15 Great Canadian Facts

Happy Canada Day!! For this week’s blog post, I thought we would take a look at our great country and my list of 15 fun facts about Canada! Since mittonmusings.com is the “Canadian, lifestyle blog with an inspirational twist”, it seems appropriate! Enjoy!

1. Canada is the second largest country in the world, covered by a total area of 9.98 square kilometers from the Atlantic to the Pacific oceans.

2. We have 10 provinces and 3 territories.

(I remember when we only had two territories…but the next generation would have Nunavut)*groan*

3. Canada has 6 time zones!

I guess this is why it is so expensive to fly from one part of Canada to the other!

4. We have the forth lowest population density in the world. Only 3 people per square kilometer.

Most of our land is covered with forest (or snow). A lot of us live in the cities too. Maybe this is why so many Canadians are introverts like me!

5. Canadians are among the most highly educated people in the world.

We rank first in the number of adults with a tertiary education. Over 51% have attained at least an undergrad from university or college. So smart, ya’ll are…especially since reading my blog! 🙂

6. We have 9% of the world’s renewable water supply at our fingertips!

7. Each Canadian generates approximately 640 kg of waste per year.

Which makes me think….if we spent our Canada day holiday at the beach, did you clean up your picnic or use re-usable dishes? Do your part, people! It’s so hard to be “green” and convienient isn’t it?!

8. The average Canadian consumption of eggs is up from our declining trend — to an average of 190 eggs per year!

See! My teenagers, alone, have contributed to the increase… need those chickens, my friends!!

9. We are one of the most ethically diverse nations, with a large scale immigration program.

10. The most common Canadian last name is “Li”.

Literally, our mission field is arriving to our doorsteps!

11. “eh” is officially listed in the Canadian Oxford dictionary as a valid word.

12. It is against Canadian law to have comics that depict criminal acts.

(Sorry Marvel and DC… I guess no more movies for you, eh?!)

13. There is no official church of Canada, and religion is considered a private matter.

The government allows freedom of religion in Canada as a constitutionally protected right. A fact that I am grateful for! It means I can share my views openly!

14. 65% of Canadians surveyed in 2016 say they believe in God.

It is interesting to note that this belief in God has been steadily been decreasing since 2005, where 81% answered yes to the same question. Currently, Islam is the fastest growing religion in Canada. And it seems like our vast immigration has influenced our religious affiliations. 49% of Canadians say that their religious beliefs are important to them… the question is why? A thought to ponder.

15. Only 8% of all Canadians view evangelism as positive.

We are a spiritual nation, but no longer a Jesus following one. We think that our religious beliefs should be that of a private matter…. not to be shared. Not to influence others. No Bible should dictate the laws and rules of our great nation. I’m sad to see the decline, and continue to muse of how I can do my part to raise awareness about the One who influences my daily life. Oh Canada! May God truly keep us strong and free!

all facts were gathered from the great world wide web… and are non of my own!

Happy Canada Day, my beloveds!

I Challenge You!

Finally had a little break from the busy work schedule of last week! I escaped North to visit the oldest beloved. It means I will have lots of work to do when I get back home, so it may not really be too much of a break, but for now, I am relishing the quiet. An introvert needs her time to recoup, you know!

Today, we worshiped at her church… a younger crowd of Jesus followers meeting together to praise the Lord with a little more flash and flourish than I am used to, but a great Bible based message was given, and I am thankful she has found a place where her faith can continue to grow away from home. The pastor’s sermons are relevant connections to the group living there, intended for their special circumstances and neighbourhood. It is different from ours at home… and that is okay. Which got me thinking about an activity I saw in a classroom about a month ago.

The teacher had a bulletin board displayed with challenges that the students made up for their peers to attempt. Simple things like “write a poem like me”, or “play the game I made for you to try” or “make up a cool emoji to use to describe your feelings”. My understanding is, that it was an exercise to create some student choice, as well as an activity that allowed the students to interact and learn from their peers. I thought it was quite a noble concept for public school — and got me thinking about the world as a whole.

I have many friends who have chosen to home school their children. Others who choose to send their children to private or religion based schools. When our eldest was born, we explored various options as well — even considering Montessori learning. As parents, we want the best education possible for our kids. We also want our values and culture to be relevant and present in the lives of our beloveds as well. For many of us, this includes our faith. Especially at a stage where their development is so poignant to their future lives. Let’s face it – whatever we have exposure to when we are young, we tend to use as part of our future lives also.

But let’s get back to trying to condense my muse into something more concrete. I guess what I am trying to say, is that no matter what our background, no matter what our culture, no matter where we grew up, or what kind of life we have led, we come to the cross on the same level. Yet — we need to learn from — and be challenged by — our fellow humans. Our peers. Different cultures. Different methods of learning. Different methods of worship. To use our five senses in worship, thus allowing our faith to grow in whole body, soul, mind and spirit. Fellow students of Biblical learning, challenging one another in love, to go beyond what we know, to sharpen one another as iron sharpens iron. It’s a Biblical concept that instructs us to learn from each other, to meet together to fellowship, to share ideas and grow in our relationships. It’s part of who God made us to be. The Pharisees and Sadducees of Jesus’s day knew the law — but Jesus was always challenging them to live out what they learned… with grace and love.

I will be the first to admit that this is not easy for me. I am quick to be negative. I am quick to criticize this or that as not a “proper” method of worship. I, too, have my own biases and preferences. Therefore, I too, must do my research and discover if something is simply tradition, or is it a biblical practice? Can I learn from my peers and be challenged to try something different? Do I choose to hide from the “grey areas” of the faith world and not engage in discussions about difficult topics? Can I learn from someone else’s background? Or worse, will it strengthen my children’s faith by allowing them to be exposed to hard questions? To be confronted by their friends? Or do I hide and protect them from it all? It’s not an easy answer. Are you up for the challenge? I’d love to hear from you! In what ways have you been called to give an answer by others? Has it been easy or hard? Share in the comments!

Just a cup o’ Joe

I love a great cup of coffee. There’s just something about that rich, creamy goodness that soothes my soul. I have lots of friends and relatives that are “tea toters” — which I just discovered during this post — does not mean a tea lover!! I will have to find another name to label my friends with, as the phrase really has nothing to do with tea! It is actually spelled “teetotaler” which really means they abstain from alcoholic drinks — which isn’t really my friends…well some of them…oh my — where was I? See — ya’ll need to drink coffee!

Anyway… yes. Ahem. The soothing calm of a good cup of java. Just a cup o’ Joe, as they say. Why coffee? Well, there is a lot of chit chat about coffee and the “need” for it in the morning. That the caffeine in coffee is somehow required to wake us up. To fuel us in our daily tasks. Now, I do enjoy it with my breakfast, but I don’t often get the chance to linger over it. (Much as I would love to, but I am an on-the-go coffee girl). That’s what thermal mugs are for. I like mine with cream or milk — but have been skipping the sugar for years. I think I had my first taste of coffee during my last year of high school — pulling all nighters for exams and projects, and figuring I “needed” it to stay awake. More than likely not true, but I learned to like the taste from then on out. Pumpkin spice latte season? Don’t even get me started! Most people agree, they love the smell of roasting coffee beans…even if they don’t drink it. Hmmmn…yup, coffee is it.

We Canadians love our coffee! (Photo Credit Adi C.)

We Canadians especially love our coffee. According to the Coffee Business Intelligence Site (*giggle* who knew there was such a thing?!) we average about 2 and a half cups a day, and are in the top ten for consumption per capita. In 2014, Tim Horton’s sold 2 billion cups of coffee per day. That number, I am sure, has sky rocketed since roll up the rim started giving away its millions. If you are reading the blog from a place other than Canada… let’s just say Timmies is a Canuck thing and you have to live here to understand. But again, I digress.

the Canadian coffee consumption 2019

I recently watched a national geographic clip about coffee. The photographer traveled to interview farmers who have come back to their family farms to carry on the tradition of coffee farming. It was interesting — coffee is truly an artisan craft. There is still very little automation in the process… the ripe, red berries are always handpicked, and the drying and roasting is slow and time consuming.

Coffee drinking is generally associated with a slow process as well. A lingering. We meet “over coffee”. Coffee is about the social and about relaxing and enjoying one another’s company. We laugh. We hug a mug to feel it’s warmth radiate through us on a cool, crisp morning. It does awaken our senses and help us appreciate the world around us. There is no etiquette to coffee drinking. No pinkies up, no china saucers, no formal attire. It’s pajamas and wool socks with our frothy goodness-es.

Even if you think of coffee drinkers around the world, it reverberates the relational — espressos in Italy with lovers chatting at bistros, Turkish men debating over strong brews, African or Colombian farmers sampling wares and fine tuning their trade with thick skinned, weathered handshakes and smiles. Moms at Starbucks taking a break to reconnect with girlfriends. Business partners making big plans over coffee breaks (with donuts!) Sorry tea drinkers — coffee brings us together. It gets real with coffee.

My friends, have you “had coffee” lately? I don’t really mean the drink, of course, I mean have you taken the time to be with someone? To nurture a friendship? To chat? To linger and catch up? Or taken the time to wake up your senses to the world around you? To breathe in the aroma of God’s world and let Him wrap you in the warmth of His love? I’m pretty sure Jesus is a coffee drinker…the Bible does say “He brews” (groan). I bet he can make those cute little frothy milk pictures on the tops of lattes too… just to make us smile.

I hope you get the chance to sit and sip awhile today. To savour the warmth and drink in the people of your little world. To enjoy the richness of your relationships and the spice of life with the people who mean much to you. As for me, I smell a campfire brewing in our backyard as I type, so maybe I need to bring a few mugs out. Bottoms up, my beloveds!