Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Pyjama Day

I walked into the family room and there they all sat, snuggled together on that big chair they love so much. It was a picture of serenity and I smiled at the sight of my four babies all cozied up, riveted by The Story Keepers. We'd been running around for several days and my children were in much need of some home time. A pyjama day with a good movie... this is what rest is all about.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Mud Puddle

It began innocently enough... a little dip with the feet, a little retrieving of something from the water. It felt so good between the toes...

and the fingers...
Then things started getting out of hand.

Oliver and Maysie--living life to it's fullest in a mud puddle.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Daddy's Girls And Other Blessed Things

In two different thrift stores, squeezed between bunches of kids' clothing, were these two shirts--perfect for the day that honours fathers. They donned them proudly and chanted in unison, "Read my shirt!", giggling the whole time. And he was proud too. Proud to be a daddy and proud that we all put effort in to show him our love.

And Gratitude keeps me filled with joy on good days like these and days when the good is not so obvious...

382. thankful for fathers: mine, my children's, my husband's, and step-dads too

383. for fun in decorating rooms on a tight budget

384. for my gardens that are filling in beautifully

385. for the first day of summer!

386. for a daughter's interest in and compassion for Haiti

387. for all the offers to swim in pools after I posted here (so not expecting that! :)

388. for paddle boat rides

389. for early morning tea on the porch with the sunlight spilling over me

390. for the bluest skies which beckon us to bask in lakes, to have picnics, swing at the park and lie down in soft grass

391. for Daddy's girls (and boy)

392. for my husband's satisfaction in a job well done (spring busyness is almost past at the nursery!) and the credit he pays to his Lord

"Nothing is better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and that his soul should enjoy good in his labour. This also, I saw, was from the hand of God." Ecclesiastes 2:24

holy experience

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Making Of A Man

Someone once peered into my husband's truck while they were chatting. She chuckled a little and mentioned that it looked funny for a man to have baby car seats in his backseat.
He looked at her and without hesitation replied, "Those seats are what make me a man."
Terry shared this with me later that day and I've never forgotten it. He takes the honour of fatherhood very seriously. Our children know it and feel it in their bones when he lavishes his love upon them. So, today, I honour him, the father of my children, because I'm so proud to be his partner in parenthood and I can't wait to see how he'll father them as they grow.

Monday, June 14, 2010

How To Keep Cool When You Don't Have A "Real" Pool

Counting blessings one by one...

371. our little pool that suffices
372. our music department
373. battery chargers
374. Ride For Cancer Research
375. picnics with family
376. beautiful piano recital
377. fruit platters on Sunday evenings
378. early morning calls from God
379. answering the call in the early morning--I listened!
380. long-time mentors and new ones too
381. filling Christmas shoe boxes--thanks for the encouragement, Oxana!
holy experience

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A Reason For Music

The girls know that piano lessons are a blessing. They know that their music is praise to Him who created it in the first place. But today, at the end of the school year, they play for an appreciative audience; one that has lived many days filled with music. The elderly residents of this home in our town applaud our young ones, who nervously seat themselves upon an unfamiliar bench and plunk out melodies with pride.

It's a reason for music; a way of giving back and honouring those who've walked this earth before them. It's a means of blessing a generation who shared themselves and their talents with the next. This is how we receive the gift of music--by passing it on.

(duet by Meghan and Molly--"Heart and Soul")

Our beautiful teacher, Beth, demonstrates how persistent practice over the years turns hesitant plunking into "tickling the ivories".

Beth's mother enchants us with her music while we mingle. This piano belonged to her and she graciously gave it to the home.

Mama and Papa attend and cheer the girls on.
Prayerfully becoming a musical family. With a talented Grandma who inspires us with her playing in church and a Grandpa who sings, we each are learning to grow in His amazing gift. And blessing others with this gift ... now that's a reason for music.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Mentorship Over Tea

They drove for miles just to teach us about what it means to really live out Proverbs 31 and to pass it on to our daughters. Their passion oozed out to each of us women and our girls, who sat around tables with scones in hand, ears pricked for tidbits of wisdom. They, a mother and her three daughters and daughter-in-law, divided the passage between them and shared practical examples from their own lives. My eldest, on one side, pointed out those she recognized from the videos we'd seen and discussed. On the other side of me, my mom, who, by the grace of God, demonstrated this Proverbs icon even amidst the turmoil of her marriage to my father. She continues to grow and learn what it means to share her history with the younger women and help them to make wise choices in their marriages. Titus 2 is her life now while I wrestle daily with practicing the model of the "Noble Wife".

My little ones, along with other small children played at my feet and I glanced across the room at my dear friend, soon to be a mom of five, and her sister, soon to birth her seventh. They're living out this model in ways I have observed and applied to my own life... a spurring on of the faithful. These two sisters and their children encircled a table with their mother, who exemplifies the qualities of both biblical women. Another table held an acquaintance, one I occasionally smile at and share a passing, "hello" at gatherings such as these. Yet another woman I had just met that day rocked her newborn and inspired a new idea in my mind by her stories of hospitality. Mentors all around, young and old. Many others, eager to grasp God's ultimate design for them, listened carefully, some took notes and asked questions.

We collected Hot Wheels cars, markers and notebooks and piled into the van. My thoughts burned with the desire for more knowledge--more of His knowledge. I don't want to perish for lack of it. I don't want to tear down my house with my own hands. I don't want to live without the law of kindness on my tongue. I want my daughters (and son) to value this model. I want them to see it in me. I want them to become the woman described in Proverbs and naturally move into becoming a woman of Titus 2 who shares her qualities with others.
How do we live out these counter-cultural ideals? I believe it begins with a deep familiarity of the Scriptures and then surrounding ourselves with mentors. Am I seeking to live out this model that God has deemed important enough to put it His Word? To whom am I being a mentor? I stand in a very privileged position-that of wife and mother. But also, I am blessed because of the myriad of mentors whom I am frequently inspired by.

For your interest, here is the link to the conference I was invited to and was able to attend the "Tea" that day...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I Heart Faces

I love this photo. It speaks volumes. There's nothing better than chasing bubbles together. Molly's birthday party was full of joy and just plain old-fashioned fun.
I'm entering this photo in the Challenge of the Week called "Play". Check out the website!

The Way To Heaven

"Where is heaven, Mommy?" He stops me in my tracks. How do I explain something to a three year-old that I don't quite grasp myself. He arranges his fuzzy, blue blanket into a lump and continues, "Can we go in the airplane to get there?"
"No, Babe," I reply, "The pilot doesn't know where heaven is, so he can't take us there."
He doesn't skip a beat, "We should go in a rocket ship because they're really fast!" I laugh and slip his favourite truck t-shirt over his head and pull him in close.
"There's only one way to get to heaven." And I begin to share the gospel with my own son. "Jesus takes us there. It's His secret place. We don't know where it is exactly, but He's shown us what we need to do to so we can see Him there one day." Oliver knows about living for Jesus and so I remind him about making good and obedient choices to make his heart and life a beautiful place for God to dwell in. He gets this concept somehow, and feels satisfied with our dialogue. "Guess who else we'll see in heaven?" I ask with a twinkle in my eye.
"Great-Mama and Grampie!" he enthusiastically replies and he wraps his arms around my neck.
Tears sting and my nose tingles and I grip that boy's tiny body in a long embrace. He lets me hold him, as we experience mutual emotion. I whisper, "I miss Great-Mama and Grampie."
And he whispers back, "I do too."
Then, we talk about what he can do today to make his heart a beautiful place for Jesus and I share what I think I can do to make good choices too and we pray there together, holding hands. And I feel in that moment that heaven is closer than ever.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Happiest Birthday Girl

The pictures say it all, don't they?
Cake idea found here!