Seeking a path with your partner

By Dori Zerbe Cornelsen

This summer my spouse and I did a long road trip from our home on the prairies of Canada through the Rockies and into south-eastern British Columbia that has a wealth of provincial parks to explore. We were thrilled to find the Jewel Lake Provincial Park tucked into a valley between mountains. The campground was rustic but the lake and surroundings were amazing.


Jewel Lake Provincial Park

We took our bikes along the winding road from the campground to the resort at the other end of the lake. Well, resort may be a strong word for those who imagine all-inclusives in tropical destinations. The Jewel Lake Resort has some campground sites with RV hook-ups, some cabins for rent (including rustic hunter cabins) and offers watercraft rentals (no motors allowed!).

At the resort, we met the owner (who happens to be a retired NHL player – which we only found out later to my husband’s chagrin) who told us some of the history of the lake that at one time was home to a boom town during the early 1900’s. “You need to do some hiking to see some of the old mineshafts,” he told us. He gave us instructions to follow a logging road from


Mineshaft at Jewel Lake Provincial Park

the resort, up the mountain to a closed shaft. “And there’s another one closer to the campground where you’re staying,” he said. “The trailhead is pretty obvious from the road just at the entrance to the provincial park.”

We did the hike from the resort and enjoyed spectacular views of the lake and did indeed find an old boarded up mineshaft from which we could feel very cold air blowing out cooling us from the hot day. Having explored the first mine, we decided to find our way up to the open shaft on the other side of the valley.

Well, we thought we found the trailhead – there was a small opening where you could tell people or at least animals had traversed in the recent past. But a little way up, we found ourselves thrashing through the forest, not knowing which way the trail went next. My partner thought we could keep going – we weren’t going to get lost, really, because all we needed to do was go down the hill to find the road. But I was leery of continuing and finally talked us into going back to the road. We were disappointed but decided to go a little further up the road and there with a ribbon and a wider entrance, we found a wide, easy to follow trail. It was a short hop up to the mineshaft entrance.

Sometimes when we are learning together about money with partners in life, we don’t find a rhythm right away in terms of the trail we want to take together. There may be obstacles, even emotional blocks, to one way of doing a plan together and it might feel like thrashing through the forest and getting annoyed with one another.

It could be that there isn’t only one right way to make a budget or a money plan together. One of us may need to suggest going back to the road to find another way to get to our destination. That’s okay. What we need to do when we work with a partner, is to be open to listening to each other, remember that we have potentially come from homes where money was dealt with differently and so finding a way together might take some time. Conversation about money is worth it – the views when we work well together can be spectacular. So, keep trying to find what works best for you!

About the Author


Dori Zerbe Cornelsen is a Gift Planning Consultant with Abundance Canada, encouraging and inviting generous living.  She and her husband Rick live in Winnipeg, Manitoba, where lots of generous, warm people live in cold temperatures for 6 months of the year.

Image credit: Dori Zerbe Cornelsen

Summer Fun on a Budget

RevealsThe sun is shining, the water is warming up and the days are much longer. Happy Summer everyone!

COMPASS is sharing different perspectives and ideas during the month of June to help get you in the mood, and to help prepare you to have fun this summer while on a budget.  Some of the topics and questions we will share about will be:

  • Having Summer Fun on a Budget with Young Adults and Kids
  • Camping and Christian Camping as part of summer
  • Tips for Travel, Vacations and Staycations on a Budget

We’ll cover these topics and more with the help of a number of guest writers and me. To start our month of ideas, tips and conversation, consider these three questions:

  • What is your best summer memory? What makes it so memorable, and how could you make that experience happen again?
  • What kind of a budget do you have for summer fun? Or, do you need help making a budget for the summer?
  • Have you ever gone traveling on a vacation or spent a week (or more) at camp during the summer? If so, where did you go and what did you learn?

As I think about those questions, my best summer memories either all involve vacations with families and those close to me, or the fun around the summer that my wife Allison and I got married. The common denominator in all of these memories is fun outside (at a pool, playing baseball/kickball, etc.), spending good quality time with important people in my life. Allison and I will be moving later this summer for her internship toward pastoral ministry, so hopefully we’ll be able to build some fun sightseeing into our moving trip.

Allison and I on a quick summer trip last year to see a couple friends of ours be ordained as pastors.

Allison and I on a quick summer trip last year to see a couple friends of ours be ordained as pastors.

Our upcoming move and a planned trip for a friend’s wedding are considerations as we plan our summer fun budget. We look forward to hosting friends at our home this summer and exploring local options, like attending a ball game or two.

I have been very blessed to be able to travel throughout much of the United States with family and loved ones, and I’ve even seen some different parts of the world. What I’ve learned through traveling and vacations is that I really love learning about history and the stories and cultures of different places and different peoples. It gives me a better perspective about how I relate to the larger world which I am part of as one of God’s children and part of God’s creation.

Now, it’s your turn. How would you respond to these questions?

Also, I am still looking for guest writers on any of the topics above. If you would like to share a perspective or reflection, please let me know!

This blog is a component of the Ecumenical Stewardship Center’s COMPASS initiative to engage young adults in conversations about faith and finances. Like what you see and want to know/do more? Visit the COMPASS web page and join the COMPASS community on Facebook.