Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas

Caden loves to dance. We have music on all day, radio or if I find something great over YouTube. When he wants some dance time, he'll come to me, take what I'm doing at that moment, put it aside and pull my leg and say "dance". I guess I did dance a lot with him over the last 2 years and he must have inherited my love for music. Now he's creating moves of his own. Helps to have an amazing dance teacher ;).

Interesting what ive discovered this week. We're going through some stuff over here and I had this vision of what Christmas would look like, realizing this week that although Christmas will still be wonderful, it might be a tad different than my idea in my head. Caden and I during the daytime this month have been mostly listening to the Christian music station. They have mostly music that meets "the real meaning of the season". One day I switched it to another station in our fine city and it was VASTLY different messaging. Wow, it hit me. I'm sure there are a lot of people who don't have this "Christmas time" that media/culture leads us to believe is "normal". I wonder how deeply that affects people in the season, really? I know and have always known the real meaning of the season, but how often are we lead astray or led to want that "societal ideal" for Christmas? What things do we do at Christmas that we believe we have to do or feel forced to do to have a "Merry Christmas"?

Like other things in life, we have to be cogniscent of when society creates an ideal and what reality and life should mean to us and those close to us.

I think the message God wanted me to get this week, was that, Jesus came at Christmas, born not coincidentally, but divinely, in a stable. A barn. No matter what Christmas holds for us, He came for you and me, to be a part of our lives, every season of our lives. Not in a five star hospital or hotel room. He came for us, to live and experience real life as we do, the joy and the hardships, then give the ultimate gift of salvation if we accept that gift. If we do accept it, our eyes will see the world differently and if we do fall into a cultural trap, we can be led out and brought back to the real meanings of our life here.

Merry Christmas, and I mean that no matter what circumstances surround you this time of the year. Might you experience Jesus comfort in hardship or thank Him in times of joy. Praise God He sent Jesus, the Saviour of the world.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Sean Quigley - Little Drummer Boy


"This song is about Jesus, that's what its about." - Sean Quigley

http://www.winnipegsun.com/2011/12/01/winnipeg-teen-drums-up-viral-hit

Caden got a set of drums for his 1 yr birthday as a gift (just a Elmo set). We put it away then, the sticks were just dangerous!!  So, about a week ago we pulled it out for him, he likes his drums now and he likes this video. Right now he is walking around the house with my Iphone and he's got this video playing, all drums baby! and all for Jesus! :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Racial / Justice Issues

http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/thabitianyabwile/2011/11/08/colorblind-and-justice-blind/

I relate to what Dr. John Piper states about his upbringing, thankful for the growth I've experienced in my faith to see who Jesus really is...hmmm, lots to say, not sure how to put it down.

(Tiff, this isn't a response to your post, I just stumbled upon this tonight, I appreciate John Piper and value these videos and had to share :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Mama, this one's for you!

I remember being young(!)-er at home and there was sometimes things that my parents would do, that I said I wouldn't do or I would do differently, or at least I thought this at the time.  Some of them revolved around food :), surprise, surprise.  While my Mom did lots all the cooking, she always had to be pretty conservative and efficient with the food. Not much went to waste, and even waste meant that the dog was fed.

Yesterday I started a quest to make my first ever turkey soup.  I've done chicken noodle, but don't really remember having to go through such a process.  I decided to attempt as real to true homemade turkey soup could come. I don't really remember exactly how Mom made it, I never really watched closely at what went into the food.  While I could have asked my Mom how to do it, I decided to google a recipe and see what I came up with.  Well, what do you know, I found a recipe with Eastern European roots. Basically the same thing as my Mama and Grandma's have been doing for years, naturally, as we are all Eastern European descent.

So, yesterday, I threw everything into my big soup stock pot (one of my aunt's gave us as a shower gift), the turkey bone, water, and veggies with peppercorns. Let it boil for 6 hrs and put it in the garage overnight (just like Mom always did, flavour is amazing the day after!). So, today, I brought it in the house, sifted everything from the broth, veggies/meat/bones, everything out.  As you can see I wanted to save as much broth as I could, so I put it in colanders with bowl beneath. Then came the dirty work, the thing I said I'd NEVER do when I was in my own kitchen.  I'd watch my Mom pick that chicken or turkey right apart, right down to the bone, saving every little piece of meat, even the meat of the neck, YUCK! Her hands were greasy, ugh,  I was always disgusted with it.  I would say at the time in my head, "at my house, we would eat what was easily accessible off that bird and the rest was going in the garbage", there was no way I was gonna pick those things clean.

Well, never ever say Never.




It wasn't as bad a process as I thought.  I picked and sifted. I was pretty determined to make this soup true to recipe and the smell of it simmering yesterday had me even more determined. Today we'll throw the actual meat, fresh carrots and noodles back in the pot, add a few more seasonings and TASTE!!

I'm delighted to try it, hopefully early this afternoon!!!

Thanks Mom for showing us to not be wasteful, every good gift is a gift from God, even if you have to feed your kids neck meat ;).
(no, i didn't put the neck meat in the soup :/ feed it to the stray cats out back ;)...all the cat lovers just balked, I'm kidding!!)

love you Mom.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Squirmy Worms

I watched some John Piper today, with anything I've read from Piper, I've agreed with, he is a sound man of God.

I really don't want to open a can of worms here, but I couldn't agree with him more on this topic.  I've had conversations with those who work and those who don't work.  On the work side, I get a lot of worries about Finances.  How are we going to manage on only one income???  It is a legitimate concern, I feel especially for those who live in expensive markets (Winnipeg vs. small town)

This was definitely a concern for Quinn and I when Caden was in the womb.  We were surprised with Caden, it wasn't 'our' plan, but we decided while he was still in womb, I would stay at home (not working away-from-home) for the first 5 years-ish of the child's life and then maybe work part-time depending on the needs of the kids.  Kids before job always.  We were no where near our financial goals before we wanted to start having kids.  We lived in a 1BR apartment, had too much debt (we thought), and at least I was anxious, about 'All-the- work' kids are, didn't feel ready for it.  Financially on Quinn's wage, we would have to really, really tighten our budget.  Quinn was just out of college and only worked at his sales job for 1 year, which is a short-time in a sales career.

But we felt it was right, that was what kids needed, our kids needed.  Surely our parents would help financially if we were in a serious bind (we hoped :).

We trusted and we prayed.  If God calls you to something, He Will Provide.  We might not be able to see how it will happen, but He does.  In the last 3 years we've seen it time and time again in our lives.  A house? Do you really need a house or is it a societal demand, a cultural pressure, you're looked down on if you live in an apartment with your kids?  How much money do you really need, what kind of lifestyle do you think you need? Is society ruling you or do you want God to direct your life? We were willing to take on 2 kids in an apartment, God provided us with a house and parents willing to help. Will we need the help, what does the future really hold that He put us here?? Who knows, just trusting.  Don't get me wrong, we've made our own decisions in this ride, which probably weren't what God wanted, mistakes happen, God gives Grace.

This is my response to the 'Financial' question.  Don't discount God, like my good friend said when I was hesitant for financial reasons to go on a missions trip:  "Just Go, God has lots of money" ;)

We gotta stop believing we have all the control.


What to do...

The past week-ish I've been pondering, how can we make a difference this Halloween?  Probably should be something I could have earnestly prayed about in the last week, but that's another post about struggling in prayer life (bump in road).
Although, I know this topic has been on my mind for a reason, I'm glad its there.  I recently read this article, liked what the author had to say and the verses he imparted (1 Corinth 13:10). It IS Another day we can glorify God, and do the Will of God.  I like the idea of handing out candy (hello, kids are coming to YOU!!) and handing out something more edifying than candy, with the candy.  Our church has a ton of kids programs, so I ran it past Quinn about a little card with all the kids programs, times and dates, info listed.  Talking to the church about that.  So, I think its something I'll continue to pray about.  This is the first year as a family we'll have kids at our door, as previous apartment dwellers, we did not get kids, but now in a residential house, we have the opportunity.  Also not sure how many kids will come by, haven't seen a lot of young children on our street, but the quantity is not an issue.  Oh, and also this is a quality opportunity to meet more neighbors, parents often walk around with their kids, right?

What to do...


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

moving

Aslan, we're on the move!!

I always think of Aslan (Chronicles of Narnia), when it comes to moving, don't know why...does God move us??

Anyhoo, yep got into a house, a rental from some wonderful church people who wanted someone to take care of their potential retirement home in a few years.  Yep, we're here, take us!! and they did.  Aaaand, we're taking Quinn's parents with us, come along now!  (I'm writing this blog with expressions and funny voices in my head, but its not translating to paper, sorry.)
That makes the total rent cheaper for us than renting the apt, yay for cost savings, and, in the past, we've lived with Quinn's parents for almost 2 months in a 2 bdrm apt, so a house will feel oh-so-roomy to all of us.

We're very pumped, here's some of the pros I've been thinking about the last month-ish:

PROS:
- a backyard for Caden!
- a 2-car garage (we'll be able to clean our truck in a garage, wow!!!)
- Daylight coming into all 4 sides of the house, instead of 1 in the apartment
- We had to get a new washer/dryer for the place...all the Mamas say ooooh, ahhhhh
- I'm not a huge AC person, but there is central air, as opposed to one unit blowing on you in the living room.
- South facing kitchen, sipping Java in the sun...mmmm
- Not carrying boat loads of groceries up the sidewalk, thru 3 doors, while juggling a baby.  Park truck in garage and unload at leisure.
- BIG PERK - no marijuana/smoke smell wafting into our home!! yay
**funny story--I'm kinda naive with this stuff, so it was our friends that told us "why does your hallway smell like marijuana??"...ya.  It's only been the last month that someone moved in across the hallway and decided to smoke marijuana every single day. We have a towel by our front door to keep the smell out and all our air exchange vents are covered in plastic. Yes- the builders decided it would be a good idea to put an air exchanger thru everyone's apartment and the hallways and move everyone's apt air to everyone else's apartment air...are you dumb???  There must be laws against that. Yes, I would love for the smoking units air to come into my apartment and my good smelling air to go clear their apartment out. Yowzers.  I talked with my neighbour today, she has a young baby, she's pretty annoyed. Apparently she called the office and they told her, "well, it could be medicinal" ?!?!? seriously? really?  I called police today, they said they can't do much, unless its happening the very moment, so i told them it was, i doubt they'll come. I called the Bldg Manager today and she seemed really concerned and said it wasn't something they wanted, so hopefully something will be done. I know I move this wknd, but seriously, its not fair to everyone else living here. My neighbour hopes to move by December, I'm praying for their sake they can move sooner. That's my pot rant.  I'm glad the Fed gov't is clamping down on pot smokers/growers.


Anyhoo, there of course are lots of great things about living in a house, but truly, since we moved here in November, we've been very grateful for this place, for all the things we have, that allow us to live and love others in our place.  We plan to continue and do more of that hospitality type stuff in the new place.  The area we live has been great too, lots of nice trails, park, I lost 10 lbs and gained some form, this spring running those trails!  AND, thankfully we're only moving 1km away to the house, so we'll still have access to all the great trails, BING!

We did not expect this kind of change this soon in our lives, we anticipated it much further down the road, but God plans and ways are way above ours and brought this at EXACTLY the perfect time, it is perfect time. Wow.


Monday, September 19, 2011

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Godly Woman

I appreciate this church and how it gives away all its teaching...I appreciated this post today :)

http://pastormark.tv/2011/09/12/godly-wife-woman-mother-friend

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Job

This mornings DAB reading was from Job, God's reply to Job's questions. Funny how in Sunday School we learned about Job...that he had everything, wife, kids, big farm. Then it all got taken away from him, wife and kids died, farm destroyed and he was left sitting, covered in boils, under a tree. But he trusted God, he never wavered (at least that's what I remember learning), then eventually God blessed him with more than he had before.

Reading Job now, wow, its soo different, it was not that simple. Yes, Job did not deny God, but he certainly had questions and he had some pretty serious conversations with God.

In today's reading, God replies to some of Job's questions, if you care to read...

JOB 38: 1 - 40:2

1 Then the LORD spoke to Job out of the storm. He said:

2 “Who is this that obscures my plans
with words without knowledge?
3 Brace yourself like a man;
I will question you,
and you shall answer me.

4 “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
Tell me, if you understand.
5 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
Who stretched a measuring line across it?
6 On what were its footings set,
or who laid its cornerstone—
7 while the morning stars sang together
and all the angels[a] shouted for joy?

8 “Who shut up the sea behind doors
when it burst forth from the womb,
9 when I made the clouds its garment
and wrapped it in thick darkness,
10 when I fixed limits for it
and set its doors and bars in place,
11 when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther;
here is where your proud waves halt’?

12 “Have you ever given orders to the morning,
or shown the dawn its place,
13 that it might take the earth by the edges
and shake the wicked out of it?
14 The earth takes shape like clay under a seal;
its features stand out like those of a garment.
15 The wicked are denied their light,
and their upraised arm is broken.

16 “Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea
or walked in the recesses of the deep?
17 Have the gates of death been shown to you?
Have you seen the gates of the deepest darkness?
18 Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth?
Tell me, if you know all this.

19 “What is the way to the abode of light?
And where does darkness reside?
20 Can you take them to their places?
Do you know the paths to their dwellings?
21 Surely you know, for you were already born!
You have lived so many years!

22 “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow
or seen the storehouses of the hail,
23 which I reserve for times of trouble,
for days of war and battle?
24 What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed,
or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth?
25 Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain,
and a path for the thunderstorm,
26 to water a land where no one lives,
an uninhabited desert,
27 to satisfy a desolate wasteland
and make it sprout with grass?
28 Does the rain have a father?
Who fathers the drops of dew?
29 From whose womb comes the ice?
Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens
30 when the waters become hard as stone,
when the surface of the deep is frozen?

31 “Can you bind the chains[b] of the Pleiades?
Can you loosen Orion’s belt?
32 Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons[c]
or lead out the Bear[d] with its cubs?
33 Do you know the laws of the heavens?
Can you set up God’s[e] dominion over the earth?

34 “Can you raise your voice to the clouds
and cover yourself with a flood of water?
35 Do you send the lightning bolts on their way?
Do they report to you, ‘Here we are’?
36 Who gives the ibis wisdom[f]
or gives the rooster understanding?[g]
37 Who has the wisdom to count the clouds?
Who can tip over the water jars of the heavens
38 when the dust becomes hard
and the clods of earth stick together?

39 “Do you hunt the prey for the lioness
and satisfy the hunger of the lions
40 when they crouch in their dens
or lie in wait in a thicket?
41 Who provides food for the raven
when its young cry out to God
and wander about for lack of food?

1 “Do you know when the mountain goats give birth?
Do you watch when the doe bears her fawn?
2 Do you count the months till they bear?
Do you know the time they give birth?
3 They crouch down and bring forth their young;
their labor pains are ended.
4 Their young thrive and grow strong in the wilds;
they leave and do not return.

5 “Who let the wild donkey go free?
Who untied its ropes?
6 I gave it the wasteland as its home,
the salt flats as its habitat.
7 It laughs at the commotion in the town;
it does not hear a driver’s shout.
8 It ranges the hills for its pasture
and searches for any green thing.

9 “Will the wild ox consent to serve you?
Will it stay by your manger at night?
10 Can you hold it to the furrow with a harness?
Will it till the valleys behind you?
11 Will you rely on it for its great strength?
Will you leave your heavy work to it?
12 Can you trust it to haul in your grain
and bring it to your threshing floor?

13 “The wings of the ostrich flap joyfully,
though they cannot compare
with the wings and feathers of the stork.
14 She lays her eggs on the ground
and lets them warm in the sand,
15 unmindful that a foot may crush them,
that some wild animal may trample them.
16 She treats her young harshly, as if they were not hers;
she cares not that her labor was in vain,
17 for God did not endow her with wisdom
or give her a share of good sense.
18 Yet when she spreads her feathers to run,
she laughs at horse and rider.

19 “Do you give the horse its strength
or clothe its neck with a flowing mane?
20 Do you make it leap like a locust,
striking terror with its proud snorting?
21 It paws fiercely, rejoicing in its strength,
and charges into the fray.
22 It laughs at fear, afraid of nothing;
it does not shy away from the sword.
23 The quiver rattles against its side,
along with the flashing spear and lance.
24 In frenzied excitement it eats up the ground;
it cannot stand still when the trumpet sounds.
25 At the blast of the trumpet it snorts, ‘Aha!’
It catches the scent of battle from afar,
the shout of commanders and the battle cry.

26 “Does the hawk take flight by your wisdom
and spread its wings toward the south?
27 Does the eagle soar at your command
and build its nest on high?
28 It dwells on a cliff and stays there at night;
a rocky crag is its stronghold.
29 From there it looks for food;
its eyes detect it from afar.
30 Its young ones feast on blood,
and where the slain are, there it is.”

1 The LORD said to Job:

2 “Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him?
Let him who accuses God answer him!”


God tried to get through to Job, for Job to understand that He cares about him and loves him. God feeds the very bird outside my window!! A story of God's care for me: I always go back to the time my parents were quite poor, we never knew it as kids at the time. Our parents told us years later, they were severely under the poverty line one year. I don't remember the time, probably because I was never starving, thirsty, unclothed, homeless, unloved, never. God took care of a large family, provided our needs fully through very challenging times. It's something I carry with me and if hard times ever fall on us or me, I can recall that memory or read Job.

update...


Obviously, I've been putting off this update. It's not the update I wanted to write, but its not about me, its not all about my wants.

After 4.5 days of straight underwear for Caden, we went back to diapers. Stopped potty training. We still tell Caden when we are going pee or poo, so he keeps learning about the consistency, but we don't ask him to go on the toilet. We're stopping for a month, 2 or 3 until he shows just a bit more "want" to go on the toilet. His toilet options are still in the washroom too, so that is a visible reminder. Every aspect of the 3 Day Potty Training program Caden was good with, except "wanting" to go pee or poo on the toilet. He understood it all. I found out he can hold his pee and poo for an awful long time, so the control is there. We both learned an awful lot, hoping Caden retains some of that knowledge for the next go-round.

The next go-round I plan to utilize the 3 Day technique again, straight underwear, positive, praiseful, tons of grace. (Again, I would not have had the patience and grace without God and the prayers of my family and friends, THANK YOU!) I believe in the 3 Day program still, maybe 3 days is unrealistic for some children, maybe 22 months is unrealistic for some children. Maybe the author of the program has a certain personality that worked in training her 5 children at that age, I don't know. I don't regret trying it, it taught all 3 of us in different ways.

And thanks to you who gave me reassurance that it was ok to stop the program and try again later (it tears me up, you are all sooo good!).

Last week also made me see, that although we know what is good for our child and really WANT him to do something, he has to have the want, the desire has to be his as well.

How blessed we are to have Caden, he is a supreme joy in our lives, love him!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

update...

Caden's in a nap time now, allowed me some elliptical time and a quick update...

*Confidence..."when your hill is high and you're afraid to try, Confidence will take you up to the sky" lyrics from Caden's DVD we listened to this morning.
*Patience - my patience, i believe has been sustained by your prayers
*Grace - also offered tons of grace after mistakes, God grants us sooo much grace when we're learning, how can I not offer unlimited!

I certainly am not perfect at these traits, but God has offered me much help in these areas the last day and a half.

3 words that have struck a cord yesterday and today...I felt in my heart this morning, that this IS something Caden can do, I have MUCH confidence in him. I've gained confidence in myself to be able to do this as well.

Thanks for your prayers all, we're still in the thick of the training, Caden has not had a BM in a day and a half, so hoping he's not holding that in...9 pee accidents yest and 3 so far today. Nap time yest...no pee, overnight - he only peed around 6am in his bed, slept the whole night through!!

thanks for your continued prayers.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

it's here...i think.

well, a while ago, Tiffany blogged and told me about this 3 day toilet training deal. I looked it up, read the 30 page manual and convinced myself I was gonna go for it at the 22 month mark. Caden is now 22 months.... :/

I have booked next week "off", no play dates, no errands, staying at home (as the manual states). Last night we took Caden to buy supplies. We let him pick a stand alone toilet seat as well as a toilet seat cover. Then we went and bought some underwear, which he happily carried to the cashier until he got tired and had me carry him. This morning, I pulled his underwear out of the package, he took a pair and tried to put them on himself. He doesn't dress himself at all really yet, but he likes to try, put the underwear down by his feet, not understanding you have to lift those feet off the ground. So I helped him put them on over his pajama shorts and his diaper. Hopefully this won't confuse him for next week when I tell him we're wearing them on their own.

Monday morning I plan to, with Caden, throw his existing diapers in the 'garbage' (clean garbage bag, I'll donate them later, but I want that visual for him). Then start the 3-day process.

This morning Caden was in the washroom with me, playing and checking out his new toilet options. I think he's getting it and I'm happy that he's more into the toilet seat cover and stool for the actual toilet.

A couple friends have strongly encouraged me to go for it, to try it and if it absolutely doesn't work after the 3 days, to let it go and try again in a month or two.

So, come Monday, I may not be on the computer a lot or at all, as my attention will be 100% over there, but I'm asking for prayer that I will exemplify tons of grace, patience and heaps of praise.

:)

Monday, August 8, 2011

intercessory

This msg was a note I sent to a friend recently as we've been discussing prayer and growing in God, hope you don't mind ____ that I posted this as a blog :)

"If we truly love people, we will desire for them far more than it is within our power to give them, and this will lead us to prayer: Intercession is a way of loving others."—Richard J. Foster

Caden and I were outside the other morning, couple guys were installing park benches beside our apt bldg. one of the guys installing the park benches was native, long hair in a ponytail. An old guy (tenant) was chatting with him and Caden and I were hanging around watching them work. The native said that he gets judged easily, on the news when they describe someone who committed a crime, they'll say, Native, Long Hair, about 5'10"...he said that's all the guys in the North End! so he gets judged easily. He said he's not like the guys who are causing trouble, but he gets judged easily b/c of what they do. He grew up mostly with a white family he said, a German family, so he grew up differently, they loved him like their own.
Glad that those guys had that conversation, helped my eyes to be open even more.
Realizing lately loving 'random people' takes a lot of guts, at least for me. Being willing to say Hi and talk to people humbly. I have recently been praying for courage and no fear, so I can speak boldly on Christ's behalf. I think it's working...that quote speaks to me about LOVING people...I can use the excuse that I'm shy, but that's just an excuse and then I'm not willing to be used by God. I do desire loads more for people than I can give them (financially or personal attn), but I know God has the means to do so. So intercessory is also necessary.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

prayer

Yesterday in a tragic accident, my sister's Father-in-law passed away. My brother-in-law and sister are hurting, as is the family and extended family. Very, very hard time for the family, wife, 3 kids, 2 with spouses and 2.5 grandkids, all live in relatively the same area, now without their husband, Dad and Grandpa.

If you have a moment, pray for the Martens' family.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Don't Repost this...

My response to a "re-post" status I saw on Facebook:

Re-post status found on a friend's page:
In Canada - The Homeless go without eating.
In Canada - The Elderly go without needed medicines.
In Canada - The Mentally ill go without treatment.
In Canada - Our Troops go without proper equipment.
In Canada - Our Veterans go without benefits they were promised.
Yet we donate billions to other countries before helping our own first. Have the guts to re-post this. 1% will re-post, 99% won't

My response:
In Canada, we are rich and have an enormous opportunity to be generous in all things, financially and our time. We are Canada, we are this country, we are free to make choices that will impact the Homeless, the Elderly, the Mentally Ill, the Troops and the Veterans. Grateful our government can give money to other countries to help, but even tho we don't have billions personally to give, we can help in small practical ways here and still make big impacts. Don't repost this, just go out and do this.

I didn't respond this way on Facebook, because I would most likely offend, it makes me sad that we put down our government for something so silly. It would be the same as me bashing my church (which, shamefully I have in the past). I am the church, the people in the church are the church. If you bash Canada, you are Canada, you live here, you voted and you impacted the government currently in power. If you don't like a choice they made, write to your MP, voice your concern and pray for them. Yes, they have huge responsibilities and likely, most of us don't know enough background about each decision they make to question it entirely. Being a top 5 country in the world, says a lot. We are rich. Always remember how rich we are. If you think you are poor, you need to visit a 3rd world country. Always remember how rich we are.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

love

I'm a little too serious sometimes. I think I should laugh more, especially with Caden. Quinn makes me laugh, one reason I married him :). I think God gave me this personality for a purpose. Serious in a good way. A way that makes me think often and be concerned for others. My Heart be burdened. My family is at the forefront, then my friends, then people I don't know, that I would like to know and show love to. Sometimes my heart just aches for people and the situations they are in, whether if it is because of a choice they made or something completely out of their control. Sometimes God beats me to the punch, He's already there in those situations while I'm still back thinking about it. Sometimes He uses me to be His hands and feet. My prayer is to be used more by Him. To go without Fear, having courage to pour out love and pour out more and more and more. There will always be extra love to share. I'm thankful for this last half year and what God has showed me and taught me. The Bible and the book "Crazy Love" and Holy Spirit are all to thank. The more I know about God, the more amazing He is. I can't imagine what learning more will reveal to me.

If you have a prayer request anytime, I'd love to pray for you, msg me via FB or email, completely private, I will lift you up, in prayer, to God.

"How can I keep from singing your praise? How can I ever say enough? How amazing is Your love?... I know I am loved by the King and it makes my heart want to sing!!" - Chris Tomlin

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

undoing busyness

baaaaahhhhh!!!!

I'm so thankful I'm not unraveling...yet. Back in January when my sister asked me to be Matron of Honour for her, I accepted. I didn't tell her, but I was kinda scared. I'd done lots of bridal party duties before, but now I had a husband and a child! I said then that I was going to prioritize.
1. God
2. Husband
3. Caden
4. Other responsibilities including Maid duties

And, I did well...until crunch time. Yes, I coasted through til April. At the end of April, I knew it was gonna start getting busier, with showers and more and more helping, my duties were piling up, the things I'd been asked to do for her, some big jobs I hadn't even started. I knew May would be busy. Now here we are closing out May.

So in this last week I've been seeing a lack of intimacy/closeness with my husband over May. Enter: busyness. Busyness is an intimacy killer. We had a good chat about it and its me that needs to change - address it and change it. Definitely pray about it. So, yes I know we're still not at the wedding (less than 2 weeks to go), but I'm glad I know what to watch for and if you're praying, can you please pray that God can help me prioritize like I listed, like He wants me to? I'm a bad time manager, prioritizer, so I know the days I pray for TM and Priority help, I notice such a difference.


I am very excited for the BIG day! Despite those "worries", I'm there, its so close, its very exciting. We've had all the showers, which were great, my sister agrees - they were blessed like MAD! She already has her dress at home, oh so much is in place. OK, I should go write a list of my to-do's.
Thanks blog readers!
XO

Thursday, May 19, 2011

education


This popped into my inbox this morning, funny! Funny because teaching Caden has been on my mind over the last while...I want to find the balance between teaching him, giving him the education he needs, but also understanding ultimately we don't need to worry about it so much, but hand it over to God. God knew him before he was born and the plans for him, so ultimately I, or we, pray that Caden would be led by God as he matures into a young man and pursue God's plans for him, because I know those plans WILL be so much greater than what our minds can comprehend, we can't see the whole picture, God can, so how can His plan not be so much greater?


Knowledge v. Wisdom

1 Cor 1:20-21: "Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe" (NASU).

The education of our children can be an all-consuming passion. We struggle to get them into the right schools, starting with pre-school and continuing through graduate school, but we must keep in mind that a great education does not guarantee success in God's eyes. Many of today's schools, particularly colleges, consider the message of the cross "foolish". To them it is a sign of weakness, disgrace and low standing. As parents, we must balance that message with the truth that the world's wisdom does not save. The greatest secular education misses the point - only the cross can save.

Wisdom is available when we seek God. When we concentrate our efforts on teaching the value of an eternal perspective, we can worry a little less about the world's view of where wisdom can be found. - Parentingbydesign.com

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Spiritual Blindness

Spiritual Blindness - John 9
35 When Jesus heard what had happened, he found the man and asked, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”

36 The man answered, “Who is he, sir? I want to believe in him.”

37 “You have seen him,” Jesus said, “and he is speaking to you!”

38 “Yes, Lord, I believe!” the man said. And he worshiped Jesus.

39 Then Jesus told him, “I entered this world to render judgment—to give sight to the blind and to show those who think they see that they are blind.”

40 Some Pharisees who were standing nearby heard him and asked, “Are you saying we’re blind?”

41 “If you were blind, you wouldn’t be guilty,” Jesus replied. “But you remain guilty because you claim you can see.


Christian arrogance and spiritual blindness. Being a Christian for many years, getting caught up in arrogance is too common I think. It's been in me for some time. Lately I've been shown and this arrogant veil has been removed, there is no room for being taught - while in an arrogant state of mind. ugh, it disgusts me. After time, we allow our minds to think we know everything there is to know about the Bible, being a Christian and God. "You remain guilty because you claim you can see. - Jesus".

Matthew 18:4

"Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven."

Luke 14:11

"For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

Ephesians 4:2

"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love."

James 1:9

"The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position."

James 4:6

"But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."

1 Peter 3:8

"[ Suffering for Doing Good ] Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble."


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Prayer and the Difference It Makes

Learning an awful lot about prayer over the last while, just one of the resources is this series of articles:

Also, still immersed in the Crazy Love book, teaches about God's crazy love for each of us, so kraaa-zy! Helps with prayer as well. Our small group is very thrilled to be going through it, we haven't done a series this enthusiastically in a while (in my opinion :). mm-mm-mmmm!



Tuesday, April 26, 2011

In the Bible reading I follow, today had pieces from Old, New Testaments and Psalms all with similarities - 'irony' in itself, even moreso how it applies to my faith and I'm sure many struggle this way...

1. Judges 6, Gideon is approached by an Angel of the Lord, not believing it is the Lord, he asks for a sign, he gets it, then says to God, 'don't be angry with me, i need one more sign its you', so God in His grace gives him another sign. C'mon! I say, how don't you get that Gideon?! God talked to you, you saw the Angel and yet you needed 2 signs to understand it was Him?! Really?
Ha!
That's so me. I have had prayers clearly answered by God since I was a teenager and yet, nearly 30, I bring something to God, lay it before Him and wonder if He is there, if He hears me or if He cares.
2. Then in Luke's writings of the crucifixion, he recounts Peter. Being a disciple, he saw countless miracles, he knew Jesus was the Messiah, the Lord. Jesus told Him directly days earlier, you will disown me. Peter denied it.
Luke 22:54-62
Then seizing him, they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest. Peter followed at a distance. And when some there had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter sat down with them. A servant girl saw him seated there in the firelight. She looked closely at him and said, “This man was with him.”

But he denied it. “Woman, I don’t know him,” he said.

A little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.”

“Man, I am not!” Peter replied.

About an hour later another asserted, “Certainly this fellow was with him, for he is a Galilean.”

Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him:“Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” 62 And he went outside and wept bitterly.

God always wins, Jesus always wins. What was Peter scared of? Would he possibly suffer with Jesus? That would be frightening to me too, possibly suffering alongside Him. Jesus rose 3 days later, God won, Satan was defeated. Would I, like Peter, have denied Him out of fear? (shudder).

3. Then in Psalms, they reference the Israelites...
Today, if only you would hear his voice,
“Do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah,
as you did that day at Massah in the wilderness,
where your ancestors tested me;
they tried me, though they had seen what I did.
For forty years I was angry with that generation;
I said, ‘They are a people whose hearts go astray,
and they have not known my ways.’
So I declared on oath in my anger,
‘They shall never enter my rest.’”

The Israelites were flip-flopping - believe God and be taken care of / not believe and be miserable and back and forth, back and forth. I mean seriously how many times before they get it?? Can they not just trust God, for once and for all?? Oh, maybe we're like that too.

What God is showing me, is that He is in each Moment, He creates each moment, He's here. How can we shut Him out of life or moments of life?

The message below I emailed to Quinn on Monday to tell him of my 'vision'.

I drank coffee last night, so couldn't sleep when we went to bed (11:15). I need to stop drinking coffee in the evenings, not good. I was laying there thinking about God and I had a vision, sorta. If i was a graphic designer I'd create a picture, but I'm not, so I'll do my best for you to see it in your mind.

I envisioned a multi storey building, God forms the base of this structure, then on the first floor are big chunk words of "your birth", amongst the words are pillars, each piller has G-O-D lengthways down the side of it, lots of pillars amongst the floor ,to hold up the second floor. The Second floor has the word Education throughout it. Many pillars again with GOD throughout each floor, many, many floors form this building with parts of life, such as your family, friends, knowledge, your marriage, your child(ren), (I didn`t really get past the 'child' floor, prob because I haven`t been there yet) with lots of God pillars throughout each floor, I did understand that the top floor is the end of your life and God pillars are there too.

I don't think the words I wrote justify this image given to me last night, it was beautiful and majestic, lots of strength. I kinda felt compelled to get out of bed and go record it then, but my mind was getting tired. Right after this my arms and hands felt very heavy, like they had mini pillars encasing them, it felt heavy, but it was in a good way, like it was God`s strength right there (hard to explain). I asked Him to release the weight actually because it was preventing me from sleep. :)

I know God was showing me how He is IN each moment of life, he GIVES us each moment and He's with us in each moment, He created each moment and He is in the moment, something we should never forget. He can help us in each moment, He is the moment.

What I know today is, I must be more aware of how I act, react and live each moment. God is with me, he's here.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

facebook

I was thinking this last week how grateful I am for Facebook. Do you know who much it has taught me over the last couple years?? Day in and day out my Newsfeed is FULL of thought provoking, engaging, teaching, God-centered moments. Granted I have kinda made it that way (or it's been provided for me to make it that way). There are people and organizations communicating God's word in ways that others can learn from. Since about 6-7 years ago, I have been drawn to learning (when I joined my church, sermons and reading books), I don't think I've read a fictional book in this time. But this last 2 year period hasn't given me a lot of time to read many non-fiction books either. That's what I like about Facebook, I'm able to read the articles organizations or individuals pass on and still be learning even though I don't have time for big books. As I said I just got the book Crazy Love, my first book in forever and when I do take some time to read it, it's hard to put down.

Of course nothing replaces some non-facebook, get-your-nose in the Bible time. The real Word. Lost track of that over this winter too, now these last few weeks I have done it, it requires discipline for me to just do it. You learn something new each day.

just my thoughts...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Just Stop and Think

If you got 15, check out this video. Our Bible Study group is doing a series on this popular book, Crazy Love by Francis Chan. This was an introduction video we watched. Very much looking forward to expanding or perhaps changing (!) my view on who God is, His big Greatness. Excited!! If you've read this book, let me know what you learned or thought of it.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

blogless funk?

Think I am in a blogless funk. I have a smidgent of an post idea at times, but can't grasp the whole concept of a blog post, so I don't even start. Just you all know I'm still here, thought I would post something.

It's almost Easter weekend, and Easter has hardly crossed my mind. We had our Palm Sunday service at church this last weekend, that was the start of it for me, I think. Our church always visualizes Palm Sunday in some way, usually containing Palm leaves filling the church, I appreciate that visual so much. This time they had a wooden donkey, Jesus beside, with all His
followers excited, waving palm leaves, celebrating and of course some downer Roman guards had to be around to try to dispel the excitement. And the choir singing Hosanna adds to the message.

Last night I was reminded Easter is so close and I hadn't even thought of how we're going to celebrate this with Caden. A thought ran through my mind that we better get to the store and buy some Easter eggs or Easter decorations, but in the end that wouldn't serve a purpose for Caden anyway and as adults that wouldn't be how I want it celebrated. What to do...

This thought also crossed my mind recently...What a total injustice Jesus went through. I mean, can you imagine, having done absolutely NOTHING against the law and suffering as he did??!?
After being slapped in the face by the man who arrested him, Jesus says (from the Book of John)...
“If I said something wrong,” Jesus replied, “testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?”

The captor didn't answer, but sent him to the high priest for further questioning.

I find the conversation between Jesus and Pilate (Roman Governor) intriguing every time I read it...

From the Book of John:

Then the Jewish leaders took Jesus from Caiaphas to the palace of the Roman governor. By now it was early morning, and to avoid ceremonial uncleanness they did not enter the palace, because they wanted to be able to eat the Passover. So Pilate came out to them and asked, “What charges are you bringing against this man?”“If he were not a criminal,” they replied, “we would not have handed him over to you.”

Pilate said, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.”

“But we have no right to execute anyone,” they objected. 32 This took place to fulfill what Jesus had said about the kind of death he was going to die.

Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

“Is that your own idea,” Jesus asked, “or did others talk to you about me?”

“Am I a Jew?” Pilate replied. “Your own people and chief priests handed you over to me. What is it you have done?”

Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”

“You are a king, then!” said Pilate.

Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”

“What is truth?” retorted Pilate. With this he went out again to the Jews gathered there and said, “I find no basis for a charge against him. 39 But it is your custom for me to release to you one prisoner at the time of the Passover. Do you want me to release ‘the king of the Jews’?”

They shouted back, “No, not him! Give us Barabbas!” Now Barabbas had taken part in an uprising.

Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. 2 The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe 3 and went up to him again and again, saying, “Hail, king of the Jews!” And they slapped him in the face.

Falsely accused, slapped, flogged, spit on, struck with a staff, insulted, made to wear a crown of thorns, betrayed by His friends and loved ones, made to carry a wooden cross and crucified - Jesus. There is injustice around the world today and we've witnessed or know of accounts, however this one recorded several times in the Bible (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) and prophesied of in the Old Testament, is ultimate. The perfect one, the King, sacrificed for us, so we could simply repent of our sin and be given Eternal Life through Grace and Forgiveness.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

KimyalBible10minute

My cousin Nancy shared this on Facebook, just beautiful.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

underserving

Walter Astrada - photojournalist

this thought has surfaced my mind here and there the last few weeks...how we are undeserving, completely. We don't deserve to have a great husband, sweet baby, great parents, family, good friends, a roof over our heads, abundant food, etc, etc...the only reason we have it is by God's grace.

Today in my daily parenting email, some very relevant words:

Deut. 6:10-12: When the Lord your God brings you into... a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant—then when you eat and are satisfied, be careful that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery (NIV).
- It is so easy to take credit for the good things we acquire. But, we must not forget (or let our children forget) that all of our material possessions are blessings that God, in His grace, allowed us to have.
- Despite what our culture may tell us, we have not earned our material blessings. There are others in less fortunate parts of the world who are far more deserving.
- Others have worked harder for less, yet still humbly accept the blessings God gives them as more than they deserve. (bolding mine)
- Humble yourself and thank God for the blessings He gives you.
(Parenting By Design, Chris & Michelle Groff)

man, oh man, how often i forget to humbly thank Him for what I, we, have.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Edify one another...with cake?


"valleys" continue to be on my mind, especially when I see a friend or loved one in a valley. They definitely are inevitable, valleys come.

As I think of friends in valleys, they surface my thoughts constantly throughout the day, I pray for them and then I try to act. Maybe a phone call, text, email or cake.

One friend said sometime ago how much she loves my apple cake and guess what? I bought apples on the weekend. Why? They were on sale, February is Apple Month.

The Valley came. Apple cake is in the oven.

As I was mixing the cake this morning, the scripture came to mind "edify one another", a piece of a verse in Romans. I also like this verse from 1 Thessalonians 5:11: Therefore comfort yourselves together and edify one another, even as also ye do. (NKJV)


This time, I Edify with cake, and pray that those in the valley can know Jesus is with them, "walking" (Psalm 23:4) with them through the valley.

As Dr. Charles Stanley put it:
- The deeper the valley, the greater the work God will be able to do through it.
- We learn more in a valley experience than we do on the mountain top.
- In hard times, we are far more likely to discover how to rely on God than when things are going well.
- The most significant seasons of spiritual growth
in your life have probably corresponded with the
hardest circumstances you have experienced.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Inevitable Valley in Life

Valleys in life are inevitable, as the video states, sometimes you're on a mountaintop, sometimes the valley. Dr. Charles Stanley talks about Psalm 23 and valleys.

Took a few minutes for me to get into this one, but I'm glad I kept listening, powerful truth!

This Week on TV

Thursday, January 20, 2011

quote for today

R.C. Sproul: God just doesn't throw a life preserver to a drowning person. He goes to the bottom of the sea, pulls up a corpse, takes him up on the bank, breathes the breath of life into him, and makes him alive.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

resolve

Encouraging blogs, encouraging posts...
I read the blog Blessings and Glory, as you can see on my list on the right.

Quoting what she wrote:

"“When you talk, do not say harmful things, but say what people need—words that will help others become stronger.“ Ephesians 4:29 (NCV)

Ann writes a bit more about why our words, especially as mothers matter most:

All the words I had ever spoken, they are making my children who they are. What we speak into others, this is what they become."

I can see in reflection times I've messed this one up and the implications of it. What a prayer for a New Year. I pray it for me too, to my husband, to my son, to all whom I encounter.