Saturday, November 24, 2012

SB's White Chocolate Mocha

Absolutely yummy!!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Stuck in a Rut

So a year ago in counseling, The counselor was doing some explaining to us on the mind. How your mind will take the easiest possible route to something and sometimes it's a bad route, so the more you "allow" your mind to take this easy route the more engrained it becomes in being the route. Becoming an awful rut. Then if u want to de-rut, you need to intentionally try to create a new path, and this requires a lot of intentional consistency, because ur mind just wants to default to that rut, avoid the hardship of climbing out of the rut, the challenge of forging a new path, building something new.
So, the last 6 months, my default, my rut has been to blame, be resentful, impatient (with Quinn's requests for help). Freedom Session is challenging me now to counter those bad character defaults. So today I said to God I would start small, find a sliver of thankfulness, and start to de-rut.

Today's sliver of thankfulness starts with our daughter:
I've been feeling and having these random thoughts about Grace the last couple weeks. About how blessed we are to been given her. A girl, which was my true desire in pregnancy. A girl, despite a year plus of hardship, the grace of God to give Grace to us. A healthy baby girl, a really healthy baby.
During pregnancy I did think we were having a boy, I didn't think Quinn had girls in him, lol. Proof to me anyways that God creates and God decides when you'll have a baby, and what gender baby will be. Incredible to me that God lent us Grace. This is turning j to more than a sliver. :). I feel kinda helpless in parenting sometimes and know ill make lots of mistakes. I now look back at my parents and KNOW they weren't perfect, hands FULL with 5 kids and I can see how much and so many ways God is in control of our lives. Yes, he gives us parents here, but we're his kids and He can use many other people and many other ways to draw us to Him, cause I won't do it perfectly, Quinn won't, God can. Praise God. The perfect Father, Grace and Caden are from him, these little creatures, beautiful as they are, did not just come from Quinn and I. They're way too intricate and detailed to be spontaneous. God creates and He sustains, God you rule and you reign.

Ok, so I hope to continue de-rutting and I thought posting it allows me to write and the words just flow when I'm intentionally writing. if just thinking or trying to pray it in my mind, I'm too easily distracted (squirrel!). Writing works for me. Here we go.

Monday, November 5, 2012


Quinn is often saying he has no carpenter/building abilities. He might not have the experience, but that's not to say he can't do something he puts his mind to, he follows through.
With his projects he's completed, he's not going to be able to excuse himself from helping his buddies from home repair or building jobs they ask help on for much longer. He did the sand box in spring and now the play table, which only cost us $20, the tiny ones at the store cost $100. We go to Home Depot at the back by their wood cutting area and sometimes they have scrap pieces they'll give u for free, we got some free wood on both projects. And they cut it for him!!
So neat to see this stuff happen, Caden's blessed, as are we with the ability to give to our kids this way. :)

“You fathers—if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.” (Luke 11:11-13 NLT)

Handy helpers

Caden was Able to borrow his friends "worker" outfit for dress up day at school and for getting some candy from the neighbors. The first house we went to, he walked in their front door when they opened it and proceeded to undress, thinking we were staying there. We all laughed, their lovely people. He got the hang of it after a few houses and watching the loads of see kids on out street.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Defeat and Dependence

God has been revealing defeat in me. I feel defeated, like I know nothing, know so little about marriage, relationships, parenting and God himself. And the theme of dependence on Him keeps coming up. The story of the Israelites is all about dependence on God right?

Read Joshua 1 and 2 today. I'm learning even tho I feel like I'm so empty, God is saying Be Strong and Courageous. Do not be Discouraged. For The Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:7-9 NIV84)

Just like God was instructing Moses and now Joshua, as they were caring for the people, so He instructs me, as he has asked me to care for those he's placed in my life.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Telling Our Story

Today I was talking with one of my aunts. Her and her husband over the last year have been helpful, encouraging, hopeful. Today she said it was good that we are willing to tell friends, family what we are going through or dealing with. I said yes, but sometimes it's hard to be that open, especially when you face rejection from some people. She helped me see this more clearly, she said although the rejection is hard, to not blame them, dealing with something this heavy is hard for some especially when they have big issues of their own. (Whether they're dealing with them or not). That was so clarifying for me.
My youngest brother made a statement to us, about not judging those you face opposition from. So true, sometimes in defense the mind is so quick to blame, and judge, but God calls us to bless and empathy.

Don't repay evil for evil. Don't retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it.
1 Peter 3:9

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Yep, sickos everywhere u turn these days, cold bugs abound! Our family is immersed in it. What's also sick in another sense was this: Quinn went out with some close guy friends (which I'm super-stoked happy for him, he's done so little of that in the last year). So, the kids both went to bed with super ease, so I thought maybe I'd have a soak in the jacuzzi tub. Filled the tub up, climbed in, water covering the jets and this lovely concoction filled my water (see pic). Yes, I am in my tub with my phone now blogging about it. Gross, good news I get an uninterrupted shower and maybe I'll go do my homework after this. And maybe, I'll clean the jets (again) tomorrow. Jacuzzi tubs are way too much work for this young mama!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Luke 10:38-42
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38-42 NIV84)

The last while I've been convicted of my "Martha" moments. You see, I have ways I want to live but I don't always put them into practice. I like to wake up in the am, acknowledge to God that I have my family for another day, wake up rejoicing that I have my family another day. Some mornings I wake up going right into what I think needs to be done without acknowledging, that without God giving me breath I wouldn't have or be doing anything.
The other thing I need to schedule is God time, read the Word and pray, build the relationship so it's not so one-sided (God loves me regardless). I like to do it now when the kiddos nap in the afternoon. Now most days ill get maybe an hour when they're both sleeping, that could be prime time for getting things done.
Running around picking up this and that, dishwasher, dishes, laundry, clean floors, bathroom, dusting, tidy, tidy, tidy. I don't know how mothers with young children do fall and spring cleaning, that completely baffles me.

So some times I get caught up in my Martha moments of running around harried. On top of it, Martha Moments take away from my time with Quinn, to talk or just relax with him, and the time I should take to look just a little attractive (yes, I think it's important for marriage and should trump dusting :).

I guess I need to strongly note the conviction of Martha Moments is there on purpose. Sometimes I'm also reminded of life being short. If my child or husband is not here tomorrow, will it matter that I got the house tidied instead of being with them?

God wants my time, he longs for me. Sometimes i have that longing to be with people, socializing, I think I'm sometimes masking it for what could be much more fulfilling. Don't get me wrong, us emotional filled women need that at times.
Psalm 119:33-40
Teach me, O Lord, to follow your decrees;
then I will keep them to the end.
Give me understanding, and I will keep your law
and obey it with all my heart.
Direct me in the path of your commands,
for there I find delight.
Turn my heart toward your statutes
and not toward selfish gain.
Turn my eyes away from worthless things;
preserve my life according to your word.
Fulfill your promise to your servant,
so that you may be feared.
Take away the disgrace I dread,
for your laws are good.
How I long for your precepts!
Preserve my life in your righteousness.

Yummy mommy

About to take Caden to pre-school this morning, with about 10 minutes to spare, went to pick Grace up from her play mat and saw a poo disaster. I was wearing my white sweater, so after I picked her up and realized it, I whipped off my sweater.
After I was done cleaning her up in the shower and changed her, etc., put my sweater back on and marched off to school, late.
When I got home I took off my sweater and saw this...
The Bumbo picture is classic of the messes I've cleaned up in the last while, poo does not stay in this girls diaper very often.

Monday, September 24, 2012

One entire year

Well about this time of year marks several anniversaries:
- 1 year since moving into this God-given rental home, and with Quinn's parents
- 1 year since the start of Quinn's OCD and our incredible ongoing journey of change, individual relationships with Jesus, rediscovering each other in marriage and parenting, getting serious with our money (God's money).
- 5 year dating anniversary.

I hope to open up more over the next several months on these things, and changes.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Reality of smartphones

This post is in reference to a certain someone who doesn't have a smartPhone yet.

Maybe, just maybe she's the smartest of us all...

In the shower this morning I was thinking about this smartphone stuff. I appreciate my iPhone and have no plans to give it up, but just like TV, Internet, it requires time management and control. At least for me.

A lot of good can be redeemed from my phone, I said to a friend yesterday who is going through a tough time, I can send you encouragement in less than a minute. That's the beauty of my phone. A little one line email.
The Bible, is on my phone, I think of one word from a verse and I can look it up, no flipping thru a concordance that I never have handy, God's word is with me always.
Quinn and I text and talk for free, unlimited I Love You's, or for Quinn over this last year, I needed to be accessible always to him, he likely wouldn't have continued working otherwise. Allowed me to help him, even though in the midst of it, I was sometimes very frustrated, looking back I see what it did for Quinn.

I had Facebook on my phone for a couple months recently, I've since removed it. I was Always checking it, which was resulting in me having too much screen time while I'm with my children.

Just today I found a Blogger app tho, it's so easy to use compare to trying to blog over the web on my phone.

So I guess I'm thankful for my iPhone and hope I choose each day to use it moderately and for God.

Here's to more blogging!! (moderately)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

the past 9 months (but who's counting)

"In your anger, do not sin" (Eph 4:26) - I don't think the bible says to not be angry, rather to not sin in it and to "not be quick to anger" (James 1:19). For the last 10 months, it's been really hard to consider blogging. I didn't want to blog about the hard realities we were facing, so then I had trouble blogging about fun things or good or silly times, it just felt phony, like I wasn't being real about everything. So I vetoed blogging about anything, not ready to face blogging about our trial.

We decided to have a second child last summer, we both wanted a second child, and I felt that God gave me that desire at that particular time (before the summer I was either against it or on the fence til that point). Didn't take much and we were expecting baby #2. ;).

In September, I would have been 8 weeks along, Quinn had a very minor vehicle accident, but what resulted from that, in his mind, has changed our lives. Quinn has always had OCD tendencies, double checking, perfectionism, control. With that small traffic accident, a minor worry, sparked a huge loss of control in his mind. He started worrying about what could come of it, 'what ifs' took hold and Quinn started realizing how much he had to lose if he ever did something so wrong that could take him away, from what meant most to him: his family.  Not that he ever would with that minor traffic occurrence, but Quinn's mind took over and started worrying endlessly about it. He reasoned with me and a couple other people, hoping reassurances would ease his worry. Weeks went by and nothing came of it, as expected by me anyway. But by then Quinn's mind was in a constant state of fear and worry. Bad thoughts plagued him. Mid- October, we told our bible study group to pray for us, this hard stuff was really encompassing our life. We did have some good times, but for Quinn, he would have to work really hard just to try to have a good time. We try to keep life as normal as possible for Caden. My pregnancy went really well, despite everything that was required of me, by the grace of God.
By the end of October things were getting really tough and we asked our Pastor for help. He suggested a counselor. We met with him once a week.  At the end of Nov, it got really hard for Quinn, his mind just pounded him with worry that was so much to bear, he took over a week off work and had counseling several times in that week to help him get back on his feet. Quinn went back to work. I would be on the phone with Quinn every drive to reassure him his driving was ok. We continued with counseling, our counselor was trying to get to the root cause of Quinn's pain. He didn't pronounce Quinn with OCD at the time, but mentioned the tendencies were there. In hindsight, courtesy of the counselor, I realized how much I should have recognized in our dating relationship. Why I was blinded by love, only God knows and I believe was part of His purpose and plan. Some of our counseling sessions were hard to take.
In mid-Feb, Quinn stopped driving, the driving was what made up most of his bad thoughts, what ifs related to accidents. So if he stopped driving for a period of time, he thought they might cease, our counselor saw it as ok to do as well. So, Caden and I would drive with Quinn to work and go pick him up at end of day. The bad thoughts didn't stop, they just changed, now it was 'what-ifs' about people. Our Pastor recommended seeing a psychiatrist, he gave us a name of one he knew had helped one of his family members in similar circumstances. We saw our family dr for a referral, in the mean time, she put Quinn on anti-depressant, Quinn wasn't depressed, but she thought this might ease his anxiety some. We didnt hear from the psychiatrist. At the end of February, one day at work, Quinn asked his Dad to meet him for lunch, he was having a hard time at work with what he was dealing with. At lunch, Quinn was so distraught and in such a bad state, Quinn's Dad took action. Quinn's Mom had heard of a Dr at Victoria Hospital that might be good. He took Quinn to the hospital, I met them there. Quinn had to go through emergency, but the dr was upstairs so we would get to see him that day. Quinn explained everything, thinking this would result in him having to be admitted to psych ward (you can imagine with how psych wards appear on tv, what kind of worries this brought him). After Quinn explained, the dr was quick to pinpoint OCD. It was nothing more than Intrusive Thoughts, a part of OCD. Dr said, Quinn your fine, you don't want those thoughts, but your mind is set to send them to you, obsessively, so the thoughts seem real. Also, something to do with serotonin levels in the brain. Which invokes a lot of fear, anxiety and compulsions. He took Quinn off the other meds prescribed by our family dr and put him on stuff more specific to the disorder. With increase in dosages over several months. A few weeks later we felt we should continue counseling, weekly. Leading up to Grace' birth, Quinn's Dad quit his job (not on account of Quinn, to look for something else), so that allowed him to be around to pick Quinn up from work, and I would still drive in the morning. I knew it would be tough after Grace' birth, nothing could prepare us for it, we had to trust God...
Grace was born and Quinn took a week off, which was a good week - when Quinn is at home, he is much more settled, less things come up that can cause obsessive thoughts. The week he went back to work was hard. Quinn calls me for reassurances throughout the day, sometimes i was on the phone totals of 2 hours thru Quinns workday and with having a newborn and a toddler, time is the last thing I had. Some of my own choices during the first few weeks, led me to not getting as much rest as I should have, not getting to know Grace very well. Very slow and long recovery from childbirth. These last 2.5 months since Grace' birth have been bittersweet, Grace is such a sweet addition to our family, but the timing has tested us by no compare to any other time in our relationship or my entire life.

Quinn might soon be going off his medication on recommendation from our counsellor (with the Dr's direction), he believes it's more of a crutch, as is the label 'OCD' (did u know some areas of the world, they don't have all these labels of mind issues, it comes down to what experiences have brought you to this point and working through them). The brain is a complex fragile organ and the mind likewise. Quinn is working on re-programming his mind, setting up a belief system as a solid foundation he can build from. We are still a long ways from freedom, but I'm starting to see life on the other side. It's been very challenging for me to accept long-term 'illness' - if you will. I've learned a lot about the mind, and am much more aware of how much people in this world deal with, it might not be true when people tell you they are 'fine' or 'good'. People require a lot of gentleness. God has taught me a lot through all of this and there is much more He wants me to know about Him and His people. I struggle a lot with empathy, my selfish heart battles for itself, a lot.

A month ago we started going through a 9 week study with our church's youth pastor and his wife. We're actually guinea pigs, as he wants to potentially put this program in our church. Anyway, its revealed a lot about me, my current struggles, bitterness, anger, resentment. It also opens up wounds from your childhood, life experiences that make up who I am today. It reveals who God is, how God can bring healing to our lives. It's intense, but overall it promises to bring healing to our lives and a better understanding of how to work through what may come up in life, if we are committed.
We've had a lot of people praying for us over the course of 10 months and God has revealed so much to us in this time, we've seen Him in many different ways, life is not coincidental. God is definitely in the valley and walking ahead of us, this is not beyond Him.

Daily praying and Bible reading make a lot of difference. Today I read these passages:
“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. (Ephesians 4:26, 27 NIV84)
Going through trial, has made me see how it can either be used for God's glory or evil. I have too often given leverage or a foothold to the devil.

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32 NIV84)
Amen. Kindness and compassion come hard in the midst of OCD challenges, my simple mind thinks anger, judging and blame would be more effective than being gentle. Where do I get off? There are 4 fingers pointing back at my response to circumstance.
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. (Proverbs 15:1 NIV84)
Why do I think at times responding harshly to Quinn's ask for help will produce good? When I respond harshly, Quinn is hurt, and I just become more angry, and embittered. Quinn didn't ask for this stuff and although he's trying to overcome, it's not as easy as it sounds. The psych dr told us, we can't expect to overcome for a year since beginning treatment. (that's a lot of time for me to be refined by fire)...
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith–of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire–may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. (1 Peter 1:6, 7 NIV84)

Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. (Psalm 37:5, 6 NIV84)
I have to commit even the hard moments to God. The good moments too, it's all a part of His call on my life to bring glory to Him.

Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil. (Psalm 37:8 NIV84)
Yep, I'm often quick to anger. Why should my anger result in 'wrath of Lyla' to those closest to me. I need to turn the tide. Since Grace was born, it's been the hardest time for me, I am more often angry at Quinn than loving. I sometimes think, 'i should just hug Quinn', but then my defences get in the way.
Back in the fall, I prayed these issues Quinn was facing wouldn't affect our relationship. Well, it did, and how it affected my response is of my own accord. Choices I made, but God can redeem my mistakes for good. Showing Christlike love to Quinn and others is my goal...
One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:28-31 NIV84)