God is an amazing gardener and we are all part of His garden


Scruffy wondered if God could still love him, when he made so many mistakes…but in the story “Scruffy Finds His Way”, he discovers that God never stops loving him…never gives up on him. 

We are all made by God for a purpose…each of us is nourtured in a different way…each of us looks different…acts different…but is never-the-less still part of His creation…His garden!

I love to garden. It is such a joyful release for me to putter away in my gardens turning the soil, rearranging perennials and planting annuals. Soon after the snow melts and the earth warms I enthusiastically dive into my gardens and begin the process of preparing the soil for another season. Then I plant small seedlings in the spaces in between the perennials with the hope that the garden will explode into colour and beauty. I sit back to admire my work, filled with the anticipation of what the next few weeks of sunshine and rain will bring. Morning after morning I wander by my gardens looking for the blooms that I worked so hard to produce. As I peruse the vista before me I notice several things. Although planted at the same time in similar soil, some of the seedlings grow faster and better then others. These seedlings seem anxious to burst forth into bloom, to produce that for which they had been planted. Others are growing but at a much slower rate, some are barely struggling to survive and sadly some have been plucked out by the birds and lie dead on the ground. My response to this is to pour a little more effort into the struggling plants; to gently dig around their roots to encourage their spread and growth, to give them extra feedings of fertilizer to strengthen them. The better the plant, the better the bloom! Another thing that I notice is this; the same type of plants can produce different looking blooms. No two marigolds look exactly the same. Each section of the garden provides a different display of colours, heights and shapes. It’s food for the eyes! How dull a garden would be if it were filled with identical plants and flowers!

I’m positive that our heavenly Father loves gardens as much as I. Indeed, He created the endless variety of plants and flowers and gave us eyes that could discern the subtle variances in colour. In scripture it describes God as being a gardener- like me (but much, much better)! He too, works in His garden, pruning and cultivating to produce the best garden. He does whatever is necessary to produce good results. Just like my little seedlings need to be planted in good soil, so too do his vines need to be connected to the food source in order to survive. (John 15) We are all part of God’s garden. It is His desire to have us burst forth into bloom in the garden where we are planted. Like the branches described in John 15 have to be connected to the vine in order to thrive so too, we seedlings need to be buried deep in the soil that will nourish us – Jesus. Without this soil, we will not survive. Once we are planted in Jesus, God makes sure that we grow and flourish. And just like in my garden, some may take longer to bloom then others and no two blooms are alike, but together we make the garden beautiful.

St. Mary’s Students learn life Lessons from Scruffy


Scruffy Finds His Way by


Scruffy sends a big goaty “nudge” to all the children of Mrs. Howe’s grade 2/3 class for reading his book and finding the lessons!!  Well done EVERYONE and thank you!

What we learned from Scruffy Mrs. Howe’s grade 2/3 class

Lo: You should never do something that you are not allowed to do. If you do, you will have some sort of consequence. Scruffy says…”some of the consequences are baaaaa…d!

Wa: There are natural consequences, like falling through the chicken coop or getting “bit” by the electric fence. Or, you might get punished, like being put in a time out.  Scruffy says…”oh my but that chicken coop was stinky…never fall in one!”

Ch; God has a plan for everybody Scruffy says…”it’s so nice that God plans for kids (goats and humans)”

O: It’s ok to be who you are! We are all unique and God created us in His image, which means that we are PERFECT! Scruffy says…”and I thought that only my mom thought that I was perfect…everyone else thinks I am too scruffy and baaaaa…d. Nice that God  agrees with Mom”

C E.: When people love us, they will forgive us even when we mess up. God will also forgive us. Scruffy says…”it is nice to be able to start over every day…forgiven”

M: No matter what happens, your family will always love you! Scruffy says…”even if I’m baaaaa…d my Mom and the Scruffkids always loved me, so does God…I never need to feel rejected”

C: If everyone was the same, life would be boring. If we tried to play a game, it would always a tie. Scruffy says…”That is really true…I’ve never been boring…God made all of us special and interesting.”

A: If we need help, we should ask for help. Praying to God is a good idea! Scruffy says…”I forget this part sometimes…so God continues to teach me how much I need Him.”

love is…

Love is…

An important part of Scruffy’s story is that he discovers that no matter what mischief he does that the Maker will always love him…this is something that all of us yearn for!  But what is Love?? Is it a warm, fuzzy feeling that envelopes us like a cozy blanket in winter or is it a lofty, noble thought that no one can really understand?? Following I share a little story about love…a true story that I think will help to define Love.  Read on…. (for the fuller story, see my book, “Finding His Way.”)

When Bob and I were dating, he captured my heart by

sneaking up to my house numerous times and leaving

simple little notes for me. Each note started with the words,

“Love is…”! There were tons of them, like “Love

is…gazing longingly at each other across a crowded room”

and “Love is…not even noticing you forgot to bring the

picnic basket.” I adored these little notes and looked forward

to receiving them.

As our relationship developed over the years, we would

continue to leave cute little notes for each other. On one

occasion that I vividly remember, I was going to be heading

off to counsel for two weeks at Camp Mini-Yo-We. The day

before departure, I had the day off and was using the time to

prepare some freezer meals for Bob to eat while I was away.

My thoughts were on him as much as they were on pre-camp

preparations. I thought, “Wouldn’t it be nice if I could send

him a little note every morning so that he would know that

I missed him.” This was in the days before cell phones and

text messaging…how easy it would be now to accomplish

this! It occurred to me that I could still do this if I wrote a

bunch of notes and hid them in places where I knew he

would find them over the next two weeks. Excitedly, I busily

wrote 14 notes…numbering each one. The notes were silly

little “Love is” messages…cute, intimate…” for your eyes

only,” type of notes! I knew that he would be touched that I

had taken the time to do this, in the middle of busy preparations.

I finished writing the notes and proceeded to cunningly

hide them all over the house, not wanting him to discover

all of them at once. I should have remembered that he

seldom bent his knees to look for anything!

The next day I headed off to camp. I was directing a twoweek

out-tripping camp that year, filled with hormonally

complicated 14 to 16 year old girls. The Northwoods section

of camp was an isolated, mostly girls-only camp, apart from

the maintenance men and visiting staff husbands. Because of

this, the girls were more able to focus on becoming good

out-trippers, fine-tuning their skills for the big canoe trip,

which would take place in the second week of camp.

The middle Saturday evening was a relaxed affair following

a day of canoe trip preparations. Bob came for a

brief visit, as was his usual custom. The girls took this

opportunity to tease us for wanting to be together after only

one week apart…you know, silly girl stuff. He tolerated this

for about five minutes then hid in our cabin until the girls

headed off to bed! The next day as he was heading home,

openly glad to be leaving behind this hormonally charged

gang of girls, I dropped a bombshell on him: “Bob, we have

decided to paddle the Spanish River this year with our

senior paddlers, but the distance to the starting point is such

a long drive that we can’t do it on the first morning of the

canoe trip, so I have offered to have the girls sleep over at

our house the night before the trip.” He just groaned and

rolled his eyes as he left!

A day later we arrived in Wahnapitae…all 12 of us! I

had warned the girls to be on their best behaviour and not

to razz Bob too much. They promised to try! All went very

smoothly…the girls settled into their sleeping bags on the

living room floor and we headed to our bedroom.

As one might expect, there was a fair amount of chatter,

lots of giggles and laughter, then suddenly unnatural quiet

followed by very fierce quiet whispering! It all settled down

an hour later, and sleep came to us all.

Bright and early the next morning we headed off. The

canoe trip was great…rapids were run with very few incidents…

the weather was good…we didn’t get lost…and we

arrived at our destination on time. Success—a trouble-free

trip…a rare occurrence for me!

Traditionally the last night at camp the girls would entertain

each other and all the visitors with funny skits about

their canoe trips, and this year would be no exception! There

was a lot of giggling involved in the preparation and strange

looks often cast in my direction for some reason. When Bob

arrived, he was greeted with loud applause, catcalls, and

whistles, which served to chase him from the room! Then it

was time for the big event…the skits. The first two skits were

crazy, but good and there was one left to go when Bob whispered

that he had seen enough. He got up to leave and was

surprised when the girls of the last group pleaded with him

to stay for their skit. I assumed it was because they knew him

a bit better than the rest because they were the campers who

had stayed at our house. Embarrassed, he nodded and sat

back down, not wanting to spoil their fun.

With great aplomb, they took the stage. Two of the girls

pretended to be Bob and I…embracing and snuggling each

other to the amusement of all (except Bob), then one girl

after another stood up to read little…strangely

familiar…notes that they had in their hands. I wondered

what they were up to, until the first note was read:

“Number 5—I will miss cuddling on the couch together

watching our favourite movie—I love you.”

In shock, Bob and I looked at each other…instantly we

knew what had happened! The night of the sleepover, the

little darlings had found the notes that I had left for

Bob…the personal, for-his-eyes-only notes. Yikes, was I

ever going to be in trouble!

As the skit proceeded, they read 5 of my 14 notes to the

total glee of the other campers and counsellors. Bob fled the

room, but I had to endure the entire performance, forced to

sit there with a glowing red face! Oh, what a night!

Romantic love makes us do some silly things!

But love is…more than warm fuzzy emotions…more

than romantic love. Love is complex…love is God!

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one

and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not

perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his

Son into the world to condemn the world, but to

save the world through him” (John 3:16-17).

Love is displayed in many ways…ways that often

encompass all of the other fruit of the Spirit.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it

does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor

others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered,

it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight

in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects,

always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails ! (1 Cor 13)

So…what is love? Love is…God!


Scruffy Finds His Way  is available from Book Depository. A decent price and free delivery!!  Much quicker access than Amazon!!  Buy your copy today!

Scruffy Finds His Way by

Life Lessons from Scruffy-2

Life Lessons from Scruffy-2



Have you ever been stuck in the mud? Oh, I don’t mean literally like Scruffy but metaphorically?

Well, I think that if we were honest we would have to admit that we have been caught at some point in our lives somewhere where we should not be.

 I, furthermore, think that we sometimes decide to willfully do things that we shouldn’t…exclaiming in our hearts, “I’m going to do this despite the consequences!” We have a “thoughtful” disregard for the possible outcomes because we really, really want to do this thing…whatever it is.

 Well, Scruffy is a picture of us! He really wanted to prove that he was someone special, who had super-duper hopping power. His feelings had just been hurt when he couldn’t hop as fast as Hobby could run…so he had to prove himself…the end result…Stuck in the mud…looking worse than ever! Oh, the shame of it!

 All of us, have a will of our own and are capable of doing willful acts that often lead to trouble.

The Maker tries to teach us to resist these urges…to aim for what is good…to bend our will to His…but we often resist.


Life Lesson #2 – We all have willful hearts…but the Maker loves us still.





Life Lessons from Scruffy-4


Life Lessons from Scruffy- 4



When people look at you…what do they see? Do they see a strong, confident person, who is well turned out? Or do they see a Miss Messy or Mr. Mussedup who looks like they just rolled out of bed?

 Well…we all know that whatever outward appearance we show to those around us…it seldom fully reflects the inward person. That inward space…is our personal perception of ourselves that we seldom show to the world. Why don’t we show this? I think that most of us are afraid to reveal what we are really like on the inside…afraid of what people might think…afraid of how it will impact relationships…perhaps even jobs or our futures…so we hide it behind our chosen mask.

 Well, Scruffy…the curious, willful leader of the Scruffkids…the terror of the barnyard and renowned trouble maker…was afraid on the inside. He had begun to realize that Mama, Papa and Billyboy might not like him anymore because of his antics…that the other barnyard critters despised him for the trouble that he had caused…that no one really, really loved him, or so he though. Alone and lost…he despaired!

 We live in a world full of people like Scruffy…children that feel unloved…adults that feel that way, too. But here is the Good News of Scruffy Finds His Way

God loves us…no matter what we do!

God’s love is unending and unfailing!

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His Only Son, that whosoever believes in Him…shall not perish”

John 3:16

 Life Lesson # 4 – we are all loved!


Life Lessons From Scruffy-3


Do you have a group of friends that you hang around with? I think that most of us have…but did you consider that we often also have people around us that are not part of our regular group of friends but are sitting at the sidelines watching what we do?

 I work as a pharmacist and spend most of my time in the public eye. It amazes me when people come in for their prescriptions and casually mention something that they have seen me do or have knowledge of about my “home life.” Here is an example;

 I remember being temporarily “lost” on a short kayak trip to Aird island just a little ways out from the Spanish Marina in the North Channel. That day, the waves built up and my friend and I chose a wrong channel around an island and got a little misplaced   ( not really lost). My husband was anxiously waiting for us to join him at this island and after a few hours got worried enough to call the coast guard…who then went searching for us! Well…long story, short – we were found, safe and sound!

 Well…here’s the point. By the time we got back to Spanish the next day…all my neighbours and people I didn’t even really know…knew that I had been lost!! (and teased me about it, mercilessly) People had been watching…how weird is that?

 What occurred to me after that day was that if I was watched…then I had better make sure that my actions reflected my beliefs. I had the potential to lead people the wrong way. Scary!

Scruffy is a picture of us. He had a loyal gang…the Scruffkids, that did whatever he did! He knew that they followed him, indeed he encouraged them to do so…but he did not take his responsibilities to lead well, seriously…do we?

 Life Lesson #3 – We influence more people than we realize…lead well!















StoryTime with Mama and Papa – chapter 4 – Part 2


Chapter 4- Part 2


  1. What did the “Little Voice” say to Scruffy while he was hiding?
  2. What did Papa do to find Scruffy? Did he ever give up?
  3. What did this scary adventure teach Scruffy?
  4. When we do bad things, does the maker still love us?


  1. Write a story about your imaginary Family Farm. Tell about an adventure that one of your own critters had…include goats if you can. One page only!

Send your answers to plynnhalliday@gmail.com or my website www.plynnhallidaybooks.ca for the chance to win a book or to have your work posted on my webpage!

StoryTime with Mama and Papa – chapter 4- part 1

Chapter 4 – part 1


  1. What happened to Scruffy as a result of all his goat mischief?
  2. Did Scruffy’s mischief affect others? How?
  3. Did Papa leave Scruffy behind on purpose as a punishment?
  4. Why did Scruffy jump out of Mama’s arms?
  5. Where did Scruffy run?
  6. Why did Scruffy hide in the forest when everyone was looking for him?


  1. Draw a page of pictures showing the goats going for a walk, Scruffy being carried by Mama up the field, Scruffy jumping out of Mama’s arms, Scruffy being chased by the golfers and Scruffy hiding by the old dead log.

Remember to send your answers to plynnhalliday@gmail.com or on my contact page of the website www.plynnhallidaybooks.ca to get entered into a draw for a book or to have your work posted to the website!