Make your pauses sacred

Two MC Canada pastors create inspirational daybook for 2015

December 10, 2014 | Back Page
By Amy Dueckman | B.C. Correspondent

Combining their gifts for words and pictures, two Mennonite Church Canada pastors who are long-time friends have produced a 2015 inspirational daybook.

Lois Siemens, pastor of Superb Mennonite Church in Kerrobert, Sask., and April Yamasaki, pastor of Emmanuel Mennonite Church in Abbotsford, B.C., collaborated on the recently published My Sacred Pauses. Siemens enjoys photography as a hobby, while Yamasaki is the author of several books.

The two came up with the idea at the MC Canada assembly last July, when Siemens shared with Yamasaki the idea for a calendar that would include quotes from Yamasaki’s book, Sacred Pauses: Spiritual Practices for Personal Renewal, published by Herald Press last year. After further conversation by e-mail and telephone, the idea expanded into a daybook.

The daybook is a combination calendar, appointment book and inspirational book. Unlike some appointment books oriented to the work week, this daybook has equal space for each day, including weekends.

“It can also be used as a mini-journal to write down words of thanks for each day, as a prayer journal. . . . Really, the list is endless,” says Yamasaki.

Siemens feels that her inspiration in photographing nature is also endless. “I turn aside from my path to look at the thing that catches my eye,” she says. “I am always surprised, even when I have walked the same trail a hundred times, something new comes into focus.”

The two made some decisions together on the daybook, including artistic layout, pricing and promotion. Each woman also individually took on parts of the project. Yamasaki chose the monthly themes and Sacred Pauses quotes, while Siemens selected which of her photos would be included. Yamasaki also wrote the weekly journal prompts and Siemens suggested extra ideas for pausing that are scattered throughout the book.

“I’m grateful for the way we’ve been able to collaborate together,” says Yamasaki. “We hoped the daybook would be both beautiful and useful, and I’m pleased with the way it’s turned out.”

The daybook is available online at, and at the Canadian Mennonite University bookstore, Winnipeg, and House of James, Abbotsford, B.C.

—Posted Dec 10, 2014

Share this page:

Add new comment

Canadian Mennonite invites comments and encourages constructive discussion about our content. Actual full names (first and last) are required. Comments are moderated and may be edited. They will not appear online until approved and will be posted during business hours. Some comments may be reproduced in print.