a lasting relationship on Amazon. You can even read the first two chapters for free to see if the book speaks to you.

 

-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form.  Dr. JI Packer wrote the foreword, saying “I heartily commend what he has written.” The book focuses on strengthening a new generation of healthy leaders. Drawing on examples from Titus’ healthy leadership in the pirate island of Crete, it shows how we can embrace a holistically healthy life.

In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook. It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form.  Nook gives a sample of the book to read online.

Indigo also offers the paperback and the Kobo ebook version.  You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook.

To receive a signed copy within North America, just send a $20 cheque (USD/CAN) to ED HIRD, 102 – 15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC, V4A 0A5, Canada.

– In order to obtain a signed copy of the prequel book Battle for the Soul of Canada, please send a $18.50 cheque to ED HIRD, 102 – 15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC, V4A 0A5. For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD.  This can also be done by PAYPAL using the e-mail ed_hird@telus.net . Be sure to list your mailing address. The Battle for the Soul of Canada e-book can be obtained for $4.99 CDN/USD.

-Click to purchase the Companion Bible Study by Jan Cox (for the Battle of the Soul of Canada) in both paperback and Kindle on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca 


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Thank God for Loving Mothers

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

Where would we be without our mothers?  Mothers keep the world on track.  Mothers never stop caring.  Mothers never stop giving.

Sometimes our generous mothers suffer from exhaustion.  One of the best gifts we can give to the mothers in our lives is the gift of gratitude, the gift of thanksgiving, perhaps even the gift of doing the dishes!

My late mother showed her love to me in delicious, unforgettable meals.  Love and food are intricately linked.  Can you think of anyone you really love that you have not eaten a meal with?  Mother’s Day itself is a major time for families to gather with their mothers and eat together.

My father keeps video records of our family gatherings.  From looking at our family videos, you would think that all we ever do is celebrate and eat together.  Good food is wonderful but without the presence of family and especially the mothers in our lives, food can leave you rather empty inside.  Experts tell us that a lot of over-eating and under-eating has to do with deep love-deficits in our lives.

When my father showed his appreciation to my mom, he often expressed it by taking the family out to the White Spot restaurant.  The White Spot for me symbolized quality, caring, and family.  The second favorite spot that my father brought us to was Yen Lock’s in Vancouver’s historic Chinatown.  I initially used to stay at home with my grandmother, as I didn’t like Chinese food.  Eventually I overcame my culinary aversion and joined my mother and family for the Yen Lock celebrations.  Ironically Chinese food, especially chicken chow mein, is now my favorite meal!

One of my favorite food-inspired paintings is the famous Holman Hunt painting of Jesus standing with a lantern and patiently knocking on a weed-covered, closed door.  Holman Hunt’s inspiration for the painting came straight from Revelation 3:20: “Behold I am standing and knocking at your door. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in and we will eat together”.  I was often puzzled why Jesus would want to eat with me, if I would open the door of my heart.  One day I realized that all true love, all true relationship involves food.  No wonder one of the highest act of worship involves bread and wine, eaten in remembrance of this wonderful relationship with Jesus.

My late mother, like her mother before, is a true worshipper.  Her faith has been a great inspiration to me.  Thank God for my mother inviting me to supper with Jesus, when I was wandering in the wilderness, lost and hungry.  Thank you God for all my mother’s  great meals year in and year out.  I now see more than ever that every portion was prepared with heart-felt love.  I am a better person today because of that unfailing love.

Food is love!  No wonder so many people around the world are discovering the meaning of love as they sit down for dinner at an Alpha course.  Lovingly prepared by mothers and others, Alpha dinners are becoming the highlight of many people’s weeks. Through Alpha dinners, many mothers and others are discovering authentic, lasting community in a fragmented world.  After my own mother attended an Alpha Course dinner, she couldn’t stop raving about it!

My prayer for those reading this article is that each of us will sit down for dinner with Jesus, the lover of our souls.

 

 

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, BSW, MDiv, DMin

-previously published in the Deep Cove Crier/North Shore News

-award-winning author of the book Battle for the Soul of Canada

for better for worse-Click to check out our newest marriage book For Better For Worse: discovering the keys to a lasting relationship on Amazon. You can even read the first two chapters for free to see if the book speaks to you.

 

-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form. In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook.

It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook ), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form.  Nook gives a sample of the book to read online.

Indigo also offers the paperback and the Kobo ebook version.  You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook.

To receive a signed copy within North America, just send a $20 cheque (USD/CAN) to ED HIRD, 102-15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC, Canada V4A 0A5

– In order to obtain a signed copy of the prequel book Battle for the Soul of Canada, please send a $18.50 cheque to ‘Ed Hird’, #102-15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC, Canada V4A 0A5. For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD.  This can also be done by PAYPAL using the e-mail ed_hird@telus.net . Be sure to list your mailing address. The Battle for the Soul of Canada e-book can be obtained for $4.99 CDN/USD.

-Click to purchase the Companion Bible Study by Jan Cox (for the Battle of the Soul of Canada) in both paperback and Kindle on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca 


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‘Been Like a Mother to Me’

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

My late mother never forgot the time that she opened up her Mother’s Day card and read the words: ‘You’ve Been Like a Mother To Me’.  “But I am your real mother!”, she said.  “Exactly”, I responded.  “That’s why I chose the card.  It’s wonderful that you were not only my birth-mother but also have been so genuinely motherly to me’.

I have been so blessed to have a mother who has been so full of care and compassion through the good times and the bad.  But not everyone has been so fortunate.  Some people have been raised by their birth-mothers who were so wounded that they were unable to express love and nurture during the formative years.  This can leave people with a big hole in their hearts and a sense of loneliness that is hard to express.

Drs. Dennis Cloud & John Townsend, best-selling authors of ‘Boundaries’ and ‘The Mother Factor’, believe that ‘mothering is the most significant, demanding and underpaid profession around.’  When they interviewed people about their definitions of true mothering, certain words came up again and again:  nurture, care, bondedness, cookies, and trust.  Drs. Cloud and Townsend were able to name five basic needs that must be met by a mother, in order for us to be healthy and secure:

Safety

Nurture

Basic Trust

Belonging and Invitation

Someone to Love.

 

Safety, says Cloud & Townsend, comes in the form of a person who is predictable, stable, and danger-free.  Without this person, the child remains in a state of panic or anxiety, unable to love or learn.  I give thanks for my mother who gave me this gift of personal safety.  I always knew intuitively that whether I was a success or a failure, obedient or rebellious, my mother would always be there for me.

The second need that mothers meet is ‘to nurture’.  Webster’s Dictionary says that to nurture is to ‘feed or nourish’.  When I was troubled at school by bullies or exams, my mother was always there to feed me, with cookies, milk, and a listening ear.  I remember going through deep struggles as a teenager about the meaning of life and career choices.  Mom was always there to listen.  True, I often rejected her advice and was closed to her deep spirituality.  But most important, her nurturing and food were always there when I was struggling.

The third need that mothers meet is ‘basic trust’.  Drs. Cloud & Townsend teach that basic trust is the ability to invest oneself in a relationship.  Healthy people let themselves need and depend on others without fear.  We live in a high-tech disposable age where everything is up for grabs.

There is an enormous fear of commitment and long-term intimacy.  Yet simultaneously many of us ache from the absence of such relational rootedness.  My wife and I have been happily married for 41 years.  I believe that a big part of why I have not self-destructed my own marriage is because of how healthy my mother was.  My mother modeled for me the value of hanging in there through the thick and the thin.  My mother demonstrated a deep faith and trust that good would always come out of even the most tragic situations.  With the help of her favorite comic writer Erma Bombeck, my mother could always find something to smile about, even when life was not ‘a bowl of cherries’.

The fourth need that mothers meet is ‘belonging and invitation’.  All of us, say Drs. Cloud & Townsend, have the need to belong to someone and to something bigger than ourselves.  Belonging and love are at the root of our humanness.  My mother, as a gifted chauffeur, was forever driving me to endless soccer, baseball, hockey, chess, swimming, & skiing lessons.  She knew that I had a deep need to belong and to grow.  My mom also did her best to involve me in Sunday school, confirmation classes, youth groups, and summer camps.  I had no idea how much I really needed the church family to be my ‘spiritual mother’.  Like many in our individualistic age, I figured that I could do any spirituality better on my own.  My mother never forced religion down my throat, but the door was always wide open.  Thank God for my mother introducing me to God’s family.

The fifth need that mothers meet is ‘someone to love’.  There is perhaps no greater wound in a child than having a mother who just can’t love you.  We know intuitively that everything about true motherhood is about love and caring.  Yet some moms have been so damaged that they are what Drs. Cloud & Townsend would call ‘Phantom Moms’: moms who are not really there in any tangible sense.  Others have moms who Drs. Cloud & Townsend call ‘China Doll Moms’: moms who are so fragile and stressed out that no one can get too close for fear of shattering them.  Without a mom who can show us real love, we end up feeling unwanted at a deep level and estranged from our true identity.  Thank you, Mom, that once again you came through for me in a very practical way.  For 62 years, my mom showed me time and time again that I mattered to her, and that she really care.  The love of Christ that I saw in my mom allows me to show that same love to others.

The best news of all is that even if our mothers couldn’t fully meet these five basic needs, God can make up for any love deficit.  As the Good Book puts it, ‘though your father and mother forsake you, I the Lord will receive you.’  My prayer for for those reading this article is that each of us may discover afresh the amazing love of God, especially as seen in the loving arms of our mothers.

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, BSW, MDiv, DMin

-previously published in the Deep Cove Crier/North Shore News

-award-winning author of the book Battle for the Soul of Canada

for better for worse-Click to check out our newest marriage book For Better For Worse: discovering the keys to a lasting relationship on Amazon. You can even read the first two chapters for free to see if the book speaks to you.

 

-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form. In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook.

It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook ), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form.  Nook gives a sample of the book to read online.

Indigo also offers the paperback and the Kobo ebook version.  You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook.

To receive a signed copy within North America, just send a $20 cheque (USD/CAN) to ED HIRD, 102-15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC, Canada V4A 0A5

– In order to obtain a signed copy of the prequel book Battle for the Soul of Canada, please send a $18.50 cheque to ‘Ed Hird’, #102-15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC, Canada V4A 0A5. For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD.  This can also be done by PAYPAL using the e-mail ed_hird@telus.net . Be sure to list your mailing address. The Battle for the Soul of Canada e-book can be obtained for $4.99 CDN/USD.

 -Click to purchase the Companion Bible Study by Jan Cox (for the Battle of the Soul of Canada) in both paperback and Kindle on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca 


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Marie-Anne, Mother of Western Canada

By the Rev.  Dr. Ed Hird

Mother’s Day always bring to mind exceptional mothers who have made a difference.

Well-known author Maggie Siggins holds that the most exceptional Canadian mother of the 19th century was Louis Riel’s grandmother, Marie-Anne Lagimordiere (née Gaboury). Her home town was Maskinongé, a small village near modern-day Trois-Rivières in Quebec. In 1807, Marie-Anne became the first women of European background to permanently settle in Canada’s far west.  It would take another forty years before another European woman joined her.

With the death of her father when she was 12, Marie-Anne spent the next fifteen years as a housekeeper to a priest who taught her to read and write French, Latin, and do basic math.  Such education was rare for women in those days.  Marie-Anne did not marry until late in life, from a 19th Century Quebecois perspective. She rejected suitor after suitor until the grand old age of 26.

Doing the unthinkable, she married a voyageur Jean Baptiste, and then accompanied him back into the hinterlands of western Canada.  They broke the cardinal rule that under no circumstances were Eastern Canadian wives to be involved in the fur trade.  Wives in the fur trade were known as ‘fur widows’, only seeing their husbands every four or five years.

Travelling almost 3,000 kilometres by canoe, Marie-Anne faced violent rapids, portages, and deadly storm on her way west. Upon arriving at Pemina, her husband’s ‘country wife’ tried to poison Marie-Anne with a plum pudding. Her hungry dogs ate the pudding instead of Marie-Anne, and all the dogs died!

Living until age 96, Marie-Anne never returned to see her family in Eastern Canada.  It is said that she was healthy and wise up till the end.  Instead of her dainty dresses, she adopted caribou-skin leggings and embroidered moccasins. Along with learning to make pemmican, Marie-Anne became fluent in Ojibwe and Cree, and helped establish the city of Winnipeg.

She was described in Maggie Siggins’ book Marie-Anne as being ‘one tough cookie’ in order to survive her Western adventures. Shortly after her horse rushed towards a herd of buffalo, Marie-Anne gave birth to her second child in the middle of a prairie field.  Another time when a large bear attacked her companion, Marie-Anne fought back and shot the bear dead.  Once she and her husband were captured by the Tsu Tinna. Upon escaping, they were chased for five days until reaching the safety of Edmonton.

Marie-Anne lived through terrifying conflict between the Hudson Bay Company and the North West Company, in which many forts were burned to the ground.  For four summers in a row, swarms of grasshoppers were so thick that the sky was pitch black.  All crops, gardens, and greenery were ravaged within a few short hours.  During the Great Flood of 1825, Marie-Anne’s house was swept away by the river surge. Trees and cattle were swallowed up.  Marie-Anne begged her husband to leave this ‘God-forsaken’ land, but Jean Baptiste replied that if the local clergy refused to leave, they too would hang in there.  Remarkably all of her seven children lived to adulthood, with her four sons becoming involved in the thriving family businesses.

Her favorite grandchild was one of Canada’s most famous leaders Louis Riel.  He was deeply influenced by the passion and courage of his dear grandmother.  She taught him to speak the various first nations languages. She taught him to be willing to risk.  As Marie-Anne was grieved by the alcoholic debauchery that she saw at Fort Williams, Louis Riel likewise rejected alcohol abuse.  Dying in 1875, Marie-Anne lived long enough to see her grandson Louis’ dream come true: that Manitoba become a province, not just a territory in the Canadian Confederation.

My prayer is that like Louis Riel, we may be inspired by our mothers and grandmothers to be pioneers and explorers of Canada’s future.

 

 

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, BSW, MDiv, DMin

 -an article previously published in the Deep Cove Crier

-author of the award-winning book Battle for the Soul of Canada

for better for worse-Click to check out our newest marriage book For Better For Worse: discovering the keys to a lasting relationship on Amazon. You can even read the first two chapters for free to see if the book speaks to you.

 

-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form. In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook.

It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook ), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form.  Nook gives a sample of the book to read online.

Indigo also offers the paperback and the Kobo ebook version.  You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook.

To receive a signed copy within North America, just send a $20 cheque (USD/CAN) to ED HIRD, #102-15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC V4A 0A5.

– In order to obtain a signed copy of the prequel book Battle for the Soul of Canada, please send a $18.50 cheque to ‘Ed Hird’, #102-15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC V4A 0A5.

For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD.  This can also be done by PAYPAL using the e-mail ed_hird@telus.net . Be sure to list your mailing address. The Battle for the Soul of Canada e-book can be obtained for $4.99 CDN/USD.

-Click to purchase the Companion Bible Study by Jan Cox (for the Battle of the Soul of Canada) in both paperback and Kindle on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca