2012: What a year!

Wow, is the Christmas season really coming to a close? I suddenly realized I hadn’t written a post in over two weeks. Our family was definitely swept up by the busyness of the holidays. We spent lots of time with family, tried to rest a bit and accomplished some things that we hadn’t had the time to do.

Tonight marks my first new years eve alone as my husband is working at a youth event. It’s given me some time to reflect on this past year, and has it been a whirlwind!

2012 began with us living a pretty normal life. We were just finally settled into life with our son, and had left him overnight for the very first time. Andrew was doing well at work, moving up the ladder and enjoying learning new things. I was beginning to get some vision back since giving birth, and was preparing to launch a new group out of our church for first time moms.

We knew God had placed dreams in our heart, but we weren’t thinking much about the timing of it all that January. We had no idea how quickly everything was about to change. The Lord was working in our hearts like a volcano getting ready to explode. Rumblings underground were starting to be heard as He called us to take a marriage course that would radically change the path we were on.

That course was the first step in what would be a long, and still not completed journey that took us to California, BC, and eventually to live in a new city.

To sum it up: 2012 was filled with the blessing of hearing God’s voice.

The Lord put this verse on my heart as a prayer for my family at the very beginning of the year, and I can see how he answered this.

We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.

Colossians 1:9-10

I’m so thankful that he made his will clear to us, and my continued prayed is that we would live in a way that honours and pleases the Lord, while we produce good fruit.

Looking forward to 2013 fills me with much anticipation as I know that God is full of grace and surprises! Only he knows what kind of adventure it will hold, although I pray that it does not involve moving anytime soon!!happy-new-year-2013-hd-wallpaper-7

May 2013 be a year filled with blessings as you grow to know God better and better!

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Sending My Heart To Connecticut

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I don’t have many words to say on this devastating day where so many children lost their lives in the Connecticut school shooting.

My husband phoned me in the middle of an exhausting time with my son. I had just told myself I didn’t think I’d make it through. He told me the news. In an instant all my troubles seemed like a grain of sand next to Mount Everest.

Our hearts are obviously broken, and the verse that I read today encouraged me to truly pray and feel for the victims, their families and the community.

“Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies.” Hebrews 13:3b

Allow your heart to ache, let your prayers be heard, and may tears flow with the deepest of sincerity. The miles that separate us from the elementary school are irrelevant. Their prayers still reach heaven, and so will ours.

Lord Jesus, bring comfort, hope, strength and peace to each child who saw such horrific events today. Bring healing to their hearts and minds and allow them to recover from such trauma. Be with each family who lost a loved one. Pour your unfailing mercy and grace upon them. Restore their souls. And God, if anything good can from this evil, let it happen. In Jesus’ mighty name.

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Reading Some Baby Cards

photoI have a confession.

I never sent out baby shower thank-you’s after my son was born.

Well, I finally said it “out loud”. It’s haunted me for a year and a half. Our wedding thank-you’s were late, but they at least made it out. They succumbed to last place on my to do list during that face. In the midst of surviving, I somehow didn’t manage to do them.

So I said that to say this: I have a lot of guilt and embarrassment when I look through our cards that we received as I feel terrible that people weren’t given the opportunity to truly understand how thankful we were.

Today however, it was Caleb who pulled out the basket of cards. He was recovering from his first bout of the stomach flu, and I found in calmly sitting looking through each card. He handed them to me and had me read each one out loud to him.

It was amazing to read these cards and receive the words of encouragement and life that they spoke, again. Some held reminders to treasure the time since babies grow so fast. Some offered help or advice. Others sent prayers of strength and grace.

Looking back over these 18 months, it is incredible to see how much of blessing Caleb has been to us. One card I found in the basket worded his purpose so well.

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And he is fulfilling his special purpose in our family too.

The cards were a great conversation starter with my son, as we looked at pictures of tiny hands, feet and people, and talked about how there would be another little baby coming to our family. He started to get excited as we looked through them, and then later spent a long time flipping through a photo pregnancy book, pointing at babies and pregnant moms!

One card made me laugh as I remembered the intensity of the first few weeks.

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So to those who gave us wonderful gifts, and wrote beautiful notes, I give a thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your words are still touching us today.

If there is any take away from this, I think it would be that it is a great investment to take time to write meaningful notes in Christmas, baby, wedding and birthday cards. The gift may be forgotten, but words will always be treasured.

“Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.”

Ephesians 4:29

I will never judge a new mom for not sending out a thank-you, but I do hope to be better at this with my next one!

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A Praying Wife

imgres-2When I decided to become a “praying wife” almost one year ago, I was so excited to see how my husband would be transformed and released to be the amazing man he could be.

After taking a marriage course, I knew I needed to get serious about becoming my husband’s number one prayer warrior. My mentor and dear friend led me to the book “The Power of a Praying Wife.” I had received it as an engagement gift, but hadn’t really picked it up. power-of-praying-wife

I knew the power of prayer and had seen the Lord do mighty things in my life, but I felt overwhelmed with where to start when I thought of the vast list of things I needed to lift before God.

Stormie Omartian, author of the Power of a Praying Wife, has prayers  at the end of each chapter to help you get started, along with verses to pray over your husband.

Eager to get started, I opened the book one morning, ready to cry out to the Lord on behalf of Andrew. To my surprise, the first prayer in the book is for the wife. Not for the husband.

The first paragraph started like this:

Lord, help me to be a good wife.  I fully realize that I don’t have what it takes to be one without Your help.  Take my selfishness, impatience, and irritability and turn them into kindness, long-suffering, and the willingness to bear all things.  Take my old emotional habits, mindsets, automatic reactions, rude assumptions, and self-protective stance, and make me patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled.  Take the hardness of my heart and break down the walls with Your battering ram of revelation. Give me a new heart and work in me Your love, peace, and joy (Galatians 5:22-23).  I am not able to rise above who I am at this moment.  Only You can transform me.

I was not prepared for the introspective look that this prayer was going to take. It took me a long time to get through the whole prayer, as tears flowed down.

Even though I have read through this prayer hundreds of times now, I can’t get through it without crying. There are two things that break me each time.

1. I see how God is working in me and changing me.

2. I realize how powerless I am to be a good wife without the Lord.

The end of the prayer holds another tear jerker in the last line.

Make me a new person, Lord.  Give me a fresh perspective, a positive outlook, and a renewed relationship with the man You’ve given me to.  Help me see him with new eyes, new appreciation, new love, new compassion, and new acceptance.  Give my husband a new wife, and let it be me.

Courage is required to continue praying a prayer like this. There are some weeks when I don’t know if I have the energy it takes to give my selfishness and irritability to the Lord. But God is so gracious, and as you keep submitting yourself to him, he will continue to pour out all you need in the midst of your never ending mistakes.

Don’t be deceived: you might begin this prayer journey to see your husband “changed”,  but you are the one who will get rocked!

And it’s a pretty rewarding place to be.

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Dancing with Daddy

There is a very beautiful, extravagant hotel that I have enjoyed High Tea at a number of times. Each visit has been for a very special occasion, mainly engagements and weddings.

The room that you dine in is called the “Victorian Tea Room”. Each time I walk in there I feel like I have been whisked back to the time of Pride & Prejudice. I am Elizabeth, wandering through the beautiful mansion of Pemberly, gazing at each magnificent room.

High Tea at Hotel Saskatchewan

At a youth retreat we were at recently, I sat in on a session on prayer. During it we were told to close our eyes and ask God for a picture of himself as the perfect father.

We are easily swayed in our view of God depending on what our earthly father was like. If he was kind, loving and compassionate, that will often be how you see your heavenly Father.

If he was cold, abusive or distant, that could be your view of your heavenly Father.

Since no earthly father is perfect, I think it is very healthy to ask God to reveal himself to you in this way.

Anyway, during this time I was whisked away to this Victorian Tea Room. I was a little girl, in a beautiful dress. The room was empty except for a table for two.

I couldn’t see God, but I danced with him. He twirled me around. I was a princess. The most beautiful girl in the world. I was completely captivating to Him, and I was in awe of the depth of my love for him.

After twirling around in my beautiful dress, we had tea. And we talked. For a long, long time. I could tell Him anything. He listened, and had wise things to say.

It was a like a dream.

A fairy tale.

I came back to reality, and my heart was filled with joy. In a moment I had experienced the love of my Heavenly Father. I had just been on an unforgettable daddy/daughter date.

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Yesterday we were back in this special room at a larger-get-together.

I stepped into the room and felt a mixture of joy, love and excitement flow through me with a tingle.

Words were whispered to me from Songs of Songs 4:9a

“You have captured my heart, my treasure…”

God has been doing a lot in my life and in my heart, and sometimes I feel like I am simply a mess before him. My heart breaks as I cry out again for forgiveness in the midst of my failings. But He pours out more grace and love.

But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)

Ephesians 2:4-5

Then He says to us that we are His masterpiece. His sons and daughters.

I’m still soaking in the love of my Father.

 

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