Thursday, August 27, 2009


You're moving in me. It's taken a long time for me to allow it but it's happening. Funny how I've begged and pleaded for years for Your touch, Lord, but was unwilling to receive it if it had strings attached. Wow, it's new to let go and let You have Your perfect way. It actually works! I feel it spilling into every area of me, every corner of my heart. It's not scary anymore-the trusting, the letting go; it's freeing. And above all, it's going to give me unspeakable joy. Thanks for being patient with me and for loving me enough to stick around until I learned Your way was best. I've been stuck in this pit for so long that the sunshine is almost blinding, but oh, it feels good!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Broken Hearts

They are there, everywhere I look--heartbroken women. If I don't actually speak with them, I see it in their eyes. Some of them laugh, hiding silent anguish, some of them can't help but wear it on their faces. These ones are done. Done with the hurt, done with the abuse, done with the loneliness, done with the pain. Some of them know the One who can help them, they've been brought up with this knowledge. Others don't understand why the people sitting in pews under tall steeples call Him, Lord.

Dear, precious woman, I am writing to tell you that God knows your name, He knows the number of hairs on your head, he is collecting your tears, He aches to heal you. Whether you've never known Him or you've turned a deaf ear because some hypocritical Christian tainted Him in your mind, reach out to Him. He is the One who created you and longs to have a relationship with you. He alone can fill the void inside, wash away the apathy, the hardness that you've built around your heart for protection. He will never fail you or betray you.
God is waiting for you to take a step toward Him. He's always been there. It's in taking that step, the one that releases your control of your life (as much as you feel out of control) to Him. Just talk to Him and tell Him you're done with the garbage you've been handed or the garbage you have gathered yourself. Tell Him you don't know what else to do and you need Him. Rest in Him. He'll give you the peace you've been longing for. As you begin to seek Him, the Bible says you will find Him. Then, He'll take those wounds and heal them and show you a way through the pain to the end of that long, dark tunnel.

Bless you on your journey. I know it works, dear Sister, I've been there too.

Monday, August 24, 2009


They giggle and run, fingers entwined. They pose for me but then it becomes a joyful game and I gaze upon this unspeakable unity that will bind them together as long as they live. The same is so for me. I am utterly blessed to posses two forever friends, my sisters. We own the same memories, family, heart yearnings, and healed wounds. We cry till we laugh and laugh till we cry. We are separated by miles but not by depth of love. These dear sisters, mine and my daughters' are our escape, our antidote, our listening ear. They are a gift.

Friday, August 14, 2009

She Teaches Me

I always knew she was special, that she had gifts and talents, but I never knew she would cause me to examine myself, the way I must when I'm with her.
Being the eldest of three daughters, she is a mirror of me in so many ways. I look into the mirror of her heart and thank the Lord for the positive qualities that are also mine but swallow hard when I observe the ones I've worked to banish generationally. Oooh, how these ones stare back at me boldly, mockingly. Not that they've reared their ugly heads in this precious girl, but glimpses are there and this is why I come before the throne for my children and myself daily. When I recognize a negative trait I remind her that she has younger siblings to which she must be an example. I chide her and say that we don't want them picking up this characteristic. The other day, after thinking about how she might unknowingly pass along something negative, she asked me, "Where did I get it from?" Then HE reminds me that in my brokenness, I'm given the grace to lead this daughter to Him. I grimace. I ache to know Him more passionately so I only pass her the baton of righteousness and wisdom.
My beautiful, responsible, loving, intelligent girl, you thrive on deep, emotional connections with your family. You seek justice. You are more affectionate and thoughtful than I ever was. As much as I see myself mirrored in you, you are a unique creation of God. I couldn't be more proud of the girl you're becoming. I'm so thankful for the way you open my eyes to new ideas, ways of looking at the world and people. I'm excited to see where God is going to lead you as you grow. I am so blessed to be your Mom and I will continue to examine myself as you teach me who God is.

Joy in Just a Sprinkle

Who needs a pool when you've got "pure joy" at your fingertips and can move it all over the yard? Our sprinkler is enough fun to last an afternoon and OH, the pleasure of observing my children leap, bound, dance, and karate chop their way through the intermittent spray!

Simple pleasures are best! Thank You, Lord for the heat that's finally arrived!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Rare Collections

Molly. One of a kind. There's no one quite like this little girl of mine. She's as rare as the things she collects and appreciates. She makes you smile just thinking about her.

Molly spent time picking up walnuts from the ground and searching for the odd little spheres on the branches. She was thrilled just to spend her time this way. She counted and added more and shared them with me.
Her independent research and observation of them was inspiring and I was reminded to take pleasure in simple things.

Thank You, Lord for blessing me with such a rare and happy beauty.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Storing Up

I strolled past my brother-in-law's wood-splitting area on the farm yesterday and thought about the hard work that must have gone into chopping and organizing these neatly piled logs. The wisdom in storing up the wood for winter reminded me of something our Pastor spoke about on Sunday. He challenged us to "store up" wisdom by feasting on the Word of God. Like Joseph, who was able to use his wisdom for a later and greater purpose, we must prepare ourselves for what is ahead. While we are able, we must seek for discernment as for silver and search for her as for hidden treasure. Only then will we find the knowledge of God (Prov. 2:3-5). And what will we do with that knowledge? We will be able to face giants in our lives, knowing we can "do all things through Christ who strengthens us" (Phil. 4:13) and we can draw others out of their trouble as well.

holy experience

Monday, August 10, 2009

Gratitude Community

I've joined the Gratitude Community of 1000 Gifts and I will be noticing some changes in my life as I give thanks in everything. This is promised to me in God's Word and it's also how I am to enter into prayer! (Psalm 100:4)

holy experience

I am grateful for...
  • little feet pattering down the hallway in the morning
  • fresh fruit
  • my reading chair, blanket, Bible, journal and pen
  • exercise (I can actually write this one and mean it now!)
  • a mom who cares deeply about my sisters and me
  • thunderstorms (once a phobia--now I am healed!)
  • an affectionate husband
  • a quiet life (that didn't used to be so quiet--He's teaching me!)
  • a functioning vehicle
  • friends who like to swap kids for the day :)
  • long awaited tomatoes turning red
  • forgiveness!

    Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name!" (Psalm 103:1)

    A Beautiful Mess

    "The wise woman builds her house,

    but the foolish pulls it down with her hands."

    (Proverbs 14:1)

    In my devotions this morning, I read about how we must embrace the mess of God cleaning up our lives. The cleaning is sometimes a painful process but if we're patient and willing, the result will be beautiful and Christ-like.

    Friday, August 7, 2009

    Permanently Attached

    It comes with me wherever I go. Some people don't understand it, others appreciate it. I feel like it's my way of preserving all the goodness of the moment, capturing a feeling, a thought, a memory. My camera is permanently attached to me and it's not in the brand, or the size, as important as those things are. For example, I love the photos I took with a disposable camera on the vacation I forgot my battery pack. The pictures were grainy and poor quality but I won't forget that trip. My kids used to run away from my camera but now they pose and say, "Take a picture of me, Mommy!" My husband is now picking it up and making sure I get in the photos, like I'm part of the family :) There are a hundred things that are more important than this little machine but, I'm blessed to be able to photograph those hundred special things while I can.

    Thursday, August 6, 2009

    Healed of Depression

    This morning I came upon a blog called, Healed From Depression. Wow, it's been over ten years since this woman was healed! The title of one of her posts is "The Bible Is My Coping Mechanism". Good one. Here is the link to her site, in case anyone is interested in reading her story...

    Wednesday, August 5, 2009

    Early Morning Meeting

    "Early will I seek You" Psalm 63:1
    I'm trying, Lord!
    Another version says, "Earnestly I seek You"
    I'm pretty much getting the hint that my earnest comes in the early morning,
    if I'm faithful to comply.

    holy experience

    A Quiet Place

    A hush falls over the campsite.
    The children are asleep inside the trailer
    while my husband and I relax with fruit,
    chocolate, and tea by a cosy fire.
    It's here our hearts are spilled, our
    laughter is stifled in respect of other campers,
    our tears are shed over friends, family and us.

    It's here my husband prays for us under God's vast expanse of sky with innumerable stars. It's here we feel the promise that He will indeed hear us, fill us, and bless our little family.

    Snail Mail

    Email is a great invention. It draws people together who are distant from one another and it enables quick connections. I have been in touch with old friends by email, whom I would have not seen for a long time, for sure. But yesterday, I received a letter and my heart experienced a little thrill to see a stamped envelope.

    My Aunt Lorraine has always been a letter writer. I have opened many special notes from her for as long as I can remember and now she sends little special things to my children. She is one of those kinds of people who is always leaving her mark wherever she goes. Yesterday, I wrote of Givers and she is one of them. Whether it's her baking or a note or an act of service, Aunt Lorraine loves to give. So when I ripped open the envelope bearing my name, I smiled when I found a long letter with a copy of my late Grandma's recipe for peanut butter squares.

    They call it snail mail because it takes longer than a few seconds to get to you but don't good things come to those who wait? When the "tyranny of the urgent" seems to rule our lives, it's refreshing to sit with a cup of tea and peruse some writing about gardening and the grandchildren and the "weather up here". Email cannot replace the pretty paper, the fragrance of the Giver, the hand-written scribing, and the tangible offerings inside.

    In a day where short-hand and slang is prevalent among kids who use electronic messaging, I feel even stronger about preserving the art of writing. I am concerned that we are raising a generation of children who will be poor writers and spellers. Have you ever misunderstood some one's sarcasm or meaning in an email? In my opinion, people express themselves better on paper because it takes more effort. While technology is wonderful in many ways, I love that my children see traditions that will maintain their sense of true connectedness with family and friends, ones that involve personal visits and real conversations laden with emotion. Real letters seem to accomplish this far greater than email does.

    Tuesday, August 4, 2009

    The Gift of Giving

    There are Givers and there are Takers. Personally, I have a lot of Givers in my life. I am so blessed to know these people. I watch them and I'm amazed at their humility and selflessness. They take pleasure in giving small and large offerings to those around them and never expect anything in return. I can't begin to recount each person and everything thing they do, so I'll just share about the one I encountered today.
    There is a man who has worked for my husband for many years. He is always looking for ways to give to our family. We receive things that he has picked up from distant places on his visits with family and he also drops off food and treats. Today, he came to show my children that the plums were ripe on the fruit trees at the nursery. We all went down and he said he really wanted them to pluck the yellow plums straight from the source and eat them. He thought this would be a wonderful thing for them to experience. It was very kind of him and we enjoyed it.

    We brought the plums home and each of us washed and ate of God's goodness and I thanked Him for the thoughtfulness of this man.
    Lord, help me to be a true Giver, the kind that expects nothing in return. Help me to bless others and to take joy simply in the gift of giving.

    The Wall

    "...By my God I can leap over a wall."
    Psalm 18:29b

    Believe it, believe it, believe it!!!

    Monday, August 3, 2009

    Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

    "I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made..." (Psalm 139:14)
    We desire that our children grow to love themselves and be satisfied with how God has created them. We teach them by applauding their achievements, showering affection upon them, complimenting their beauty, intelligence and talents. But, do we, as mothers, live by example? Our children's most effective model is their parents. In a world that screams at women to change their appearance to achieve an impossible standard, we succumb to the torturous thought that we are not good enough, not thin enough, not pretty enough. Try as hard as we may, we cannot mask this deception from our daughters, especially, and if we believe the lie ourselves, we destroy our efforts of building our children up.
    I have been convicted of this dissatisfaction recently and the Lord has been revealing my ineffective parenting as a result. My greatest hope for my children is that they grow to love God with all their hearts and share Him with others. It is very difficult to move toward this goal with the distraction of inadequacy lurking around every corner. I must first embrace God's great love for me, try to grasp His purpose in creating me exactly as I am, and enjoy the woman He's designed me to be, while working on my character. Doesn't that sound like words we tell our kids all the time? Why then, is it so hard for us as women to believe it? Perhaps someone once spoke negatively about us or our bodies and we've carried it with us. Perhaps our mothers communicated self-disapproval when we were growing up. Whatever the case, we must fight the debilitating consequence of giving in to the voices that whisper of our imperfections.
    Have I ever mentioned that God is the source of all the answers you'll ever need? :) His Word is full of how He feels about us, how eternity is all that we should be living for, how people's hearts are more important to him than their outward appearance. If I, having been convicted, actually change my mindset (by His Holy Spirit), I can help save my children from feeling defeated as they grow and face the world. Lord, grant me the strength to do so.

    Sunday, August 2, 2009

    The Great Outdoors

    There's nothing like camping to bring a family together...

    Loving the recreation...

    Learning new skills...

    Finding special treasures...


    Seeking beauty...

    Reading to siblings...

    Discovering new creatures.

    "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands."

    Psalm 19:1

    Child-like Faith

    Two campsites from ours was a little girl with whom Molly became instant friends. They laid a sleeping bag on the grass on the site between us and coloured together for a long time. I smiled and looked up from my book as I heard constant giggles floating on the breeze. I couldn't hear exactly what they were saying but I admired their ability to throw caution and shyness to the wind and just be themselves together.
    Suddenly, Molly jumped up and ran over to me. Out of breath, she said, "Mommy! Laurel doesn't believe in God! She doesn't pray and her parents don't believe in God!" Marveling at her taking the opportunity to get straight to the important matters, I told her that she could still be Laurel's friend and to go back and to show God's love by being kind to her. Molly looked desperate and she blurted, "But what's going to happen to her!?" She ran back to play with her new friend and I couldn't help but be inspired by the fervency of my seven year-old.
    Laurel left the next day and after their goodbye, Molly climbed inside the trailer and told me she was making a book. Sometime later, she placed her work of art in my lap and asked me to read it. The title said, "A BOOK OF LOREL AND ME" and there were a few pages of designs and pictures of the two of them biking together. Then I came upon the page that she had written, "GOD, PLEESE HELP LOREL TO BULEVE IN YOU AND PRAY TODAY." I cried as I held that precious petition from a young heart full of faith and hope. I told her that Laurel was a very blessed girl to have met someone who cared so much about her and that God would honour her prayer because it's exactly how He wants us to pray.

    Teach me, Lord, to have such child-like faith and to care as deeply for the people I've only just met.

    Saturday, August 1, 2009

    Peace in His Power

    Just shy of a week's vacation filled with unpredictable weather, we drank in His rain, basked in His sunshine and marveled at His thundering. There is no such thing as bad weather, only changes we must encounter and move alongside.

    Life is unpredictable too. We try to gird up our sails for the rough and tumultuous times and when they arrive, we're often not prepared for them. We can even waste our sunshine by expecting rain. But, can you see Him in it all? When you ask, "Where are You, God?" do you hear His answer in the gentle rain that is heard between the thunder's roar? Psalm 34:18 says, "The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart..." but verse 4 says, "I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears." It's in the seeking that He is found. While the storm rages, we can rest in the assurance of His presence, knowing His strength is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). We can find peace in His power.
    There is an end to every storm but in the meantime, the lightning provides energy for the earth while the rain causes growth. The process can be frightening but if we move with His Spirit the final outcome allows us to know joy on dark or balmy days.