Monday, July 4, 2022


 I'm doing devos on Wed July 6 at work. I'm going to read this blog post. (I should do devos more often; seems it's the only time I write anymore.) 


A bit of history for those who're coming into this story halfway through...

I sold my Murrayville house (the home I raised my boys in) in 2013 and moved my Empty Nest ass into the basement at my mom and dad's house in Fraser Heights temporarily

Temporarily is a relative term. One thing led to another (from my dad dying in 2015, to Drew and Dani's wedding, and them moving in, in 2016, to them buying a townhouse and Max moving in, in 2017...) and so on. 

In 2019 I saw a sign for Latimer Heights, a development being planned 3 blocks away from Focus. The location was perfect. I prayed, asking God, if He could make a way for me to live in something (house, townhouse, condo, apartment...) that had a private southern facing back yard in that neighbourhood.

A few weeks later I was diagnosed with breast cancer so I thought, well that answers that. I'm going to be dead. Might as well stay in my mom's windowless basement til I move on to heaven. 

In February 2020, after I'd had surgery, started drug therapy and finished a month of daily radiation treatments, Nancy suggested we go out for coffee and check out the Latimer Heights Discovery Centre. (Sales office.) 

I had checked the site online, and didn't hold much hope about the 'southern yard' thing. All the condos were facing east-west so their patios/decks would be east/west as well. Plus they were so close together, I couldn't imagine ever seeing a sunset or a large expanse of sky. 

To my ABSOLUTE DELIGHT, there was ONE unit in the 4th condo (furthest away from 200th street) that had a large, private, south-facing wrap around deck with an unobstructed view of the sky above and the pond/green space below. I prayed a million prayers over the next week asking God if He thought it'd be a good place for me to live as I entered the final trimester of my life. 

And so it came to pass, that yes. That corner suite would be mine. And I believed with my WHOLE heart that it was God's gift to me because HE LOVES ME. 

On December 1, 2021, my mom and I moved in to my tiny 1,000 square foot suite with boxes and Rubbermaids filled with STUFF. So much stuff. And we figured out how to live in that space together. It was a rough ride. Two women, who'd lived large in their houses before, were both downsizing at the same time, so emotions were involved. Then, condo-living was a new, not fun experience. So many rules and bylaws and it was the coldest winter in the history of winters, and we had the flood of the century not to mention the freezing snap and the broken furnace etc at the lake house. 

BUT, finally in April 2022, we moved my mom and all her things into her new condo in Sardis, just 3 minutes away from my sister and I started to reclaim all the space in my condo. 1000 square feet! All to myself! A whole extra bedroom! And the master bedroom (9 x 11) was HUGE. So was the closet. I was giddy with excitement. 

And then, on May 11, after just one month of delirium, I got a notice in the mail from the developer, advising me they were applying for a rezoning of the patch of land right beside the pond, across from my beautiful, private, southern facing deck to build the largest tower this side of the Fraser River: 45 storeys high. 

There is no word in the English language to express how I felt when I read that notice. In key-board language it looked like this: ^&G%$$#S@)KPP*|^$!!

From this (small circle is my condo; large circle is the land under discussion. Current APPROVED land has this two acre corner designated for low rise condos. All of us who've bought up every available suite and townhouse/house bought into this neighbourhood with the understanding that (with the exception of the two towers in the far north east corner), EVERYTHING would be low rise.

To this:

The shadow from that building would have the pond, and my deck, in the shade for hours every afternoon/evening. Not to mention IT'S AN EYE SORE. And would wreck havoc on an already over burdened 200th street corridor. And I have no guest parking NOW; I can't imagine the challenge to have friends over after this monstrosity would be built. 

On Sunday May 15, a few of us concerned residents met to talk about a plan. The Public Information Meeting was on the 16th and we thought we should meet first. I loaded up my little red wagon with donuts, napkins, meeting-supplies, (like note pads, pens, LARGE wall-sized post-it note ...) and met a dozen total strangers. Every step I took from my suite to the outside gathering spot, was a step of dread, and a step of faith. We schemed and lamented and fumed and planned. I took notes, collected names and phone numbers, handed out donuts and sat beside/got to know my neighbours from across the hall. 

That evening, I read the May 15 entry from my One Year Bible. 
Below is God's version and Jane's version (in bold) of the Old Testament Passage
(1Samuel 17:1 - 18:4)

(For those of you unfamiliar with Bible people, the Philistines were the bad guys. Saul and The Israelites were the good guys.)

The Philistines now mustered their army for battle and camped in Judah. The developer's team were ready for battle as they set up their displays, charts, models, snack tables and made sure every sales person had memorized the sales pitch.  Saul countered by gathering his Israelite troops near the valley of Elah. The dozen residents of Condos A - D met at The Bridge Over the Pond, armed with questions and determinationSo the Philistines and Israelites faced each other on opposite hills, with the valley between them. So the developer and the purchasers met at the Discovery Centre to hear each other's sides in this battle.
Then Goliath, a Philistine champion from Gath, came out of the Philistine ranks to face the forces of Israel. He was over nine feet tall! He wore a bronze helmet, and his bronze coat of mail weighed 125 pounds. He also wore bronze leg armor, and he carried a bronze javelin on his shoulder. The shaft of his spear was as heavy and thick as a weaver’s beam, tipped with an iron spearhead that weighed 15 pounds. His armor bearer walked ahead of him carrying a shield. Then the owner of the development company, said The Township of Langley asked them to rezone this corner. "They want the tower. In fact, all of 200th street will be towers. It's part of the deal with Translink and getting Skytrain into Langley. It's kinda a done deal."
Goliath stood and shouted a taunt across to the Israelites. “Why are you all coming out to fight?” he called. “I am the Philistine champion, but you are only the servants of Saul. Choose one man to come down here and fight me! If he kills me, then we will be your slaves. But if I kill him, you will be our slaves! I defy the armies of Israel today! Send me a man who will fight me!” When Saul and the Israelites heard this, they were terrified and deeply shaken. When Jane and her little team of angry residents heard this, they were discouraged. 

... skipping a bunch of verses....

“Don’t worry about this Philistine,” David told Saul. “I’ll go fight him!”
“Don’t be ridiculous!” Saul replied. “There’s no way you can fight this Philistine and possibly win! You’re only a boy, and he’s been a man of war since his youth.” "Mom, you should put your condo up for sale and move. No way you can stop that tower from happening." " I talked to my brother, a retired city planner, he said you'll never get this stopped." "Langley council is as corrupt as they come, sorry to say, but it looks like you'll be living in the shadow of a skyscraper." "I'll sign your petition, and am very angry but you can't trust anyone; that tower is going to be built." "Maybe you should hire a lawyer?" "Do you really think you can make a difference? Those developers are in bed with the mayor."
But David persisted. “I have been taking care of my father’s sheep and goats,” he said. “When a lion or a bear comes to steal a lamb from the flock, I go after it with a club and rescue the lamb from its mouth. If the animal turns on me, I catch it by the jaw and club it to death. I have done this to both lions and bears, and I’ll do it to this pagan Philistine, too, for he has defied the armies of the living God! The Lord who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine!” The Lord who gave me this condo, with its southern deck, and who rescued me from cancer, and who loves ME and my need for sunshine and blue sky - will figure out a way to prevent that tower from being built. I'll do my measly part, but the battle is His. 
Saul finally consented. “All right, go ahead,” he said. “And may the Lord be with you!”
Then Saul gave David his own armor—a bronze helmet and a coat of mail. David put it on, strapped the sword over it, and took a step or two to see what it was like, for he had never worn such things before.
“I can’t go in these,” he protested to Saul. “I’m not used to them.” So David took them off again. He picked up five smooth stones from a stream and put them into his shepherd’s bag. Then, armed only with his shepherd’s staff and sling, he started across the valley to fight the Philistine. So our little army of misfits took an inventory of our weapons. I could ask one of my print vendors to make us some road-side signs. S was skilled in Media Relations; he would set up a website and get a petition started. M would write a press release statement. J would meet with reporters to give them a tour and explain the situation. A would prepare videos for general release. We all would write to the mayor and council members. (Plus, of course,  I'd ask my team at work, and any interested friends, to pray.)
Goliath walked out toward David with his shield bearer ahead of him, sneering in contempt at this ruddy-faced boy. “Am I a dog,” he roared at David, “that you come at me with a stick?” And he cursed David by the names of his gods. “Come over here, and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and wild animals!” Goliath yelled. A week later, there was an announcement that Vesta had submitted an application for rezoning, anticipating it would be approved in June, along with the mention of a Mayor's Gala to be sponsored by, yup, Vesta. 
David replied to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. Today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel! And everyone assembled here will know that the Lord rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord’s battle, and he will give you to us!” Well, OK. Yeah. Our battle was far less bloody. No dead bodies or severed heads. What we DID do was pull out our 5 smooth stones. M + I loaded up my wagon with signs and tools and nailed a dozen signs to the Hydro poles along 200th and 82nd. 
M wrote a powerful press release which we all shared. S got a website up and we shared the petition with everyone we knew. Emails were going back and forth between the Township of Langley and us. And then I was done. I told everyone I was travelling in June. And so were, it turned out, most of us. This truly was the Lord's battle. 
As Goliath moved closer to attack, David quickly ran out to meet him. Reaching into his shepherd’s bag and taking out a stone, he hurled it with his sling and hit the Philistine in the forehead. The stone sank in, and Goliath stumbled and fell face down on the ground. In June while I was in Palm Desert, our story was picked up by The Province Newspaper. Then on the front page of The Vancouver Sun. Then a Fraser Valley online news source did a story. By the time I was in Texas at the end of the month, the battle was over. A story in the Fraser Valley Current reported: 
"Vesta recently applied to rezone a piece of the property on the corner of 200 Street and 82 Avenue. Vesta hoped to replace two planned low-rise condos with a 45-story high-rise ...


But the company has now abandoned that idea, Vesta president Kent Sillars told The Current.

“Right now, the third tower is effectively dead,” he said. Sillars said the company decided to curb the third tower after being “inundated with negativity.”" (after being hit in the forehead with a stone?)

So David triumphed over the Philistine with only a sling and a stone, for he had no sword. So God triumphed over a 'done-deal' rezoning application. He used a team of old ladies and their younger counterparts, most who were unavailable in June, to be His hands and feet on the ground. This battle was His. All glory goes to Him. Then David ran over and pulled Goliath’s sword from its sheath. David used it to kill him and cut off his head. Ewww. Gross. We're not going to do that. We'll just celebrate at Blacksmith Bakery as soon as it opens. 


The reason I was in Texas was to attend an outdoor concert in Austin in 100 degree weather listening to Amy Wilson, We the Kingdom, and David Crowder. The date of the concert? June 25. Which was probably when Kent said 'the third tower was dead'. But I didn't know until the following day when the article was posted to social media. 

The point being, I guess, is that I was dancing, singing and praising my guts out regardless of the 45 storey tower battle's outcome. Unknown to me, it was over. It didn't matter. 

Our God? Is mighty and awesome, loving and kind, strong and passionate, righteous and just. He is worthy of all glory. 

These are the final concert songs of each of the bands. Powerful. Give em a listen.  

The second band on the stage was We the Kingdom. This was their closing number:

And my man, David Crowder closed out the evening with Good God Almighty:

Three things I'm thankful for:
2. Music
3. Outdoor concerts
Amen. Amen. 

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