Thursday, January 31, 2013

Eight, With A Little Spice

A crash in the other room gives me a jolt as I stir the pasta sauce. I freeze and listen for tears, laughter, screaming or all of the above. When giggles erupt, my body relaxes and I resign to the thought that these two rough-and-tumblers need to release some energy after their school work is done. A minute later, Emily and her little brother enter the kitchen by rolling over each other.
 I taste-test the sauce and it's just the right amount of spicy--just like my girl. Like gentle oregano, she can add flavour to a group of children who are looking for something to do. Leave her with them long enough and all that cajun comes out and she's got the whole room dancing or engaged in  hide-and-seek in the dark, complete with sound effects so kids can be easily found. 
She turned eight the other day. Does that seem little to you? Because this small package already shares with us her desire to go to Africa, how she longs to live there and be with the people. Last year she told us she wishes she was black and she has dreams at night of passing out food for orphans. I imagine her at twenty and she's not home with me but out in the world, learning how fantastically God created various people groups and how she'll love and appreciate them. She has a philanthropist's heart but I think she already senses there's more her recipients will offer her
We celebrate her birthday with a cupcake party. Her friends, siblings and cousins ice theirs amidst giggles. She's behaving with wit and sillyness and maturity at the same time. She's the fragrance of a little girl who's growing up too quickly for my taste but I release these feelings with the gentle nudging of God's assurance that He's "got her back". I'm praising God for her life in the biggest way as little voices begin to sing "Happy Birthday, dear Emily".
You amaze me, sweet girl. You are exactly what the Lord had planned when He loaned you to us. I pray you always seek His will in your adventures that lie ahead. I love you, my dear eight year old. Yes, you can finally travel without your booster seat :)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Barn Skate

What is more fun than skating around in a barn with all your friends? Not much! What a blast we had with our homeschool group in their neighbour's barn. Oliver skated for his first time and scared me with his lack of fear. He picked it up quickly and took off in a flash. He fell a few times but what a trouper. Thanks, Jenn for a great afternoon!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Dedication Of A Little Soul

She left her country to come to Canada and through hardship she found herself in a difficult situation. She became a single momma and God brought us together in October of last year. Valerie asked me to be her baby's godmother and I didn't hesitate to say yes. This young and intentional momma dedicated her little girl to the Lord and we stood there nodding our heads in agreement with the pastor's prayer over this small person. I'm so grateful to be in Ashanti's life. May the Lord raise her up to be a mighty woman for Him!
with Julie and Lisa (a sweet staff from Shifra) 

Thursday, January 17, 2013


He turned six the other day and some of his favourite people shared in his celebration. They ate pizza, cupcakes, veggies and laughed themselves silly.
On the evening of their birthdays, our kids get to pick a restaurant  so Daddy can join in the fun. We slid into a cozy booth that night and I attempted to take some across-the-table photos of my son. He was donning the fake, statuesque smile he pastes on when I bring out the camera. It's an automatic joy zapper as his genuine smile disappears from his face and he replaces it with this robotic expression. 
Just then,  our server interrupted. She said to Oliver, "Don't you like having your picture taken?"
He replied, "I can never get the smile right. Mommy never thinks it's good. Is it this one? (and he smirks with a dozy look) No. Is it this one? (and he grins big with eyes wide) No. I just can't figure it out." 
We all had a good laugh over that one and I reminded myself that candid is always best with my wee lad.

The pinata came down with a thud and then those kiddos beat that thing till it poured out tiny toys and sugar-free candies (for my nephews, who are on a special diet--smart!)

Grandparents always make it for the actual day of the birthday! Yay!
Happy 6th birthday to our energetic and sensitive boy who brings an abundance of fun and change to our world of so much pink. May you choose the Lord at a young age and stick with Him forever!
Love, Mommy and Daddy

Thursday, January 3, 2013

How Can I Know God's Will For 2013?

There are so many requests on my page as I sit with the Lord. Petitions of  healing for my sister-in-law, wisdom in my homeschooling, deliverance in areas of cyclical disobedience, help with life-changing decisions all flood from my mouth and I'm urging myself to begin with worship. At times I feel desperate in my prayers and I try to keep the dam from leaking as I begin to tell my Lord how awesome He is. But the dam gushes and I'm soaking wet with neediness. He understands my desperation. He knows how this world feels. He put on skin and came here. But He also knows I'll receive His peace in a greater capacity when I sit and honour Him for who He is. Why is that so important? Because in worshipping the Creator of the universe, I make Him big and me and my problems small. Before I even give him my list, I've come to remember Who I'm conversing with and I begin to sense His love. When I quiet myself enough to feel His loving presence, I'm convinced His will in my life is going to be nothing but the best. That's why I have entered into the Daniel Fast for this first month of 2013. I want to go deeper with God, sense His love in a big way and know His will for me as I walk through this year.
Fasting could be a huge blog post in itself, but I will simply lead to a single site that has helped me in the process. It is . I chose to do a partial fast because anytime I have done a complete fast it was short-lived and I tend to need more reminders to stay connected on a deeper level with the Lord. Doing a fast keeps me living the relationship rather than sectioning off a corner of my day for God. Oh, I talk about Him all day with my children and I whisper prayers like breathing, but He desires my undivided attention and I know I need the benefits of that.
What I've learned about God is that He is not in the business of keeping His will a secret from His people. He wants us to walk in His ways and to know His heart. He doesn't elude us to keep us guessing, rather, He waits until we meet with Him and seek Him with all of our being. Proverbs 2:3-5 says, "Yes, if you cry out for discernment, and lift up your voice for understanding, if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God." Isn't that amazing? Fasting is one way of narrowing our focus and causing us to concentrate more on this seeking. Does fasting make you a better Christian? No, some people cannot fast at all for health reasons and I believe the Lord will call you to a fast if He wants you to take up that practice for a time. I had asked my Father if He wanted me to begin the year this way and He answered me by bombarding me with signs, everywhere I turned, that didn't allow me to forget my request. I love it when He does that. I need billboards sometimes :)
So as we enter a year of uncertainty, we can begin by offering ourselves to the Lord as a form of worship. We honour Him as the all-wise God who is able to care for all of our needs and to work all things for our good. Whether you fast or simply live your life as a sacrifice before Him this year, know that His love will lead you, if you remain connected to Him. God bless you in 2013, dear friends.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Snow... Finally

Emily's snowman she named, Oliver
Meg shoveling the neighbours' driveways.
You know there's a lot of snow when the tractor comes out!
Ashanti (our special Christmas guest) had a ride with "Uncle" Terry.
Ashanti's first snow.
Dark-eyed Junco
Valerie, Ashanti's momma, is learning to love winter!

Coming in soaked means it's time to boil the kettle for hot chocolate.
Hurray for snow... finally!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Shhh... Baby is sleeping

It's been a little busy around here. It's been a little blessed around here. A sleeping baby snuggled up to me is just about the best thing I can think of. We've had a tiny guest and her mommy staying with us and it's been a precious time. The world of blogging has been on hold but as that small and beautiful package returned home, I plan to return to writing and posting. Happy New Year, friends! May yours be filled with lovely packages from God--however they appear in your family. Untie the ribbons!