Wednesday, April 27, 2011

That hurts

Not a fun piece of nature to hug! However, the beauty of this prickly goodie caught my eye on a hike tonight. I thought it ironic that we spoke about irritations today. Yes, irritations with one another. How this will happen between us here at home and we HAVE to learn how to deal with the prickly moments and do it well.
We open the door to the world and must first learn how to demonstrate the fruit of the spirit here well before we can expect to outside! From very young we teach our young to love others, be nice and don't hurt other people. When they are with others we hope it becomes instinct to love. Easy to read out loud but  hard to do! As we read about the need for the fruit of the spirit to be evident in our lives funny how it becomes harder to do! Lots of arrows thrown at us and we have to deflect them with the armor of God. In Ephesians 6:10 we are reminded to, "Finally, be strong in the Lord and his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes."
So true. However, we have the authority in the name of Jesus to resist the enemy. Later on in Ephesians we read, "...take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one." Today and yesterday (that is when I started this post!) I lost perspective and my selfishness won out more times than not. I just finished asking forgivenss from the eldest, again!. There were moments that have come and gone that hurt. Just like the prickly bush.
What I see in the next photo is perspective. I kind of lost that today. I look for  ways to capture what I see through the lens. I can't really describe what I truly feel when I hold a camera and capture endless God created scenery and people. It is almost as though I am writng a thank you note to God with a click. I need perspective on all my moments.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


The nights can be tough when awake many moments. I am learning to savour my time alone with my wee katie and allow this time to be about her, not me. She needs me and I am there for her. We make it through together and she is not alone. I am not either.

I serve even when I am tired.

I give even when I don't feel able.

If I can say this enough and live it out I can really do those things. God is so gracious and He has shown me His favour that is infinite. I am so thankful that He cares for me and He loves me. This gives me the ability to do all the little things that add up to the novel of my days and my moments.

This serving has opened the hearts of the children at this house. The beautiful french toast (if you look close enough I ate most of it!!) was a gift from my son Jack with the sous chef Samanatha at his side. I woke to coffee and an eclectic array of fragrant fruit and maple syrup. How divine! He just wanted to.
His words were simple, "because you served us!"

Oh my precious Jack. He is such a dear and he served, and blessed. I know his little heart  moved my heart in enormous ways!
Our friend Michaela helped them make some easter cookies and they added these as a bonus feature in the morning! Sure, I can have a sugar cookie then please!!!!

Lately the whole idea of service all connects with being thankful. When we are thankful we can serve and serve so much better! We had moments of serving one another in bed when Daddy was away on a trip. This was a pivotal point for us as a family. We rose to the occasion while he was away so to speak and lay down our own desires for the other person.
This sparked change.
Later I heard Ann Voskamp ( speak her soul and am reading her words in her book (One Thousand Gifts) that speaks about God's amazing grace and how we can be truly thankful in all circumstances. Living fully, today.

 Be grateful, be thankful, be aware that will change you!

Being thankful takes the focus off you and directs you to the one who gave you reason for your thanks.

I know that God is working and He is answering prayer every day here in the hills.

We are thankful for what Easter means. God gave us His son, we have life!

Monday, April 18, 2011


He plays so beautifully and now has the next one joining in on the music! A first for Katie...

Love her chubby hands

The gecko laid two eggs and are now in the incubation stage. For how long? Who knows, I have to read up on that one. I will let the boys take care of that info. Although this is not a first for Mandy (the gecko) to lay eggs, this is the first type of incubation set up and we hope it works. I so hope so. The boys are very excited about this first!

Friday, April 15, 2011

My book arrived One Thousand Gifts - Ann Voskamp

So how can I silently slip away to reading land? Coffee in hand and book freshly opened. Oh, how I love a new book. I am so ready to devour her beautiful words. I am on page 18 and my soul is already softened and changed. Her indesribable boquet of words transforms each moment of reading this precious book. I am ready Lord for you to teach me yet again.
I will read more when the moments come. Amazing how one can find time, it does happen!

1. I am thankful for spring poking through
    2.. Thankful for the leaves that made it through the harsh did those stay on anyway?

I am thankful and will make it to 1000! I am on my way........

We also started our window of thanks. We have sticky notes all over it! Those who saw her speak may recall a picture she had covered with sticky notes from her family. We are too and what a difference it is making for our family. We are grateful more. We have attitudes of gratitude!! Awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!

off to make coffee and sneak a quick read!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Our first hike

I lift my eyes up to the hills-
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip-
he who watches over you will
not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

Psalm 121 1-4

We walked and we walked. We cam across many places we had never been, Trees creaking and swaying in the wind. The warmth of this wind surrounded me as if with arms. I was truly in a wonderful place. I was holding Katie, directing Sara and anticipating arriving to the place of discovery. The older three had ventured off into uncharted territory! I love that!! Two way radios in hand off they went and were gone for a long time. The call on the radio always stirs my heart. Are they ok and what have they discovered! Well a snapping turtle was the first words yelled over the radio. A kids dream of fun!! He was a big boy and not happy to be found. But leave it to the kids and they are on it. I went to see this beauty and take pictures. What a joy to discover this turtle and make our day here even more exciting and adventurous. Soon the brush will be too dense and we will not be able to navigate like we just did. I am so glad that we could all do this, only one thing missing - Daddy. Funny how work gets in the way. He gets to hike this weekend!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Joy at home and conferences!

                                                                   Smile, spread the joy! Katie does...

I was asked what was hard sometimes. Well finding joy can be at times during a busy day, little frustrations, demands galore and unending moments that when strung together leave me dangling at the end just barely holding on. Then I am supposed to feel joy? That is hard. But choosing joy when I don't feel like it is a new habit that must be formed. My joy can be contagious. My calm voice can be inviting to painful moments. My facial expressions can motivate. Can  but will they always? Can I really make a habit of my voice, face and whole being exuding joy?
It is possible. The joy of the Lord is my strength. If I truly believe that so can my children. When they are trying out the new rubber boots from wal-mart and slip and fall. Completely covered in mud and water soaking their toes in the boots, can they find joy? Some can, some find it hard. Today it was hard to find joy in that moment. Not part of the mud plan. It was supposed to be fun and dry? Don't think that one can play in the mud and stay squeaky clean. I said for fun, " Just go run out there in all white and see what happens!!" It made a little smirk come and that is all I hoped for, just a little joy please!! Have fun, no one got hurt and the clothes are so unimportant!!! Boots will dry and the mud will always be there ! It reminded me of ME when I loose my joy in something so silly. I choose to find joy, today I did. I feel different already.

Our window is full of our grateful things. We called it Attitude of Gratitude. I love those rolls of paper from Ikea that just keep going! Well that is up and running. I have to be the one that starts this new and better phase of joy. This is not temporary, this is ongoing. Struggles will come, Christ will remain our constant.

Conference....I must go on a bit about the homeschooling conference in Kitchener this past Saturday. I am so thankful for days like that. What a tremendous blessing. From reluctant writers seminars to Ann Voskamp speaking from her heart to encourage our souls to university admissions!! Loved it all and want more!
I am so thankful for Ann Voskamp and her beautiful, soft spoken delivery of joy and how we can do this as mothers. I want children that are joyful, grateful. Not bitter and angry. Curious joy, contagious joy, captivating joy! Bring it on, we are ready for the joy that we have been missing lately!!