Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Our eldest

Yesterday I took Mercedes to the optometrist (the eye doctor) for her first check up. They recommend taking them in sometime in their third I was just doing that. WELL Mercedes has 60/20 vision in her right eye and 30/20 in her left. That is a +4 prescription in the right and a +2 in the left. She is far sighted. She needs to wear glasses, likely, until 12 or 13 years old. For the next year or 2 we are to patch her left eye for at least 4 hours a strengthen the right eye. The optometrist said that it was really good we brought her in now. There were not any really strong clues that there was anything wrong with her vision. Her left eye has been doing all of the work. Kids are very good at using only one eye. But she looked straight at you with both eyes. She has no trouble tracking etc. Eyes grow a lot from years 3-5 or I am really glad we did the check up. I would have never thought of eye trouble in a million years...I guess that is why we pray for wisdom, from God, as parents. She got her Disney Princess glasses today. She looks very cute!
I have to say she handled everything really well. They dilated her eyes to get the full prescription and the optometrist said she would cry a lot when the drops were put in but she didn't. I was so proud of her. I on the other hand was a wreck (I didn't show it) On the inside I was in near tears. I felt so much guilt for not having brought her in almost a year sooner. She has complained off and on about headaches and she would blink her eye funny sometimes, but not always. I should have clued in. "should have" know guilt trips are not from God and neither are "should haves". I have been reminding myself of that for the past 2 days. I am thankful that we live in a time when these things are not a big deal.
I also took her to the dentist today because she had been complaining about her gums bothering her for about 2 weeks. So I took her in and they said that she has been grinding her teeth. Sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo...needless to say it's been an upward battle to get to the point to believe that we have been decent parents at all.
We are in a battle. We are consumed with defeating our foe. And the great thing is that the big picture is...WE WILL WIN!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007


It seems that when you put yourself out there and say "these are the lessons that God is teaching me"...then Satan goes "oh yeah???" And wham you are under heavy spiritual attack. I have been battling this for about a week and a half. It's TOUGH. Yet again Ephesians 6:10-12 says, "God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we'll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels."

You know I would prefer that this WAS an "afternoon athletic contest" instead of a life long fight, in some ways. But in other ways I am glad that that this is on going. It forces me to depend on God. When things are good it is more of a challenge for me to remind myself that I do desperately need God. But the reality is I always desperately need Him no matter what is happening in the spiritual realm. If you don't believe in God I imagine that "the spiritual realm" sounds like a really bizarre thing to believe in. But trust me it's just as real as everything that you can physically see.

Do you know what I am just learning? Satan has a defence for everything but one ...doesn't mean He will win if we fight the good fight, as it were, it just means that he knows his time is short and he is trying every trick in the book to derail everyone he has a legal right to derail. The one thing that Satan has no weapons against is THANKFULNESS! So in James 1 when it says "Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides." you realize that that is amazing advice. And something that I need to take to heart in quickly.

I am trying to teach Mercedes about thankfulness...especially at meal-time. She is a pretty picky eater. She doesn't like this and that. There are times when I get so frustrated because I see the bigger picture (which she does not yet) that there are so many people who would love to be in her place surrounded by so much plenty. And you know it's not just my 3, almost 4, year old. I do this as well. I moan and complain about so many things...this is one of the many things I am working on and now I have more incentive. Satan cannot possibly win the THANKFULNESS battle. There is a story that I heard recently about this. There is a pastor and his wife, in the states, that that had a son and then their second son was a still-born. He was born on a Tuesday and that Sunday they got up in the pulpit and for the whole service read from a list that they had made of what they were thankful for. I find that absolutely AMAZING!

You know in the storms, when we praise God, there is still joy and grace to get us through that storm . God doesn't promise we won't have hard times He promises us that He will be there, He will provide everything that we need to get us through. Thankfulness in the midst of hardship is all about praise and trust. "my yoke is easy"...

And then there is always the whole "getting a different perspective" thing :)...You know like there are a whole lot harder situations to go through. I find it gives me much empathy and compassion. There is always a reason.

doing battle on my knees, Tama

Thursday, January 25, 2007

the gift of having fun :)

Today at M.O.M.'s Group (a group some friends and I started at church for mom's with young kids) we made soap. We laughed and talked...shared similar experiences about life with children from a mother's perspective. It was great. I had fun. While in the middle of making soap I teased one of my friends and we smiled. And then it struck me this friend and I hadn't just had fun most of the winter. We had a blast while the sun was shining but then we have been trying so hard to not get cabin fever and get the kids out and about that we forgot to have fun and laugh together. Hmmmmmmm...I shall have to purpose to have fun, more often, with my friends :). It's good for the soul.

Children laugh all the time. Have you ever noticed that? There is a statistic about that out there. And the jist is that children laugh a WHOLE lot more than adults.

That made me think of 2 verses in the Bible...

5For an answer Jesus called over a child, whom he stood in the middle of the room, and said, "I'm telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you're not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God's kingdom. What's more, when you receive the childlike on my account, it's the same as receiving me. (Matthew 18:2-5) and "A cheerful disposition is good for your health; gloom and doom leave you bone-tired." Proverbs 17:22

child-like, Tama

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

My Sword shall lead me to VICTORY!!!

Yesterday was an interesting day. There was a battle fought in the spiritual realm over circumstances in our life. Ephesians 6:10-12 says, "10-12And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we'll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.". But Shaun and I, for the first time, took the WORD OF GOD and used it in that battle. We did not get derailed or thrown off course. God says this, Matthew 11:28-30"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly." I learned what this means yesterday. It was (as Oprah says) a light bulb moment. There is a reason why we are to read the Bible every day...why we are to saturate ourselves with the Truth. It is so that when we face difficult things in life we will come out on the other side with LIFE. When (and it's not an if? It's a definite WHEN) trials come into our lives we will have the weapons and the tools. God gives us His word as a weapon to use...but we have to be the ones to know where to find the that His living is EASY come what may! James 1:2-8, 12, 16-18 says this, "2-4Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.
5-8If you don't know what you're doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You'll get his help, and won't be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believing, without a second thought. People who "worry their prayers" are like wind-whipped waves. Don't think you're going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open...12Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life... 16-18So, my very dear friends, don't get thrown off course. Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light. There is nothing deceitful in God, nothing two-faced, nothing fickle. He brought us to life using the true Word, showing us off as the crown of all his creatures. "

Another word picture is one I just heard this morning. It is the difference between reservoirs and canals.

"If then you are wise, you show yourself rather as a reservoir than as a canal. A canal spreads abroad water as it receives it, but a reservoir waits until it is filled before overflowing, and thus without loss to itself [it share] its superabundant water."

-Bernard of Clairvaux-

The Bible talks about storerooms in Matt 13:52 (52He said, "Then you see how every student well-trained in God's kingdom is like the owner of a general store who can put his hands on anything you need, old or new, exactly when you need it." ) and Luke 6:43-45 ("You don't get wormy apples off a healthy tree, nor good apples off a diseased tree. The health of the apple tells the health of the tree. You must begin with your own life-giving lives. It's who you are, not what you say and do, that counts. Your true being brims over into true words and deeds. ". ). God also gives out of His storerooms or reservoirs. It says in John 1:16 from the fullness of His grace we have received one blessing after another." The Message puts that verse like this, "We all live off his generous bounty, gift after gift after gift. We got the basics from Moses, and then this exuberant giving and receiving, This endless knowing and understanding— In Ephesians 3:16 Paul says "I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you"...the Message put the same verse this way "And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you'll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ's love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God. "

It is beautiful to see the word of God come alive...



Thursday, January 18, 2007

An answer to a soul prayer

On Monday Shaun and I were reading the Bible together and he started reading Psalms 127. It says this:
1-2 If God doesn't build the house, the builders only build shacks.

If God doesn't guard the city, the night watchman might as well nap.

It's useless to rise early and go to bed late, and work your worried fingers to the bone.

Don't you know he enjoys giving rest to those he loves?

3-5 Don't you see that children are God's best gift? the fruit of the womb his generous legacy? Like a warrior's fistful of arrows are the children of a vigorous youth.

Oh, how blessed are you parents, with your quivers full of children!

Your enemies don't stand a chance against you; you'll sweep them right off your doorstep.

Now since starting this business we have been asking God to show to us how exactly He wants His business run. He has shown us that He is the boss and we are His stewards. We have been struggling with how exactly to balance work and family. That is really hard to do when you are starting a new business. I had had several conversations with people who said that it is not possible to have a balance. As I listened to that I couldn't settle with that answer. Shaun had been struggling with it as well. To the depths of my soul I was agitated and knew that this, for us, was not the answer. When Shaun started to read this I listened intently and then I just started crying. God had answered our prayer in the most profound of ways. It was as if He spoke directly to us. What a relief. There were 2 things in that passage that struck Shaun and I. One was that we don't have to strive for this business. He will lead us to what is profitable and we will work efficiently. The second thing is what our GREATEST gift is...our children!!! NOTHING ELSE. They are our priority. God has been really showing us that since this is His business He will take care of things. We are to be diligent but not strive. He will provide. Now this is TOTALLY contrary to our cultural philosophy on how to succeed in business. So...we are looking forward to seeing many unexplainable things in our lives :). This week we have really seen God work when we spend time studying the Bible and singing praise to Him...He has given us back the time and we have accomplished so much more than if we had simply gone to work.
You know the more I read the Bible I see it say the same thing over and over again basically the same God and follow God, He will provide for you and bless your life. It says that throughout the Bible. Deut 6 and 8 has been on Shaun's heart. Matt 6 has been on my heart. They say basically the same thing. We were created to worship God. That's it! Everything else lines up if that is what we focus on.
Another thing that has really been reinforced to us this week is most of our hard work is done on our knees in prayer. So much more gets done. We've seen it even in this week. That is our testimony for this week.
thank you Jesus...
being diligent in Him,

Friday, January 12, 2007

My Shepherd

So this morning I got up at 3:30 when Portia woke up. I got her back to sleep in pretty short order...but then I was upset and down about something and couldn't go back to sleep so I stayed awake and cleaned the house. At 5:30 I went swimming (something that I am enjoying doing now 3 days a week). I finally got to my devotions at around 8:30 a.m. and I did the old "let the Bible open where it may" trick and this is what I layed my eyes upon...
Psalms 42: 5-11
5 Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul? Why are you crying the blues? Fix my eyes on God— soon I'll be praising again. He puts a smile on my face. He's my God. 6-8 When my soul is in the dumps, I rehearse everything I know of you, From Jordan depths to Hermon heights, including Mount Mizar. Chaos calls to chaos, to the tune of whitewater rapids. Your breaking surf, your thundering breakers crash and crush me. Then God promises to love me all day, sing songs all through the night! My life is God's prayer. 9-10 Sometimes I ask God, my rock-solid God, "Why did you let me down? Why am I walking around in tears, harassed by enemies?" They're out for the kill, these tormentors with their obscenities, Taunting day after day, "Where is this God of yours?" 11 Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul? Why are you crying the blues? Fix my eyes on God— soon I'll be praising again. He puts a smile on my face. He's my God.

Enough said :)...Thank you Jesus

Smiling, Tama

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Friends and their children

I received a fabulous birth announcement from some of my best friends today. As I sat looking at the picture I looked over each of the faces of their beautiful children. They're each so precious to me. Then I started to ponder that...that they were precious to me. It really struck me. I started to think about their parent's friendship to Shaun and I over the years. How that friendship made it so that their children hold a special place in my heart. I wouldn't hesitate to do anything in my power to help these children. As the years go by I will watch them grow up...I will treasure them. If there is ever a time that they need me. I'll be there. Shaun and I have had our parent's friends help us and be there for us simply because we were our parent's children. That always amazed me. What a legacy from one's parents...the generosity of their friends. Although I've always been amazed and grateful, when I am the receptor of this, I've never really thought about it...until now...because it's my turn :).

Friendship is a wondrous thing...especially when it has forged through years of journeying together. Shaun and I and these friends went to college together, she was a roommate of mine, we got married within a year of each other, (in fact I bought a toe ring on the day they got married and haven't taken it's a symbol to me of their marriage and that I am there to walk along side them no matter what they need) we had our first and second children within months of each other. We have laughed VERY hard together, we have fought together, we have cried together. We know each others history. We don't live near each other right now (although I'm sure our houses in heaven are very close) and they have forged a new path by having another beautiful baby... in all that we still call each other and it's like time never passes. Friendship...a true one, is a beautiful treasure, a rare gift. They are family.
I thank God for my friends. One of the priceless jewels that God has given to me.

Proverbs 17:17 says, "Friends love through all kinds of weather, and families stick together in all kinds of trouble."

Proverbs 18:24 says, "Friends come and friends go, but a true friend sticks by you like family"

Provers 27:10 says, "Don't leave your friends or your parents' friends and run home to your family when things get rough; Better a nearby friend than a distant family."

May your friendships be a treasure,


Monday, January 8, 2007

Happy New Year

HAPPY 2007!

I hope that this new year is finding you and your family well. We had a great time over the holidays. It was lovely to see some our family in Edmonton and Victoria. Portia and Mercedes are natural travelers...what a great blessing and RELIEF! In the picture of Miss Mercedes she was dancing! I think it's a beautiful picture of her :). My little angel!

There is a song that keeps running through my head. The words are as follows:

I Will Never Be
I will never be the same again,I can never return, I've closed the door
I will walk apart, I'll run the race
And I will never be the same again
Fall like fire, soak like rain,
Flow like mighty waters, again and again.
Sweep away the darkness, burn away the chaff,
And let a flame burn to glorify Your name.
There are higher heights, there are deeper seas,
Whatever you need to do, Lord do in me.
The Glory of God fills my life,
And I will never be the same again.
Fall like fire, soak like rain,
Flow like mighty waters, again and again.
Sweep aways the darkness, burn away the chaff
And let a flame burn to glorify Your name.
I will never be the same again,
I can never return, I've closed the door.
I will walk the path, I will run the race
And I will never be the same again.

This is a Hillsong song from the 1996 Shout to the Lord c.d. the worship pastor that led that c.d. was Darlene Zschech (

This year is a landmark year for Shaun and I. We are gaining confidence in our position as heirs of God. Somehow it's all coming together into a more focused vision for the future. We are delighting in God and He in us. It is a precious time. We are asking for His favor every day. We are seeking Him with an intensity that has not been there before. I love this song but one line has always stuck out to me...soak like rain...I love that. We get a lot of rain here in the lower mainland. I've been able to observe just exactly what that means.

Shaun and I have also been listening to a lot of motivational lectures on business (Christian and non-Christian) and something that has struck me is how much the Bible has to say about business. It's all very intriguing. Then there is something else that has struck both Shaun and I. In the church growing up it was a very noble thing to be a "priest" or in some sort of ministry. The church has done the "priest" part very well. But if you were called to be a business man or woman it was second rate. But you know...we need both. I ran across a web page that stated it well..."In the Old Testament, the Kings (entrepreneurs) were anointed to gather large amounts of resources while the Priests (God's ministers) were privileged to spend time with God and speak for God. We must understand that the Kings and Priests worked together to fulfill the perfect will of God. The results of this God-ordained relationship eliminated lack in the King's business and in the Priest's ministry." ( It says in Revelations 5: 9, 10 "And they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. And He has called us unto our God Kings and Priests: And we shall reign on the earth.". So Shaun and I are feeling free the leave the poverty mentality behind and pursue our kingship (or queenship as it where ;) ). We are starting with this new business but that will be a leaping off point. So basically we are shaping our philosophy on business. As always, when we are learning, it is intriguing and consuming. There is so much to take in. We are excited.

It is also a time of huge adjustment. Shaun is not around nearly as much as he used to be. He is working extremely hard. It is hard on all 4 of us. We miss each other. But as with all things this is a season.
There is something else that I have been pondering. of late...and NO my mind NEVER stops...I was reading the story of David and Bathsheba. Nathan the prophet was reprimanding David and telling him the consequences of his actions for taking someone else's wife etc. God was reminding David, through the prophet Nathan, of just what he had given him...
"I made you king over Israel. I freed you from the fist of Saul. I gave you your master's daughter and other wives to have and to hold. I gave you both Israel and Judah. And if that hadn't been enough, I'd have gladly thrown in much more." (2 Samuel 12: 7 or 8) What hit me was the line "And if that hadn't been enough, I'd have gladly thrown in much more." It says in Matthew 7:11 "11If you then, evil as you are, know how to give good and advantageous gifts to your children, how much more will your Father Who is in heaven [perfect as He is] give good and advantageous things to those who keep on asking Him!". I just love my children. I try not to spoil them because I don't think that would really help them in the long run. But I try to give them the best and shower them with love. If there is something that they want and it won't harm them, I do everything in my power to get it for them. Just think of all the ways that God wants to shower us. I never have fully grasped this until now. I mean I heard the words but I never let it "soak" in. I had a different perception of God on this topic. It was more along the lines of "well whatever God wants to throw my way rotten sinner than I am". But no He has much MORE. You know there are so many things running through my head... one of them is a sermon that I heard about that...once we are saved we are saints that sometimes sin not sinners that sometimes get it right. There is a BIG DIFFERENCE there...another thought is a sermon I heard yesterday and the pastor was talking about Joseph. There are several things about him but one thing is that in Genesis 39:3 It says that God's favor was on Joseph. Now Joseph's heart was very self seeking when it says that because it says in Psalms 105 that while he was in prison his heart was made right. Anyway, the pastor stopped and asked the congregation...have you asked for God's favor in your life today?:" Well honestly I had never thought to do that...however, I definitely will from now on.

I remember a few years back saying to God..."If this is all there is...I'm done! I have heard the same stories over and over" and seen cynicism in myself and other etc etc...there was a lot that brought me to that point...and ever since I layed that out before God He has been gracious enough to show me SOOOOOOOOO much more of Himself and I have every confidence that the BEST IS YET TO COME! What a journey...Shaun and I are NEVER bored that is FOR SURE!

Have a happy day seeking the favor of God,