An Unknown Outcome

Before my husband and I started dating, there was a lot of confusion around what was going to happen. I know heard that he liked me, and I definitely liked him. Ok “like” seems like such a ridiculous word, he completely consumed my life.

I had been praying about it for a while, asking God to confirm whether Andrew was the right one for me.

It was hard, we were friends and friends with the same people, so we all hung out, led worship together, went to camp, etc. After finishing the school year there was hardly a day that went by that I didn’t have a chance to see him. And if there was a chance that I might not see him, working at our church held many opportunities for making up excuses for why needed to stop by my office!

As we moved into a season of praying with our mentors about moving forward into a relationship, I was filled with anxiety surrounding the whole situation.  I had a prophetic dream where the Lord told me loud and clear that Andrew was the one that I was to marry. Somehow it didn’t fully quiet my spirit. I was so worried that the Lord wouldn’t speak the same thing to Andrew! I felt like my life was in the hands of this guy, and that didn’t make me feel very secure.

On one of the nights when we were leading worship out at a camp, I was particularly struggling with what the outcome of all this was going to be and God spoke these life changing verses to me.

Surely the righteous will never be shaken; 
    they will be remembered forever.
They will have no fear of bad news;
    their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord. 
Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear; 
    in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.

Psalm 112:6-8

The key part for me was that I do not need to fear bad news, because my heart is steadfast and secure in the Lord, not in anyone else. 

I put this verse in my phone and set it to remind me of the verse each time I knew I was going to be around Andrew! I meditated on these verses day and night, and they really did take root in my heart. Before I found out that Andrew did receive confirmation from God about our relationship, I had complete peace that my destiny was not bound up in the hands of a man, but that my heart and life was firmly rooted in Jesus Christ.

Whatever your struggle is, whether it’s a relationship, a job or an illness, if you know Jesus Christ you do not have the fear any bad news that might come your way. His love for you is so great, and his plans and purposes for you are good. Our lives are not held in the hands of men, but in the hands of God. Those hands are much stronger and safer.

I hope I can be as confident as Paul when he said,

For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. (Philippians 1:21)

 

In Christ alone our hope is found!

*the photo is the first one we had taken of us after we started dating

 

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A New Season

Our lives have been on a roller coaster since March 21, 2012. It’s funny how one moment in life can be such a pivotal one. That day our garage burnt down. I’m sure half of you are so sick of hearing about our fire, but just think of it as our turning point.

Being tested by fire is an interesting thing. There were only two items that we have saved from the fire. One is a toonie, and the other is an espresso cup. They have the marks of the fire on them, but they were made of material that was able to withstand it.


I feel that as we were tested by fire in the natural, so we were tested by the fire in the spiritual.

These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. (1 Peter 1:7a)

Questions surfaced in our hearts surrounding what we held most dear.

What is important?

What things in our life are we holding on to that we shouldn’t?

Are we truly living the life that God has given us to the fullest?

For us it was a culmination of the fire, taking the Married for Life course and the timing being right with Caleb getting a bit older that has released us into a new season.

The new season…

Starting in August my husband is taking three months off work and we are doing a full-time internship at our church under our Young Families Pastor.

Before the fire, we did not see how we would be able to provide for our family during a full-time internship, even though it was on our hearts. We were so blessed with the insurance money and God showed us that he has used this event to make a way for us to enter into a new season of ministry. We have always known that at some point we will move into full-time, vocational ministry.

We don’t know much of what this season holds. We’re very excited to learn, grow and get involved. God is just taking us by the hand and revealing step after step. He is holding his lamp to our path. He led us to the conference in California, then gave us new dreams and is now leading us to a season of deeper preparation.

As we continue to walk with Him, I know the next step with become clear.

The fire was a test, but the thing that has brought true breakthrough has been our commitment to pray together, and our commitment to pray for each other.

I have just finished going through the 30-day Power of a Praying Wife book, and I have seen God do amazing things in Andrew as I’ve prayed over the specific areas of his life.

If you feel like you aren’t walking in all that God has for you or that you aren’t making the most of this one precious life he has given you, He DESIRES to breathe new life into you.

I challenge you to go on a prayer journey, asking God to reveal his heart to you and to work on the deep areas of yourself. As he does this, he will be faithful to hold the lamp to your path and guide you. You won’t need to strive. You won’t have to stress. You’ll just have to take his hand and walk.

Psalm 119:105 says

Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.

The path that the Lord marks out is truly an adventure. There is no such thing as a boring life with Jesus!

Faithful Moms

I was reading some of the Facebook status’ and tweets this morning, and I was struck by some of the words said about moms who had been faithful for so many years.

I have been thinking a lot lately about all the amazing things I’ve learned since becoming a mom and how my life has changed. Today it hit me though that being a faithful mom is going to take repeating this for years and years and years, continuing to grow, learn, love and encourage.

I can only pray that twenty-five years from now my children will arise and call me blessed. That I would have done my job consistently and raised my kids in the ways of the Lord.

It’s been an incredible first year of raising my first baby from a newborn to an almost one year old, but I know this was the easiest phase. It was all predictable. Now comes the hard part of shaping character, disciplining, being a godly example and loving unconditionally.

So here is to all you moms who have been faithful, committed, loving and purposeful day in and day out for many years. Here is to you moms who haven’t been recognized with an award for faithful service, or given the key to the city for raising great citizens. Here is to moms that survived years of not sleeping, and still are fully functioning humans! Here is to the moms that pour out God’s love onto their kids and lead them towards the love of Jesus.

You are amazing.

May you be so richly blessed today and always.

Thank you to my mom who has been an incredible blessing to me for twenty-three and a half years. I have such a deep appreciation and respect for the job she took on, and giving birth to four kids, after becoming a mom and giving birth! I love you!

I am so blessed to now have two moms, gaining an incredible mother in law in 2010! I love you too, I can’t imagine what life was like before I was in your family!

One of the best things of my life has been watching these two amazing moms become grandmas. Love just oozes from them, and I know my son in outrageously blessed by these godly women!

 

Happy Mother’s day to all you moms, may you feel strengthened, appreciated and blessed today!

 

High Five For Friday!

Wow, has another week just flown by? I can’t pretend to have been desperate for Friday, since I didn’t even know what day of the week it was half the time the last seven days! I am excited to be heading into a weekend with my family celebrating my first Mother’s Day!

I am linking up with Lauren at From My Grey Desk Blog. Check out the other posts there!

1. I had coffee with my other sisters this week! If you don’t know the Bachtold girls you can get to know them here, since they were the winners of the celebrating family photo contest. They are such great friends, and I really enjoyed catching up with them, and having a bit of time out by myself!

2. Caleb was up for almost six hours during Sunday night/Monday morning. It was not fun. The good thing was that Andrew stayed home the next day to help me take him to the doctor and get some extra rest. We had very tired eyes that day!

3. On the day my husband stayed home, we killed a bit of time at the library after going to the doctor. I picked up some of my favourite time wasting magazines. This picture was from Tuesday evening when I got into bed at like 7 p.m. and read while Andrew put Caleb to bed. It was good break.

4. I was craving pasta salad this week and I made my first one. Ok, I know that’s lame, but I used to hate pasta salad. It was delicious! I am definitely going to make it again.

5. Apparently I had a good find at Value Village! I saw a skateboard and bought it for my husband (his was stolen a while ago). I paid ten dollars for it and I found it would be worth almost $200.00 brand new. Andrew’s already teaching Caleb!

Enjoy your weekend and Happy Mother’s Day!

Letting Go Of My Olympic Dream

Gymnastics was my life for so many years. When I wasn’t training, I was dreaming of standing on an olympic podium, or gazing at my inspirational poster “life is simple: eat, sleep, gymnastics.”

(This photo is of me competing my beam routine).

One of our Canadian Olympic gymnasts, Kate Richardson, became my icon. I once got to train with her at a special session at another club in the Vancouver area. I could hardly focus on what I was doing knowing I was in the same gym as an Olympic gymnast. Her presence inspired me to work harder.

My Olympic dream ended at the age of thirteen when I fractured my spine, after ten years of wholehearted commitment to the sport. I had to take a significant amount of time off to recover, and during that time my parents announced that we were moving to a small town in Saskatchewan that didn’t have a competitive gymnastics club.

Up to that point I had been training 16-20 hours a week. My life was consumed with the sport, and I trained away from the gym for many hours. I was extremely dedicated to my dream.

As you can see in this photo, we couldn’t go outside without it turning into some kind of gymnastics adventure!

I remember one night sitting in my bedroom listening to music and hearing these song lyrics:

“when the dreams that you dared dream suddenly seem to far, I will run to you”.

I let myself believe that I could make it to the Olympics, and my heart was broken.

I broke down and wept for a long time. I went through a grieving period and a transition of letting go of my empty Olympic dream.

I wasn’t forever done with gymnastics and had many years of coaching in small towns around my own.

The death of one dream was certainly life to many others.

I had so many opportunities to be involved with ministry in high school. My youth group stared a youth centre I was able to be very involved in. I was able to be apart of  short-term missions programs, lead worship at church and even was asked to be a guest speaker.

I can’t explain how thankful I am that God redirected that area of my life. If I really had become an Olympic athlete, I probably wouldn’t have been as open to pursuing the ministry calling the Lord has on my life after I graduated.

Sometimes the tragedy of the moment, is an unseen blessing to the future.

Some dreams truly are meant to die. You may go through a grieving process as you let it go, but ultimately God’s plan for your life is way more radical, way more exciting, and way more wonderful!

We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps. (Proverbs 16:9)

I am so thankful that this verse was true in my life!

 

Five Ways To “Feel” Awake

Oh sleepless nights. We’ve had a lot of those lately. I’ve been thinking of a few very nonspiritual methods for feeling awake. Yes, I have done all of these.

  1. Citrus Body Wash – if you get a few minutes to shower the scent of oranges definitely does something for invigorating your body, albeit temporarily. If you don’t have time to shower…wash your hands with it?
  2. Buy a new eye concealer. It usually tingles differently the first few times. Even if it doesn’t hide your bags, it’s nice to feel as though you’re trying.
  3. Pinch your cheeks. Honestly. I think it’s been working for me lately. And if your cheeks get ready and blotchy, you can try out some of that new concealer on them.
  4. Breathe in a new type of coffee. When I’m really tired I grind up my Vanilla Hazelnut beans, it’s a delicious aroma therapy.
  5. Do something for yourself and let your child do something they aren’t usually allowed to. I let Caleb rip up a whole book. It was so worth it to drink my coffee in quiet. I just pretended I didn’t notice. I will probably regret it later when he rips up something I love!

Ok so maybe some of these aren’t the best ideas! What works for you?

 

 

High Five for Friday!

After missing three Fridays in a row, I am back to celebrate the weekend! We’ve had quite a full few weeks!

I’m linking up with Lauren @ From My Grey Desk Blog to bring you this H54F!

1. This past weekend we were celebrating my brother in law’s graduation from bible school! He now has his Bachelor in Biblical Studies. We’re very proud of him and enjoyed being there to celebrate!

2. Traveling up to the graduation was fun. Caleb did better than excepted and was super cute in Boston Pizza on the way up!

3. I discovered a new tea! Tetley Vanilla Bean Chai! It’s so delicious. One night I sat in bed and drank my tea, and it was so perfect after an exhausting day!

4. My little button and I went for a long walk yesterday. He fell asleep in the stroller (he was refusing to nap at home). He looked just like a little baby again. Then he woke up right after and got back to being busy. He looked so peaceful.

5. I’m almost done reading through the prayers in The Power of a Praying Wife and The Power of a Praying Parent! I have seen so many of the prayers answered, and I am going to continue using them as a guide for praying over my family. I feel like these books have really given me a framework to pray into things that I would have missed otherwise. God is so good!

I hope you enjoy your weekend!