Canada Day: From Darkness to Blessing


// When homesickness hits, it hits hard. This was a tough week. Canada’s 150th Birthday, Erwin in Australia with Raelynne, Joshua in Canada, and I’m here in South Africa with David and Rachel and a good case of FOMO.

What a week to have “Blessing” as our Five Minute Friday prompt-word.

“My Goodness! What is wrong with me? I feel like I’m auditioning for a Lego Batman character… ‘Darkness. Blacked-out windows. No parents… I only dress in black, and dark shades of grey.’ The celebrations back home will be nothing short of epic. And I’m so homesick I can hardly breathe.”

For two days, the melancholy threatened to swallow me whole. I tried to write. I tried to read. I tried my best to see the glass half-full. But the loneliness was more than I could bear.

If I could’ve put my mood to music, it would’ve sounded a lot like “The Batman Song” from The Lego Movie. Have you seen it yet?

Darkness / No parents / Continued darkness / More darkness, get it? / The opposite of light / Black hole / Curtains drawn / In the basement / Middle of the night / Blacked-out windows / Other places that are dark / Black suit / Black coffee / You get it, that’s just the first verse

Darkness / No parents / Super rich / Kinda makes it better

Had it not been for the fact that I had promised to host a Canada Day Party at our house on Saturday night, I would’ve stayed in bed under the covers.   

But I did promise.

That’s our tradition. Ever since we moved to South Africa, we’ve celebrated Canada Day by inviting all of the other foreigners who weren’t able to go home during the holidays for a “Lekker” party. (BTW, Lekker means ‘delicious’—we had a delicious party.) Not just Canadians but Australians, Brits, Americans, Sri Lankans, Europeans, and pretty much anyone else who was lonely and needing a reason to celebrate. //

Saturday night was no different… tacos, brownies, Red Green Show re-runs, a violent game of 30 Seconds, and more belly laughs than I’ve had in a looooong time. It was so therapeutic.

Laughter with friends who become family really is the best medicine. Click To Tweet

But the highlight of the night was when we stood to attention and sang ALL 4 VERSES of the Canadian national anthem. Have you heard it lately? What a powerful song!


O Canada!
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
From far and wide,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.


Ruler Supreme, who hearest humble prayer,
Hold our Dominion in Thy loving care;
Help us to find, O God, in Thee
A lasting, rich reward,
As waiting for the better Day,
We ever stand on guard.
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.


God keep our land glorious and free! O Canada, we stand on guard for thee. Click To Tweet


It was a powerful moment in my living room which ended in spontaneous prayer for our beautiful nation. More than one of us was wiping tears from our eyes.

And suddenly it became easier to count my blessings.

  • Food, shelter, purpose, provision.
  • Husband, children, and so much love.
  • Friends and family that pull you out of the darkness and into the light.
  • A nation that, despite its disappointments and failures this past year, is still a wonderful place to live.

That’s what happens when God’s presence enters the room… darkness leaves and light enters, and we are able to give and receive blessing.

Thank You, Father, for everything!

And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8 NIV).

“And your offspring will be a blessing to all the nations of the earth—all because you have obeyed me” (Genesis 22:18 TLB).

When God enters the room, darkness leaves and we are able to give and receive blessing. Click To Tweet


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Every Friday, I join an inspiring group of writers to write for FIVE MINUTES on a one-word prompt. No editing. No revising. Just WRITE. This week, the prompt word was BLESSING.

// indicates the start and stop of the timer.

For more information on Five Minute Friday, check out the Five Minute Friday website!

8 replies
  1. Erwin
    Erwin says:

    This was a great article in dealing with the realities of living away from family but maintaining perspective.

  2. Myrna
    Myrna says:

    I love this, just when we are so down, the Lord shows us our many blessings. I really like the set up of your blog, it’s beautiful! Blessings to you! (funny, I actually wrote the piece on time and realized today that I never had even put it on Kate’s blog! lol…..oh…)

    • Shauna Blaak
      Shauna Blaak says:

      Haha, Myrna. That’s funny! I’ve done that too. (Have you posted it yet? What spot are you in?)
      Thank you so much for your kind words. I’m so glad you enjoyed the blog. It’s been so much fun blogging and learning about website development. Have you tried the ’31 Days to BlogAwesomeness’ course yet? I learned so much there. (there’s an affiliate link here in the sidebar)

      Have a wonderful week!

  3. Jeannie Prinsen
    Jeannie Prinsen says:

    Hi Shauna – I had to come over and read your post after you left your comment on mine. I love what you’ve written here. It sounds like your party was the perfect cure for FOMO and homesickness. It sounds very gezellig. And I didn’t even know O Canada HAD four verses!

    • Shauna Blaak
      Shauna Blaak says:

      Yes, it does! And they’re awesome (especially verse 4). Although they’re mostly ignored these days, how powerful to think that people have been singing those words over our nation for the last how ever many years. I always cry when I sing them.

      And I just learned a new word… gezellig (pleasant, friendly ambience, cozy, upbeat feeling). I’m definitely gonna use it more. Are you Dutch?

  4. Jeanne Takenaka
    Jeanne Takenaka says:

    Shauna, it sounds like you had some wonderful times of fellowship and connecting with others. God always knows what we need, doesn’t He?,And when we step out in obedience, He has a way of filling us in places we didn’t know we’re empty. I so enjoyed this post. Happy Canada Day (a little late).


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