Tuesday, September 27, 2011

What Kind Of Wife Are You?

It's coming September 30th and we've all been waiting. The movie, Courageous, is finally being released in theatres here in Canada and we're looking forward to the miracles that will undoubtedly occur in men around the country. You see, we women are always looking for a way to slip that book or movie to our husbands. That Scripture verse that reminds them that they're not measuring up in the "Spiritual Headship" department. Perhaps they're mediocre fathers. And they'll come to view this movie, if we can get them out the door, and they will be changed. I'm confident in God's purpose and power in this venue.

But a close friend of mine, who had seen the premiere and raved about it said to me, "Now, who is going to be brave enough to make a movie about bossy and self-righteous wives?!"

We can all step back and take inventory of our wifely character. Some are humble and mature and if you're one of those women, this post isn't for you! (but you would do well to find one of the women I write about and mentor them, please!). If the rest of us are truly honest about how we treat our husbands, what we demand of them and how we fight to prove how right we are, we'll have to admit that every inch of it is sin. Oh, how we want it to be all about them!

I lived with this attitude for many years. At 17 years of marriage, I can say that the Lord has had to discipline me lovingly (albeit the hard way) to become more Christ-like. Man, were they some tough lessons! I praise God that I can stand on the other side of that attitude and recognize the ugliness. Do I fall back into that behaviour and thinking? Yes, sometimes, but I notice it immediately, and if I'm allowing the Holy Spirit to be my guide, I quickly repent and God graciously redeems.

As wives, all we desire is to have loving and fulfilling relationships with our husbands. We desire affection and a feeling of being cherished by them. We want to know they are growing closer to God so that they can lead us in a godly way. Deep down, we don't want to be the boss! Sadly, the very thing we desire, we tear down the possibility with our own hands (Proverbs 14:1). However, past hurts cause us to become control-freaks or, in some cases, we believe we must take over because our husbands are too weak to lead. Obviously, I can't deal with layers of issues in one small post but what I do know is that I've been there and God's grace has set me free! I'm no longer the woman and wife I once was. He can set you free as well and help you to understand your role and how to give your husband to Him to take care of. God desires even more than you to see your husband become the man he's meant to be. My husband can attest to this as well and has been moved incredibly by the Lord, and the change in me made it a whole lot easier for him!

I once heard in a message on marriage that  instead of controlling and changing our husbands, our job is to help them hear, "Well done, good and faithful servant!" Is that your goal today? Or do you behave as though your man was put on this earth to make you happy and secure? What kind of wife are you? May the Lord open your eyes as you seek His face. May He bless you as you allow yourself to be humbled and changed in a powerful and wonderful way that actually works for you so much more than what you're currently experiencing.

The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.  Proverbs 14:1

Monday, September 26, 2011


"Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ." Philippians 1:6

So, He started a good work in you but do you feel like a failure? Do you feel like you allowed that great beginning of a new habit or attitude or change to fade away and you're right back at "square one"? I've been there a hundred times. But, as every promise in His Word, He will complete it in us. Tell the Lord "I can't do it, but You can and I believe You will complete it in me." Allow the Holy Spirit to do the work. How often do we claim this Scripture and then strive in our own efforts to do the work? This doesn't mean we should be lazy, it just means we realize how much power we can sanction the One who strengthens us. Will we ever be perfect? Not until the "day of Jesus Christ'", but we can grow in Him until then. Trust again today and lay your need of His change at His feet once more. Let go of your own independent efforts. Now, thank Him that it's complete!


999. how counting gratitude has spread to friends, family, and a myriad of people who are being changed simply by being grateful for the countless blessings they're receiving minute by minute

*1000. that His work is complete in me!  

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Cousin Connections

They're forging relationships today. They're family--cousins--but to them it's all just fun and games. What I know is that good, long, enjoyable experiences will be in their minds for years to come. I'm counting on it. I've had those moments with cousins too and it's the memories that drive me to create an atmosphere of pleasure and comradery that perpetuates a kind of cousinhood that is gripping in their adult years.
My husband has this desire too. And so we provide opportunities for meaningful connections, whether it be through activities such as dirt-biking and camping, or simply playing house in their bedrooms. Cousins are always welcome. They'll be our children's best and longest friends.

It's Apple Time!

A small and local Escape bids us each September to come and reach to her branches, crunch her sweet fruit and romp in her playground. It's here we feel a little closer to Autumn and all it's gifts. As bitter as the farewell to summer can be for us, we welcome a new season of apple pies, zucchini bread, thick, rich soups, and warmer clothing (yes, my children wear uniforms--it cuts down on the laundry and lessens the morning clothing battle :)
 As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease. Genesis 8:22
Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Monday, September 19, 2011

Fasten Your Seatbelts! Our Epic Story Of Summer, In Pictures, With Gratitude

So much thankfulness for a life undeserved...
836. a fun-loving mom 
837. cool family (Happy 65th, Aunt Lorraine!)
838. the way she photographs (always creating, Meghan :)
839. how Annie gently, but strictly (yes, it's possible) taught my little ones to swim
840. Anna's patience in teaching my children French-end of the year skit
841. majestic lions that remind me of the Lion Of Judah
842. the way those baboons just hop right up onto our car
843. the way she looks like she's counting her eggs all lined up on the ground (and the size of them!)
844. our season's pass to this amazing place
845. the way she carried her baby--I felt like this for several years :)
846. how at this age, turning to watch other teams during your game is just plain cute
847. and waving to her parents, in pride of how well she plays
848. how our big one smiles and runs harder when we cheer her on
849. small ones trying their hand at photography
850. how the park holds so much scope for the imagination
851. look-alike sisters
852. boy jumping contests
853. my niece, the most talented Tinkerbell
854. a captive and supportive audience for our homeschool Peter Pan play
855. hard-working children
856. pirates who were more entertaining than nasty
857. beautiful "stars" who narrated the play
 858. a dancing Tiger-Lilly
859. their relationship
860. early morning at the lake
861. catching her during a kick
862. godly men who help each other run the race
863. for 39 years
864. the way my mom-in-law and her mom have trained their children to work well
865. beautiful sisters-in-law
866. big and little cousins just hanging out together
867. the respect and admiration of small cousins of their universty-level cousin
868. finding a cousin of your size at a family gathering
869. two peas in a pod
870. Grandpa's speech to the graduates about sticking with Jesus as they go off to further education
871. older ones with great character
872. red and wrinkled strawberry-picking fingers
873. perfect, sweet Ontario goodness
874. strawberry-stained knees
875. having this tradition with my sister since we had babies
876. following in his footsteps
877. finding the best row for picking
878. my handsome biker husband
879. a dirt-biking summer
880. finding the biggest strawberries
881. homeschooled girlfriends
882.climbing a cherry tree and eating along the way
883. golden sunlight
884. for great volunteer barbequers at our church picnic
885. goofy friends of the family
886. for a great youth pastor and his daughter (so long, Pastor Rob)
888. fantastic church office staff (and friend)
889. and her cool sisters who are also great friends
890. special staff who makes our children's lives way more fun! (Hi Lisa!)
891. a few of the many talented musicians with Pastor Tyler (homeschooled boy! Just sayin' :)
892. fellow teachers and beautiful women
893. the way she allows me to be the adoptive mommy of her babies :)
894. amazing God-surprises for this family--yay!
895. great families who give so much to our congregation
896. watching our children enjoy their church friends
897. inventing ways to stay cool in this hottest of summers
898. water, in abundance--we praise You for it, Lord and we don't take it for granted
899. for a favourite place--Rainforest Cafe
900. even though the animals going crazy in the storm can scare a little
901. a brave boy who encourages his sister
902. until he hears the thunder, LOL!
903. dress-up days at Vacation Bible School
904. sisters-in-law through thick and thin
905. summer nights and ice cream treats (too many times to count--blessings!)
906. hearing the words, "You gotta listen to this, Mommy... " from my new chapter book reader
907. God's beauty at a local zoo
908. and God's imagination!
909. watching this baby's antics for half an hour
910. being able to lose ourselves in the day, just enjoying creation
911. cool streams filled with treasures
912. climbing with siblings to search for new and interesting places
913. losing our shoes in the stream and the adventure that ensued
914. summer chores and quiet time (Meg's best time for using her imagination)
915. my beautiful, growing-up girl
916. mowing the lawn with Fisher Price...one day it'll be a John Deere :)
917. the way she never complained about this daily chore
918. visit from B.C. friends
919. and how he flew here with three kids by himself for two weeks (Hi Jodi!)
920. how they surprised us by driving all the way from Alberta instead of flying and arrived within minutes from their ETA!
921. how she attracts all the little ones with her playfulness
922. a dad who humours the children by making videos with them (ex. 'Brushing Hair For Seniors")
923. family reunions where so many make and effort to attend
924. an inspirational and mentoring sister
925. how younger cousins are now heading toward marriage
926. a gracious hostess
927. backyard picnics with even more cousins (yes, we hang out with a lot of cousins on both sides!)
928. my little fish who would stay in the water all day
929. sand burials and a boy who wanted it again and again
930. camping at the best old-fashioned playground ever!
931. a Papa who loves to watch the kids play (and roast marshmallows on his barbeque)
932. finding a place that still has one of these!
933. the joy of spinning (thanks, Uncle Terry!)
934. the result of spinning too fast (and perhaps why you don't see these things at parks anymore)
935. paddleboat ride paid for by a big sister
936. the way they could hardly contain themselves over feeding these fish
937. and the show the fish gave them
938. a sweet and inquistive boy
939. Uncle Terry's crazy dives that kept my girls giggling all afternoon
940. homeschool planning evening with friends
941. how they teach me--even if they're just beginning this journey
942. how God is molding this girl's character
943. how He answered our prayers and how I nearly cried the during this vow renewal
944. how they asked us to read Scriptures that helped them along the way
945. the beginning of a new journey
946. how His ways are not our ways, thankfully!
947. kissable sunsets
948. pyjama campfires
949. comfort in his big sister
950. the sillyness that falls upon them just before bedtime
951. making s'mores
952. the hiking path just below our campsite
953. how they often camp a few sites over each summer and let the kids run between sites all day
954. for perfectly roasted marshmallows by my patient girl
955. turning tubes into jumpy castles (poor Jake)
956. our two Terrys cooking together
957. how she drives her four all the way here to spend the day with us
958. how she is the most imaginative and loyal playmate for my daughter
959. how her rambunctious spirit keeps us entertained
960. our trailer and the joy we receive by vacationing with it
961. energetic and daring little boys
962. how he keeps Oliver at his side and helps him with whatever he needs (thanks, Caleb)
963. her explosive laughter
964. how he can fix just about anything
965. how I know I can find her here each morning
966. playing washers and how she obliged (thanks to Eric for making it for us)
967. for this favourite ice cream shack, built in 1920
968. taking time to decide on flavours and ending up with the same one everytime
969. the way he gets quiet in the afternoon (when he could be napping)
970. how she walked my mom's dogs every day and how she has a big love for animals
971. how they're still small enough to fit on these closet shelves
972. how she brought her knitting to the beach
973. wide open spaces that allow one to see different types of weather
974. impromtu boat ride on one of the most balmy days of our trip
975. waiting for the "gates" to open at the locks and my giddy husband whose memories of childhood include many of these days
976. trying to keep cool but loving every minute of boating
977. stopping the boat in the middle of the lake to dive in
978. how he worked on building his "fort" for days
979. how she makes me get my camera for her poses
980. standing and staring at the Big Dipper each night (can you see it?)
981. pure joy for this soccer boy--they scored!
982. receiving her medal and the award that read, "" from her gracious coaches
983. the joy of receiving hers and how she was so glad the season was over :)
984. how this girl, on her last night of the season, couldn't wait for the upcoming tournament
985. for a patient husband who waits just a minute longer for me to grab a shot of this lioness roaring
986. how we can't get enough of this place (more like Terry and I) and we see more beauty with each visit
987. the way they move and chatter and are interested in us
988. how they could go in that barn with the ball pit again and again
989. four kids on a caboose and the scenery we enjoyed
990. eight and a half hours at the soccer tournament on the hottest day of the year (yes, this is a gratitude post)
991. how she could have played eight and a half hours more!
992. how her siblings barely complained but found ways to occupy themselves
993. the "good game" handshake after each game and how they're all friends again
994. how her daddy's blood runs within her veins... semi-finalist? ... it's alright
995. art night with homeschool mom friends (thanks, Tanya for teaching all of us!)
996. how the moms felt empowered and inspired that they could, in fact, do art with their children after this night
997. homeschool kickoff picnic and swim (thanks Annie!)
998. hanging out with moms who have similar vision