Friday, February 28, 2014

Day 28: Journey of days

I walk in places that seem as though tunnel vision impacted my convictions

I have traversed the wide open spaces that have filled my soul with immense peace

I have viewed the spectacular, and stood in awe of the miraculous

I have sat back and soaked in creation and simply taken a moment


I have cast my dreams, visions to the one who gave them to me...

I think of many moments in my life and the days I that have documented through my 28 days in February and thankful for my days...

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Day 27: Tools

Tomorrow he embarks on a new journey - turning thirteen. Amazed at what he has done and will continue to do I consider posts like this such a blessing because I can celebrate him right now, today. I don't want to wait...

He glides through so many circumstances because he has a calm and caring nature


Nature loving and outdoorsy kind of guy!
Loves animals and cares for them with tenderness

Works hard to discover new things

New discoveries with his best friend. I am so thankful for a camera to remember these moments

Sports make his world an exciting place, also a place of learning, growing, success and failures

Doesn't every man think he is superman?
Loves playing in the water and invites his sisters to join in

The Jack smile

What would we do without a trampoline? Seriously, no idea...

The best cottage moment ever!

Always seeking something, there is always something to be found!

When did he grow up?

Yup, a precious boy - a gentle soul

This seems like far too many years ago

Knee boarding (makes my knees hurt just thinking about it) is a fav. He is so calm when he is out there, like his Daddio a happy place to be~!


The toolbox

Jack will receive his own toolbox tomorrow, Yes real tools! But I have asked special family in his life to leave him tools of wisdom via words to add to this toolbox. He will open a hammer and also open life giving words that will give him perspective and hopefully stay in his heart as he continues to mature in his faith journey. Biblical insight and wonderful wise words are on the way.
Here is one I received today - made me cry

Your Character!

Your character is what God knows you to be.

Your reputation is what people think you are.

Character is what you are in the dark

You can sell out Character but you can't purchase it.

What you are tomorrow, you are becoming today.

The test of your character is what you would do if you knew no one would ever know.

words anonymous sent to Jack from a special member of our family
Happy Birthday Jack - we love you!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Two Decades ago...

Everywhere around the world there are countless children needing a home.
This moves me and convicts me, what I do about it is pray and support children through an organization that enables life giving medicine, food, water, education.
Is that enough?
I picked up the book Orphan 32 by Thanh Campbell
I fell into his story and I am almost done reading, I am moved...
Perhaps I will always wrestle with the question of adoption. We have five precious children. So I carry on taking care of what I have been blessed with here and now. IF God opens a door or collectively our hearts as parents and as a family that is TBD. God has plans that are for His glory.
I opened the book while waiting for the girls at gym. I then began a conversation quite unexpexcted...
I met a lovely lady today at a gym program. Quiet, thoughtful, intelligent and a history teacher with incredible insight and creativity. We only spoke about 20 minutes, Doesn't that tell you something  though? I learned a great deal about her. I asked a lot of questions and we clicked.
 I have to quote her (as closely as I can)
We spoke about Orphan 32, about orphans, speakers she had heard that came out of war torn countries lucky to be alive and selected to board a plane to Canada.
We spoke about, you guessed it homeschooling.
"I wish I could be home with my kids like you
I think it is amazing what you do
One day your kids will look back and be thankful"
She had no  idea I heard the same thing two days ago at Target. Perhaps the Lord knew that is what I needed to hear.
Here I am reading about this incredible journey of a plane full of precious orphans and in the same sentence talking about my own children. I admit I lost sight of what I am doing at many points this week, I was discouraged, down, tired and fighting with the enenmy of our soul and it was killing my joy.
Issues that plague our family need not rule my joy.
I heard through two different people a word that changed my day, both times.
That is just how God planned it, just for me?! Humbling for sure and life giving.
The book Orphan 32 was an opening for discussion. Often the books I am reading do that!
When I am done reading the book I will review it fully.
Let me give you something though...
Confused and questioning who he was, where he came from and simply the how and why were enough to spur on Than Campbell to discover more about his incredible journey that took 57 precious, needy orphans to new homes to LIVE. Most of these children were sick, very sick and probably would have died had this amazing flight not left Vietnam almost two decaded ago.

People that were convicted and passionate carried these children to safety.
The story is about one particular orphan, his journey, family and life.

138 pages is probably not enough to capture the emotion and journey of Than Campell.
Prepare to be moved by this journey that many probably didn't even know happened.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Day 25: The King's Equal - Book Review

I did say I would celebrate my five children didn't I??! I may have to move into March to really give them all the words and pictures they deserve. I realized that many of the baby

pictures I want to add I have to actually find in albums, take pictures load them and well that takes time. I will attend to that for sure, but for now I will continue to write about what moves me, God's way...
Lately, as mothers can attest, sleep is a gift to behold when you can well, hold it! My little Katie has been quite keen on visiting me (oh no not Daddio's side - mine!!) and just letting me know she needs me.
I have always wrested with sleep deprivation!
Why is sleep something I hold on to so strongly? Am I not blogging lately about the ME thing and letting ME go? It is just hard. Hard to explain to eldest son that I did not get much sleep. Even as I hear myself saying the words I stop and think to myself, let it I do. I keep busy at the many tasks at hand and pursue the immediate, attend to the important and hold onto Christ! What calms our home and my soul is reading.  Here is what changed our home today.

Listening to stories read to you is simply enchanting. I believe that it not only changes the listener but mostly of all, the reader.

In the book The King's Equal there is much wrestling, particularly with character. I love this book  because it is short but makes a point that is lengthy in meaning. The dying King will not relinquish his crown to his son until he finds a woman equal to his  beauty, intelligence and wealth. Little does the prince realize at that moment he truly lacks all three. He is an arrogant, pompous, greedy and cruel prince. He is living for the moment and for himself. He is not concerned for the welfare of the people he had been entrusted. He wants more, he wants it all. The prince thinks that he does have it all. Those close to him fear for their lives because they know at any moment he could turn on them if he does not get what he wants and they will perish at his hand. There is one thing he does not have, the crown. He can not find a princess worthy. The truth is he is not worthy. Reality is though that no one can tell him that fact.  Living it is the only way he can truly acknowledge his lack and his need for gain in the right areas.
Rosamund is a unique character that teaches him more about himself than anyone had ever dared.
She was a gentle spirit.
She was kind.
She was brave.
She lived for truth and what was GOOD.
He, the prince had to have her but gave up so much to find on folks!
What I love about today was simply my audience. The 56 pages I read captured their minds and hearts. I could tell,
No one spoke.
Their eyes wide open with anticipation of what was to happen next.
What would happen to the prince...the princess.
They listened and well, what they learned I am not sure as we have not really debriefed about the details yet!
Until the next adventure..sleep well...

Monday, February 24, 2014

Day 24: While I am waiting

You know those moments when you are on hold, say with kitchen Aid, oh like I was today. Listening to apologies for wrong quotes and miscommunications etc? Well, I was in that moment.
Obviously the technician was not from the GTA (why they connected me to the states?) She has no idea what conversations I have had precious to her. She was not to blame but was the only one I had to speak with to make
 When this happens things like this while through my mind:
I feel like I am wasting my time.
I have to take the truck into Nissan in 40 min - license plate came off in carwash - take note: make sure yours is still there if you do that!
I feel irritated
I need my stove top working (take out anyone?) Come on I have five kids and they need to eat!
 I have school to accomplish
Laundry to be done
while I am waiting I have a choice, I always do.
I can be angry and make the person on the other end equally irritated and blame shift as we can all do that at times.
I can offer GRACE.

Well, I did not really have time to think. I was put on hold for a long time. During that time I wandered around the house preparing piles of schoolwork organizing the sink and kitchen area, dealing with sibling issues, toddler potty time and finally she came back. It gave me time to calm down and I actually received the answer I was hoping for, they admitted confusion and all was well. But whether or not the right answer came I needed to choose the sometimes harder path.

I want grace and forgiveness too.

I forget sometimes while I am waiting what really matters.

Then once again the deer appeared.

We have a horse logger working the fallen trees and ones that have been marked with his Belgian beauties logging them out of the woods - pioneer days yes I would say so! The deer are quite quick to realize as I learned today that the buds from the top of the trees is a treat for them. They were in abundance and always, always make me stop, watch and ponder the beauty of these creatures.
A moment of grace again that I am so thankful for.
This is a family fav in our home right now.
"I am holding on to you"
listen and love it!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Day Twenty Three: I am the Lord


This is what the Lord says -your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb

"I am the Lord,
who has made all things,
who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself..."
Isaiah 44:24

"Your heavens above, rain down righteousness; let the clouds shower it down. Let the earth open wide, let salvation spring up, let righteousness grow with it; I, the Lord, have created it."
Isaiah 45:8
Each new day brings forth fragments of time to create worshipful moments.
That is my prayer today...

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Day Nineteen: Leaky Lives Part Two

Day Nineteen even though it is the 22nd of Feb makes me laugh. Why? Well my journey this month was to blog daily I have some catch up to do. But for now I will go with day nineteen...

Leaky Lives Part Two - The Goodness of Siblings flooding my Life:

Continuing the theme of leaking as this milder weather continues to wreak havoc on many homes and basements, I want to add how my siblings have 'flooded' my life with goodness truly beyond words.
My siblings are with me through the challenges, surprises and joys of my journey. They fill in the gaps of  my life.
When I turned 40, I embarked on a  reflective journey I did not plan... I had an overwhelming sense of gratitude for my siblings. Not that I didn't before, I just felt it went... deeper. It ushered me into a time of reflection. That happens as you age....
My oldest sister - I love you
My second oldest sister - I love you
My baby bro - I love you

To be able to type those words and means it is such a blessing. There are far too many relationships broken for our short lives here that I breathe a deep sigh of relief and gratitude that I can type it and mean it, right!
I am thinking of forty because we had a chance to surprise my youngest sibling.
Happy Birthday B!
So, last night we went into TO and had such a great night celebrating my baby brother. What? Baby brother at 40! How old are you? Well not too far ahead of him, but he will always be the baby bro!

He is such a gift...

He, first of all has a passion for Christ that truly makes me constantly re-evaluate my own personal spiritual journey. He sends links that take time to read or watch but always encourage or challenge. He is passionate about serving at his church and the young people in his care. He adores his beautiful wife! Yes, he enjoys and loves (understatement!) his dog too!! Funny how animals can capture our hearts!
 As I continue this journey of reflection I am deeply grateful for the unique places we are at currently. God knows that we would all be right where we are today. So, I watch and learn from all of them and sometimes we all scratch our heads at moments in time -hey we are family! We are supposed to do that! But we continue to love, laugh, learn, forgive, pray, listen, talk, enjoy, pursue, and love how Christ loves...
That is the kind of love that changes families and the world.
I want to love...better each day by God's strength!

The Four of US!!!!

 Family can be the fragrance of blessing, you have to be the one to grow and bloom and be fragrant not matter what the cost....

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Day Eighteen : Leaky Lives Part One


With this wonderfully mild weather (not -22) very interesting moments are simply...added. Water droplets form and begin the drip, drip drip sounds that don't bring a sense of peace. It brings with it a question mark and a 'oh no' kind of feeling.
Jack was diligently working on his math and heard a clicking noise. He was determined to find it, off he went in search of an answer. A very small drip from the corner of a window was appearing. This was just the beginning of what I call a, hmmm, waterfall! The ice and snow had built up so much on the roof the water was just pooling in all the wrong places.

Let the melting begin...
Quickly we found containers of all sizes simply because there were so many water droplets forming and so quickly that we had to put them in some very odd spaces. Towels, containers and a quick moving of all that was paper! Some things were already soaked, nothing to cry over! But still water was pouring in.

The dog liked the accessible water on the floor thing!

Leaky lives can be great or perhaps not so great. This actual leak has not been so horrible!
As I was moving stuff around I also started a mini purge! H, you know what I am talking about! I cleaned the floors moved things around, cleaned baseboards (oh thankfully I was alone while that was going on!) I sifted through books I still want to read out loud to the kids like Rascal by Sterling North, Biographical books like Jim Elliot-Missionary, took note of some art work to keep or not keep. Math books that needed marking or put back in the proper place so we don't scour the house the next day wasting time!
Not all was wasted with the leak.
My life can leak and spill out into others with blessing or quite the opposite. If I allow my emotions to leak without demonstrating self-control a flood will soon rise, and that takes time to clean up. Water marks are left behind and hearts can be hurt.
If truth, love, wisdom can ooze out of me during my moments and days at home there won't be the immense clean up and brokenness.
To quote Sally Clarkson again from her book 10 Gifts of Wisdom, "But the thing your child needs most in the world is a heart that knows the love of his or her creator. The greatest gift you can give your kids, a gift they will carry with them into each relationship and situation of their lives, is a heart deeply centered on loving God and a life formed by the habits of truth (p.9-10)
Wow, the impact I can have is profound. I can also do the opposite at times when I am not on guard and living tired and selfishly. I want to drip, drip, drip the goodness of a loving heavenly Father. I must get on my knees and pray, pray, pray.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Day Seventeen: Grade six...

We met in grade six. W is a treasure to me! We did it friends! I can't sum up our adventures. I laugh to myself when I think of all the amazing things we did and ridiculous too!
Today I honour her by sending her birthday wishes.
We spent some precious moments together this past summer. Sharing our hearts and laughter and tears. Even though it wasn't long, It changed me....I feel closer to her and am so thankful we took time to connect even though we live at a distance now.

We experienced these photos together and just simply soaked it in. Okay, we had some wind that nearly knocked us into the water, but we held on and laughed.
WVDA - you are such a good friend. Happy Birthday to you!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Day sixteen - Transformation and The Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie Omartian


Transformation is a miracle.



Beholding the result of a transformation is a miracle


Quietly soaking in the beauty of creation - a miracle

Recalling moments like these when we watched the caterpillars transform into extraordinary beauty allow me to reflect on God's amazing handiwork.
I am also reminded on the transforming work of prayer in our lives.
Stormie Omartian has long encouraged me through her scripture saturated prayers and books. She has authored countless books that have sold millions of copies. I think there is a reason! There are three books I am currently reading by Stormie
Diligently and intentionally Stormie leads us to focus on Christ and guides us with scripture to strengthen our prayer lives. Often we are at a loss for words, what to pray and where to find the appropriate verse. All that needs to be done is open up her book to the table of contents and there you will find something to spark your prayer life for your children or husband (as those are the two books I am currently gleaning much wisdom)
I have to pray using scripture. It fills my empty heart full of Christ. I am able to really dig into praying for the needs of my family by following suggested verses and guidelines for prayer. I wake and I am frankly tired! Coffee helps, going to bed early even better! That does not always help. So when I am foggy this clears the way for a path of prayer that is significant.
Often the verses I pray will come back in the middle of the night (Oh mom out know what I am talking about - the middle of the night wake for no reason moment!) I actually over the years have learned to let that go, not fight it and just lay there and acknowledge that I am awake for a reason and Lord what do I need to pray....

Was she really this little? So unaware of the miracle on her precious bald head?

He too was in awe of the creature he watched transform over many weeks. Letting them go was thrilling but also sad! We saw them take flight into a world they did not even know existed but somehow by God's great design would just simply figure out immediately.
If I want my kids to take flight it begins with the power of prayer. It will transform the bleakest of moments.

                                Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord.

                               Lift your hands toward Him for the life of your young children.

                                                                Lamentation 2:19

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Day Fifteen: The Unexpected in Friendship

 Day Fifteen brings with it many potential posts,
 but this one is a must...friendship.

 She popped in with her usual cheery disposition and contagious smile along with her eager son, ready to enjoy an early birthday celebration. Quickly she motioned to her son to sprint back to the car for something?
He came back with a bouquet of fresh roses, and handed them to me.

Later she said she saw them and thought of me. Now I have this gorgeous display on my mantle. I look at them and am thankful she is in my life. She is a tender soul with a deep love for her children.

She is creative, active, spirited, funny, thoughtful, caring and joyful. Teaching is her profession,  inspiring those children daily AND
 her heart is in her home - for her children walking with them on this journey of life.

"Friendship is the greatest of worldly goods. Certainly to me it is the chief of happiness of life. If I had to give a piece of advice to a young man about a place to live, I think I should say, 'Sacrifice almost everything to live where you can be near your friends.' I know I am very fortunate in that respect."

C.S. Lewis


The gift of friendship begins at home. Sally Clarkson
reminds us in her book Ten Gifts of Wisdom, that, "As mothers, we have the powerful opportunity to teach our children the great value and worth of friendships. The way we model, encourage, and create fellowship is crucial to the way our children will learn to relate in their own adult lives. I never  wanted my children to see themselves as loners, as people not responsible to love and bless others. I wanted them to perceive themselves as givers, as hosts, as true friends. We were made to know God's love through the love we give and receive. We were made for close family friendships, for community, for relationships that last throughout our lives.
But friendship is something we must fight to create." (p.22)

We as mothers have this opportunity to walk with our children and give them the gift of understanding true friendships, mainly how to be a friend.
Life with friends is like this bouquet.