Sunday, November 4, 2012

Humanism vs. Biblical Parenting

Today I was mulling over some things in regard to parenting.

We are not interested in humanism. We are interested in the Biblical view on the condition of the human soul.  This has a massive impact on how we parent in this house.   We are interested in the affect of sin on a soul and the impact that Jesus has on that soul.  This impacts how we view every detail of life, but especially parenting.  
With this comes the fact that we do not follow every whim of psychology that comes along. We are interested in knowing what the Creator of humans has to say on how He created humans to be and function. Since He created us He knows us better than we will ever know ourselves, never-mind our kids.  I am interested in psychology only in as much as it fits in with the Bible.  I am not interested in fitting the Bible into psychology. Psychology fails.  Jesus NEVER fails. 
We are in the midst of growing wee girls into mighty women of God.  We are in the midst of training them to live a life of repentance. To live a life that will honour Him. At the end of this life our desire is for these girls to hear "Well done My good and faithful servant". 
We start by looking at the end so we know how to go about the beginning. 
It's not about stuff.  
It's not about self and ego. The less they learn to serve themselves the better off they will be. 
It is about who is on the throne of their life. Is it them? Is it someone else? Is it something else? Or is it the One who was meant to be on that throne?  The only One who can handle being there. The only One who deserves to be there.  Both of them have chosen whom they will serve.  It is our job as their parents to teach them exactly what that means: love God, love people. It's not complicated but it takes a lifetime to learn. 
We are not interested in raising girls with a strong self image. We are interested in raising girls who have their image firmly planted in their Maker.  They will know who they are and what they are about best there and nowhere else. Deep security, deep peace, deep strength, immense hope, boundless joy, unending blessing, the surest foundation, and true beauty is found only there. The other way leads to emptiness, misery, and frustration.
I realize this is not a complete thought. There is so much more that could be said. But I will leave off for now.


Since last Thursday I have been in bed.  No I'm not depressed.  I've been really really sick.  2 weeks ago Friday the girls and and got rear-ended.  I seemed all right except that my neck was sore.  Then on Thursday I started throwing up. I couldn't keep food down etc.  I have an ulcer that decided to appear.  Massive amounts of pain.  I have had an ulcer before.  This one is worse than anything I've ever experienced.  I was finally able to get to the doctor. He gave me meds.  They didn't work right away.  Still throwing up. It's a great weight-loss program.  So a week later I'm still in's distressing.
Life still goes on.  Things still have to be done, after all we have 2 children and we have a business.  It never stops.  We are quite busy and my darling husband was already stressed to the max.  So take me out of the equation and all of what I normally do falls to him.  He has been absolutely amazing.  He hasn't complained once.  I can just see him getting more and more tired.  The girls have been very helpful and worried.  My mom and friends have checked in every day.  I have been having great text chats.  Text chats are nice because you can do them as you feel up to it.
As Hurricane Sandy made it's way along the Eastern Sea Board and as we have been watching war documentaries about WWII  I was thinking about how blessed I am.  I am blessed that I have a warm bed.  I have clean running water. I have electricity.  I have access to the internet to figure out how to help myself get better.  I have stores nearby that I can send someone to to get healing things.  I have a wonderful husband who willingly and cheerfully takes on the challenge.  I have my mom and friends who care and do all they can to help.  Really, if one has to be sick, this is the most ideal place to be in.
We have had to cancel our trip down to Southern California.  That bummed me out.  But as a friend pointed out to me the other day, we have only post-poned it.  It's not cancelled.  The girls were very good about it.  They were really looking forward to the trip.  I guess this offered them a teachable moment in learning how to accept change, even disappointing change, with grace.
In all this is a very weird, isolated bit of downtime I am experiencing.  I do believe that there is purpose in it. I do believe that God holds my days in His hands and therefore this is not a waste. I shall look forward to seeing what that purpose is!  

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A 7 year old's Confession of Faith

A few Sunday's ago Little Miss P didn't want to go to her usual kid's church. She wanted to come sit in with us in the church service. When she said that I wondered what was wrong.  And then I kind of sighed.  She's very wiggly and it make for a not so relaxing way to sit and listen to the sermon.  Her loving daddy however wrapped his arms around her and smiled at her and said "Sure!" like it was the best news he'd heard all day...may I add he did this sincerely.
So she came and sat with is.  And she sung along with all the songs. And she was very still. It was very odd. I must admit I wondered if she was sick.  This girl is a going concern from the time her beautiful blues open in the morning until they close at night.  
And then she tapped on my shoulder and showed me this

"Jesus is the truth and the way and the life. I will forever love him and be a Christian.I will always trust Him. I will never bow down to an idol. I will never worship anything or anyone but Jesus. I welcome Him into my heart."
Her confession of faith.  This was NOT what the pastor was preaching on AT ALL.  She had her own time with God. He met her right then and there.

An Update

I cannot believe it's been since the middle of July that I posted!  So much going on. There have been so many times that I wanted to sit down and write something but did not have the time!  Yep, it's been that busy.
OK let's see...we had the privilege of going down to Palm Springs to visit my dad,step-mom, brother, and grandpa this summer.  That was fun!  We went to Capernwray on Thetis Island for a week with Shaun's family.  That was good.  The girls did swimming lessons and two Vacation Bible Schools.  We had a few bbqs and hung out with friends.  My mom took the girls quite a bit this summer between all their activities so we adults could work.  It was a good and busy summer!
Just before we went to camp we got a call saying it was time to come to Victoria and say goodbye to Grandma (Shaun's dad's mom).  We went. The hour and a bit we got to spend with her was lovely.  She was so gracious to us. She was in a tremendous amount of pain and yet she still had a cheerful smile and time to drawn and giggle with the girls.  I won't forget those last moments.  She passed away a week later.  We sure were thankful that we were able to take the time to go and say goodbye.  She had quite a life.  I know she loved Jesus and so I will get to spend some more time with her on the other side.  Death where is your sting!
School started at the beginning of September for the girls.  They are now in Grades 2 & 4.  My goodness they are growing up quickly! I'm loving it!  The older they get the more I enjoy them...and I really enjoyed them as babies! I'm one blessed mama. It was nice to be back at the same school and know people and greet people as friends instead of being the new ones (although I must say that last year the school they are in and the families that go there were so welcoming, warm and friendly to all of us even as newbies). We are very very blessed with the privilege of attending this school. The three years on the wait list was definitely worth it! Miss M has "an awesome" teacher.  She has her first male teacher. She loves being in his class.  Little Miss P has a new teacher to the school and she loves her as well.  I'm pleased with these reports.  I haven't been able to be around school as much this year as I've been working more intensely and longer but I am thankful that they are comfortable in their school environment.
Both girls began music lessons with the start of school. Miss M is taking piano lessons and little Miss P is taking violin.  They are doing well.  M practices without reminders most of the time Miss P...she needs the reminders.  They both have a knack for it though and it's fun to watch them learn.  I'm even getting to learn violin with Miss P so I can help her along.  Bonus!
We are now 10 months into attending the church that we went to when we were engaged and first married.  It is so nice to live in the community that we attend church in.  We see so many familiar faces where ever we go. I love it!  I can't recall ever having this experience so often.  If you've not moved often then maybe you wouldn't be thankful for this but for me it's a massive gift and I truly am thankful for it.  There again it's nice to go to church and now know people. It's always a bit awkward when you are new somewhere. And again, the warmth and kindness of people we've met has been so wonderful.  People are not always friendly, especially if they have lived somewhere their whole lives.  They can be cliquish and have no need or room for new friends.  This has not been the case here.  Many of our friends have lived here all their lives and they have time for our family.  It's a beautiful thing.  I am grateful.
I have been marveling at the people in our lives family and both old friends and new friends.  What a gift they each are! They each have a special niche of their own in our hearts.
For our 14th anniversary my mom took the girls for us for 4 whole days. We got to go to Whistler and just be away.  We even did something we've never done before...we went ziplining! We got up to 100 km /hr.  Awesome! We loved it!  We'd for sure do it again.
We celebrated Shaun's Grandma's life the weekend after celebrating our anniversary.  Memorials definitely set people to thinking about life and the inevitability of death.  It is interesting to watch how each person responds.  Shaun and I got to sing together at the memorial.  I must brag on my man here.  He's amazing!  I. LOVE. Singing. With. Him!  It''s probably one of my favourite things.  It's a gift to my soul, to the very core of my brings me such joy.  I can't think of anything more amazing than singing TO my Creator with the love of my life.
The business as been humming along.  We are working hard.  It too is getting easier little by little...not less work, maybe even more work. But the learning curve is not at such a steep incline. It's still pretty steep though!  We're exhausted most of the time. :)...which we honestly don't mind.
So as you can see, life is humming along quite busily and nicely.  I think it takes a good 5 years to settle into a place properly.  We're a a year and a half in and it's getting easier.
I am thankful. I am blessed.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Sin Nature at its Finest...

I had an interesting experience the other day.  Shaun and I were both grumpy. We were both feeling that the other was being irksome and so we decided to give each other a taste of the other's medicine (we, of course, figured this out later). You know how it is...snarkiness leads to more and more and more snarkiness. Now we, generally, have a pretty easy-going, happy, and good relationship.  We work hard at our marriage. But this day was an exception and our darker sides won this round.  It wasn't a big deal compared to some people I've seen at each other...but it was a big deal to us.  We were just nattering and at each other.  After we kissed and made up I got to thinking for the next day and a half.  I was praying and asking God to show me exactly what my part in that exchange was.
First of all some good excuses: we were both very tired and not feeling that great, it had been an extremely long day and it has been some time since we've actually rested.
    Are those good enough excuses to excuse that kind of behaviour?  No. Not for us.
A few lessons I learned from this:
   It was very clear to me how easy it is to, exchange after exchange like that, to lose your mates heart.  It is a bit by bit thing I think.  It's not an all of a sudden thing.  But if you don't hold your sin nature in check each time and ask for help from God...I think that each of those kinds of exchanges would get easier and easier.  You would lose that sweetness factor very easily.  You lose that joy of walking life's path together and in-step.  I've seen it repeatedly as I've observed people over the years.  It's easy to let your heart get hard.  It's takes repentance and humility to walk as one.  Those two words, repentance and humility, are nearly impossible without God's help.  I mean, you can do it but I think it's nearly impossible to do it in a healthy way and not lose your soul little by little in the process.  With God, you can do it with health and not come out as a victim or a doormat.  It takes living with purpose.
In that exchange I could feel my heart getting a little harder. It took my husband being the first one to be humble and ask for forgiveness for my heart to soften.  It was as clear as day to me and it really startled me. I saddened me that I allowed my heart to get hard towards my husband.  I had never done that before. I was NOT going to give in.  Stubbornness and pride were at the forefront.

It was perhaps a 10 minute exchange but God was gracious to me and showed me the path those behaviours ultimately lead too...they lead to death.  Death of a marriage, death of a family, death of a life well worth living.

It was a rather painless way to learn that lesson.  But it was enough.  It was sin nature at its finest...and it's stil l as ugly as sin.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Take me to Paris.

The girls and my mom were having a conversation and the girls were asking my mom when she was going to go to London again.  They talked for a bit about money and the cost.  Then Portia piped up, "Grandma, if you ever go to Paris you must take me!" My mom asked her why she wanted to go to Paris. "I want to be a fashion designer, Grandma, and that's where all the best ones live!" .
I have no idea where she got that but...the girl knows her mind!  That has been on her radar for 3 years now and she's only just 7. And you know, I think she would be excellent at it. So perhaps one day, we'll be heading to Paris to visit our fashion designer.  :).  

A Crutch?

As I was working on a job-site this last week I was contemplating something people say who are not Christians and this is their reason why they are not Christians..."I don't need a crutch and that's all that religion is to me".  That statement may very well be true of religion.  I don't believe in religion though. I don't believe in ritual. Well I should clarify that...I don't believe in ritual that is routine (in other words something that you do to check the box). I believe in ritual, however, which has meaning of deep importance...but that's a topic for another day.   As I was thinking about this and mulling this "Christianity as a crutch" over it hit me as a somewhat  bizarre. 
 Jesus is not a religion. If He is that then we're back at "checking a box". Because, you're right, if Jesus was a crutch to me that would be mean that He is a temporary fix to a fixable problem. That I only need Him for a short time. It would mean that within myself I'm self sufficient.  That I'm a god, essentially. What bunk! What arrogance.
Jesus is not a crutch He is...
He is out of time and space.  He was before time and space. He has no beginning and no end. He is Creator and I am created.  He is the son of God. He saved my soul.  He is grace. He is Love. His love never fails. His love is flawless.  It never gives up. It never runs out on me.  His love is constant through trial and pain. It overwhelms and satisfies my soul.  I never ever have to be afraid.  He took our sin. He bore our shame, He rose to life. He defeated the grave.  He delights in His children. He is the treasure I could not afford but He gave it freely.  He is slow to anger.  He is the essence of kindness. He is my provider. He is peace. He is light. He is my counselor. He is wisdom. He is comfort. He is my sanity. He is my clarity.  There is no power that can come against Him. Who He opposes cannot stand. He is faithful. Day and Nights angels sing "Holy Holy is the Lord" to Him. He hears the cry of every broken heart, He gives the hopeless soul a brand new start. He leads the captive to freedom. He holds orphans in His loving arms. He is beauty and majesty and glory. He is worthy.  He is Servant and King of Kings.  He is my breath of life. A love like this the world has never known. His love has captured me. He has replaced my lesser gods and lesser pleasures. He alone can satisfy.  He holds my every moment. Everything else fades in the light of Him. He in Himself is enough. 
That's what God does. That's who He is...and I could keep going. There is no end to Him. You cannot plumb the depths of Him.
Any of those qualities in me are only a reflection of the author and finisher of my faith. Jesus Christ.  A reflection not the source. 
Indeed, I need much more than a crutch.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

One way we memorize

My Mom bought the girls "See It - Say It Bible Storybook" a few years back.  The girls loved it. It was a Rebus picture book Bible for kids.  This Rebus way of telling a story set me to thinking that I could do that for the girls to aide them in memorizing some Bible verses. So These pages are one of the first ones I did. We have since moved on to whole chapters memorizing verses this way. It has worked fantastically well. It makes it fun.  It also lets me learn a skill that I didn't know I was capable of and am now enjoying....drawing. So a win all around. 

What am I filling up on?

When the girls were babies I would make up songs to verses of scripture and I would teach it to them when I tucked them in at bedtime. We have also been very careful about what they see and hear as far as TV shows, movies, and music...especially music.  We are also very careful about what our eyes and ears hear and see too...not just the girls.  Shaun and I are both very aware of those little lies that Satan whispers in our ears that can either be deflected and fall dead to the ground with God's words OR can be planted into our souls and take root and destroy us.  
Actually this whole idea is a massive topic.  But after reading a friend's blog today I have been pondering one part of it...the hiding God's word in my heart part.  You know there's only so much room in my heart.  When I fill it up with music that has words that don't edify Him or me, garbage movies, garbage TV shows (don't get me wrong here, I love watching shows the same as the next girl and all shows and movies aren't bad...but there are those things that I don't need to fill my mind with...remember, this is a big topic...trying to narrow it down to the part I was thinking about ;), etc. I don't have room in my heart to think about God.  I don't have room to ponder His words.  I don't have room because I'm all full...on junk food.  
Shaun and I have been changing our family's eating habits.  We have also been changing our family's spiritual eating to speak.  While we have been going for the nutritiously dense foods and pretty much taking junk food out of our body's diet...we have also been taking out the junk food of our spiritual diet more and more.  We have been turning off the TV...just that one thing...frees up SO MUCH mental space.  What's been the most interesting thing about that is...the girls rarely watch a show now...on their own initiative. In fact, over spring break they informed me "We used to watch a lot of shows, Mom.  But now we prefer to play." And it's true!  I see their creativity shining through.  They get along better.  Their thought patterns are clearer. Their curiosity is alive and vibrant...and that's just the girls.  Shaun and I have noticed that when we read our Bible, we're able to take it in.  It's not just one more input into our overtaxed brains.  We think about God's word. We ponder it.  It is changing us.  We talk more. We get more done. We have more time for the things that refresh and fill our souls.  For us we have to be pretty disciplined to keep it that way because our default mode, at the end of the day, is to flop on the couch and turn on the TV because we are so tired.  We are always so much better off when we go about our life this way, though that the being disciplined part isn't hard.  
Let me give you an example of TV taking up our mental space.  Shaun and I watched 2 seasons of Downton Abbey a few months back every evening until we were done.  Great show, by the way! But we found ourselves (bot of us) dreaming (literally) about Downton Abbey, talking about Downton Abbey, perseverating about Downton Abbey! It's a TV show for crying out loud...not real people! But it felt real to us.  We were completely obsessed!  about a TV show.  I think you get the point.  If we had put 1/2 that amount of thought and energy into something that really mattered...
So after de-cluttering our hearts we are also starting to notice that memorizing God's word is a breeze. It stays in our hearts. His words are powerful. When Satan is up to his old tricks His words rise to the surface and deflect.  They protect us.  They inspire us.  They calm us.  
Shaun does the tucking in now and every once in awhile I'll peek in, undetected, and see his snuggled in with the girls saying the current chapter of the Bible that they are working on.  We've been at it now for about 3 years and they have 4 or 5 chapters memorized. 
A few months back Papa was over for a visit and tucked Mercedes in...Shaun peeked in on them and Mercedes had her Bible out and was going through all the chapters she has memorized and was explaining them to Papa.  *tears*.  Often, if we peek in on her after she's been tucked in, she'll be reading her Bible.  It's awesome! 
Portia, from time to time, is scared in the night.  Over the years she would come into our room quite beside herself with fear and would crawl into bed with us.  So we started teaching her verses about fear and that it's not from God. We started teaching her that she has a weapon against those little (or big) whispers from Satan...the word of God. About 6 months ago she got it!  In the night she would start to pray and quote those verses.  One morning she said to me "Mommy, I was afraid last night and then I prayed to Jesus and said those verses and I wasn't afraid anymore."  Massive massive deal in our house! Our wee daughter, at 6, is learning to fight her enemy. She's learning warfare...and winning because she has the God of the angel armies, the King of kings and the the Lord of lords, on her side.  
Just thinking about all of this makes me want to do the happy dance. What a difference.  Yes, life still has its moments...but we have HOPE! We know those are just moments that will pass. We have hope. I don't know about you, but I need hope.  I can't live without it. The good thing is...I don't have too. 
These verses stuck out to me today from my friend's blog posting
"The Lord's unfailing love surrounds the man (or woman!) who trusts in him." (Ps.32:10) 
"But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear Him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love." (Ps.33:18) 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Little Miss P lost her first tooth.

It finally happened! Portia lost her first tooth. She has been waiting for a few years now for this to happen (since Miss M lost her first tooth).  Her adult tooth pushed it out, finally.  She lost it in class :).  She got a little poem and got to show it off to all of her classmates.  She was so proud!
This morning Shaun woke up and heard little mournful sobs coming from her room. He went in to see what was the matter.  She couldn't find her coin that the tooth fairy had left.  She had found it in the night and woken up a few times to make sure it was there...and now it was gone.  Shaun spent about a 1/2 hour looking for said coin.   Her whole room was torn apart, mattresses moved and all.  He even tried to invoke the right of a parent to replace a coin if the tooth fairy's coin was lost...nope...she needed to find that original coin.  How did she know which coin?  Well the tooth fairy's coin was super shiny! So Shaun kept looking. I joined in on the search once I heard of it.  Nada.  It wasn't anywhere!
Little Miss P was quite sad but we convinced her to continue getting ready for her day and perhaps it would show up.  About 2 minutes later we hear a little giggle and then pitter-patter of little feet as she rushed to us, "I found my coin! It was in my underwear!"  Ummmm how did it get there?  "I don't know!"  She must have put it there for safe keeping.  And it was very safe it couldn't be found...until it was :).
and that is the story of Little Miss P and how she lost her first tooth on February 28, 2012. 

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Purpose on the Journey to Home

I'm going to try and articulate what it is I'm mulling around...and have been for years.
You see I always thought that I would be in ministry.  By that I mean, my profession would have something to do with telling people about Jesus...for me I thought it would be through singing.  I thought I would have a home base but I would travel all over the world singing about Jesus...I'm not talking about being famous...I'm just talking about going around singing.  Everything in my childhood, teen years, college years...even my degree was geared towards that. That was the only thing that I was ever interested in or passionate about...telling people about Jesus through singing. It's the only thing that I was prepared for....honestly, even the day in and day out of kids I thought would be mostly looked after by someone else as I would be "in ministry" with my husband. I love different cultures. I'm somewhat gypsy and free spirited...ask anyone who knows me.   I thrive meeting new people in their culture.
Fast forward 15 or 20 years...I live in a foreign country from my birth.  I am a co-business owner of a renovation company and a stay-at-home mom. I do bookkeeping for my "job".  I am no one in a land where who you are, who you know, and who your parents are matter.  I pretty much live in the arena of my incompetence every second of every day.
And I must tell you that when people come and speak at church as missionaries or traveling musicians and say " willing to go wherever God calls you!" (and that always means,to me, overseas) inside I am always screaming "YEAH! I WANT TOO! LET'S GO!". I also see myself at, as of this month of March, 35 years old. I feel old...for being that traveling singer.  I have felt like that dream has passed me by and it's simply too late. Not only have I rarely sung in my adult life, other than at home, I've also rarely traveled since college.
All that used to really wear on my. It used to make me really sad. I used to get angry. I used to think that perhaps I had made a mistake and wasn't were I was supposed to be.  I used to really wonder what all of that preparation was for (well perhaps I still wonder that). It just wasn't matter how much I prayed.  I watched friends start to do just what I thought I would be doing...many friends over and over again.  Not me though.  Never me.  Exceptionally frustrating and confusing.
But...then I started to notice a common theme in the people of God.  I started to notice the same story being told.  I started to notice that when you sit down and talk to someone who is faithfully walking with God you will most likely hear them say, "I NEVER thought I'd be doing this! I never wanted to be this. I thought I was going to be a _______"
Once I saw the repetition of this theme over and over ad nauseum, then I started to pray differently.  I started to pray that God would show me (even if I was where I was by a force of my will and not God's) what He was teaching me and how He was shaping me. I started praying that He would lead me and use me how He wanted to lead me not how I thought I was to go.  I started praying that each day I would meet those divine appointments that He created me to meet.  After all, I am in a foreign country...and I am meeting new people in their culture.  I started to pray that this business that He has put before me, that He would teach me how to be a business owner to His glory and honour.  I started praying that in the day to day of motherhood He would be present with me and show me how to do it every step of the way. I started praying that our marriage would be used to draw others to Him.  I am praying that my life, all of my being, would be one that points to Him.  I am praying that I would remember exactly whose daughter I am...His and that means that no matter where I live I am known and loved by Him.
And you know no longer grates on my that my identity is not that of singer. You know why?  Because I have a different identity now...I am a warrior princess on a mission.  He has graciously been answering each one of my prayers...most of those prayers are lifetime prayers but I am seeing baby-steps. I am seeing His favour on me.  And He did lead me all those years and He continues to gently lead me still.   I am where I'm supposed to be.  He has a purpose and a plan for me.  I am starting to see it take shape and I am excited.
I am so fulfilled, I have so much joy. I am so thankful.  God has blessed me with such richness. I look around me each day and see His hand especially right here in my own home. I see His generosity in the love I see shining from my husband's eyes and my children's laughter.
When a missionary or traveling musician comes and says those things...I still feel that pull.  But right now God has me on a different path...He has me on a very rooted  path and I am enjoying it for the first time in my life.
Two verses that have really stuck to me over the years are 2 Corinthians 12:9
 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
and Psalms 37:23,24 (although all of Psalm 37 is excellent!) 
The LORD makes firm the steps    of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall,    for the LORD upholds him with his hand.

It's true and I love truth. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Sometimes I'm quiet.  Well...often I'm quiet.  I don't need to talk all the time. I don't want to talk all the time. I think I have less words to say to fill my daily quota than most females.  I often get asked if something is wrong when I'm not talking much.  No. I'm just enjoying the softness of quietness.
Lately I've been more quiet. I've been mulling over many things deep within my soul.  I've been putting down my phone, going off the computer, not watching as many movies, been off of Facebook for a time.  I've been reading more in my downtime, journaling, thinking, singing, praying, and observing...the quieter things that I don't do when I'm filling my life up with static and noise.  They all have their place mind you...but sometimes I just need to unplug. It's my way of stopping to smell the proverbial roses and quiet my soul. It's a very soothing exercise...and I can actually hear God's voice better and with less confusion.
Shaun is noise personified. Portia is noise personified.  My mom is close to noise personified :). They don't need quietness and solitude like I do.  It fascinates me. I love how we are all so different and how different things fill our souls.  Sometimes M and I will be home by ourselves or in the car just the two of us and we'll revel in the quietness. We'll just look at each other and smile.  No need for words.  Not to say we don't enjoy our noisy ones.  It's just that we don't need to fill in the space with more...they do an excellent job and we are content to let them.  And it's also not to say that we can't be quite noisy and exuberant ourselves...just not all the time.
So if you come upon me and I'm quiet...I'm not mad at you...I'm likely very comfortable with you. I'm not depressed...I'm enjoying myself. I'm not upset...I'm content. I'm just being myself. :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

15 Years Ago

15 years ago this last Valentine's Day Shaun told me he loved me for the first time.  I love looking back over the last 15 years. I love seeing the path that we have blazed together.  I love seeing the hills,valleys, and mountain tops we've traversed together.  I love seeing God in it all.  And I love him a whole lot more because of it.
Last night I was chatting with someone.  She just got married 6 months ago.  She was commenting that yes her and her husband are still all lovey dovey and crazy about each made me stop and are we!  After 16 years of knowing each other,13 1/2 years of marriage and almost years of being parents together we're more crazy about each other with each passing year.  
Can I just brag about my husband to you?  Just for a minute?  
I don't think I know a more amazing man.  I am proud to be his wife.  His love for God, me , the girls, family, friends, and those he meets is out of this world.  His passion for God grows with each passing year and is the single greatest gift that I have ever been given.  His insight into people knocks my socks off.  He works hard.  He asks for forgiveness and forgives quickly.  His musical abilities astound me. In fact yesterday he was sitting playing his acoustic guitar just making up a song as he went (as he often does) and it just soothed my soul.  I laughed out loud because I had this sudden thought "what if I had married someone who thought they had musical abilities but really didn't and they played all the time and it was horrible!" WOW! I am blessed! God knew that would have sent me right into the loony bin tout suite! He creates the most beautiful songs! There's so much more I could say...I really could go on and on and gush about him :).
I look forward to the continued path...wherever it may lead.  


As I have mentioned before we love our girls.  They are gifts to us each second of each day.  I wanted to update you on my darling Miss M.
What an amazing girl! I love the sweetness that emanates from her, the gentleness, the thoughtfulness, and the kindness, and patience. I also love her strength of will and spirit.  Neither of our girls are push-over.  Her strength of will is so very different than her sister's.  She is much quieter and more subtle in how she goes about things but it's there none the less.  Her mind sees a problem, and where others may see a confusing maze, she sees a path to get there and she does what needs to be done.  Her sense of humor is sharp and always intact. She is very good at spacial organization.  She has a great vocabulary.  She is an amazing reader! My goodness! Shaun and I often observe her reading her Bible after we've tucked her in for the night.  Nothing gives us greater joy than to see our children learning His ways.
Both of the girls' classes, this year, are full of fantastic kids.  They both has been given the gift of some phenomenal friends. Their teachers are perfect for them! We are so very thankful.
There is something else we see in both of the girls that is a massive gift to's their love for each other.  They enjoy each other. They play well I'm not saying there are never moments when I want to tear my hair out one at a time because I'm so aggravated by their arguing, but I am saying that they quickly come around and choose to get along when reminded.  We, as adults, all know, that for the most part "getting along" with someone is a choice each and every day.  They generally choose that. In moments of crisis (not only massive crisis but also "girl"crisis) their love for each other is plainly evident.  They are kind and sweet to each other and they deeply love each other.  It distresses them to see the other in pain or worried or bothered.  Their sisterhood is deep.  I love them more for it.  
The other day Miss M was on a field trip the whole school day, straight after school she went to a birthday party for a few hours, then she came home for about 45 minutes and then went to her girls club until 8:30.  I didn't really see her all day!  It was weird.  And it made me realize she is growing up!  There will come a day not too far away when that is more the norm than not and then there will come another day not too long after that when it will be the norm!  It made me extremely happy and extremely sad all at the same time. I love seeing the girls growing and changing inside and out...but I also miss their little baby hands. :).  It's a parents unending conundrum isn't it.  


I never published these back in the Fall...thought I'd do it now :)

A little bit more sunshine

Did I mention that the little house we now live in...not only is it just the perfect tiny size, not only is it just the right price, it also has more sunshine.  For those of you who don't live in a rain forest this won't mean much to you...but for those of you who understand the seemingly unending days of grey that can come from living in a rain forest you will understand the beauty of that statement. 
While living in a rain forest has its perks.. like keeping your skin younger and the beauty of it...the grey definitely gets to you.  Some people aren't bothered by it but it seems many are affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). It's a tough thing. I was never affected by it until after I had Portia.  For some reason now I am really notice it.  But I am finding ways to combat it... Vitamin D3, Vitamin B, some herbal pills that help with mental clarity, and if we can get to somewhere sunny in the Fall or Winter and I can stock up on sunshine I really notice a massive difference. I mean MASSIVE!  BUT all that aside, I've also noticed a massive difference in living in this part of the Lower Mainland. We are farther from the mountains and the river.  I can look to those areas often and see dark clouds while we have blue sky...not today of course, but often by 4 or 5 o'clock we'll have had a little bit of blue sky.  I can't tell you the difference that has made for me.  
~Another gift~


My mom moved within a half hour to us.  I've never lived this close to any of my family since I left home.  It's so lovely! We can over to her house and it's not a big adventure just to get there.  She can come over to our house for dinner and it's not a big adventure for her to get here.  It's oh so much easier to be family and just hang out.  So much less pressure. 
She is a wonderful Grandmother.  She makes herself available.  I see the girls loving having her around more.  I appreciate my mom.  She makes time for us and her grandchildren.  She's not too busy.  This time while the girls are young is so fleeting. She understands the value of that time.  She understands the value of the little things too...that aren't so little.  Like she comes on Monday evening to watch the girls so Shaun and I can go to our weekly Bible study.  It's wonderful of her to take the time, it's wonderful for us not to have to worry about the girls during that time, and it gives us a once a week dinner date with her.  While we were gone she cleaned my house and did laundry.  Now for all of you over-taxed moms out there you understand the inexplicable value of this.  It was lovely to walk into our house and have it clean...and did I mention she comes irregardless of the fact that she has to leave her house at 5 am the next morning every week to get to Seattle?  Love in action that.  
~Thank you Mom. I'm so thankful you live closer to us.  It's a gift to us.~ 

A New Church

Well we finally made the leap. God has been gently leading us, since we moved to this new house last April, to become more involved in our community.  We, hesitated and  then we resisted and then we ignored Him hoping this particular ask would go away..not because we didn't want to be in our community but more because we have been quite happy, blessed, felt well loved, have amazing friends, and were quite comfortable in our church on the other side of the river.  But He kept bringing it before us over and over and over and over and over again. He made Himself very clear.  Every which way we turned was another nudge. We finally obeyed! 
I must say that when God asks you to do something it usually requires a change, often a big change.  I am coming to realize that I really am not fond of change, in my own much of a free spirit as I am. I went through a time of grieving about the very thought of leaving our church for a new one.  The people are family. When I walk in I see faces I love and who I know the story behind their smile. I miss each one of them. I miss getting to see them once a week and hug them and ask how they are.  BUT...He was asking this of us and when He asks He always provides the tools to get us through... His strength, His peace, His joy, His wisdom, and more.  There is no better place to be than in His method of change for your life.  If you don't know God this way...purpose too! You'll be in for the most meaningful, amazing, never boring ride of your life. If you have no idea what I'm talking about and think I'm crazy to talk about God this way...ask Him to open your eyes to His way so you can see the adventure that awaits you.  He promises that if you seek Him you will find Him.  He is not hidden to those who seek Him. 
Anyway, we tried to go to one church and it just wasn't where we were to be.  It was interesting watching events and seeing God's hand lead us in a particular direction.  So we are now going to an even bigger church than our last one.  We actually went to this church when we were engaged and first married.  One of the pastors from this church married us.  We even are already in a Bible study group (which in a big church is very important because then you don't get lost in the crowd). 
We are excited.  We are hating being the newbies but looking forward to two years down the road when we can walk into church and see faces we know and love and know the story behind their smiles.  We are encouraged!  We love being so close to home!  It's amazing to go to church and then get in the car and be home in 5 minutes. It makes our day of rest actually be that...a day of rest, which we desperately need.  It's amazing to have connections everywhere we turn in our community. Many of the families that attend this church have children in the girls' school.  It's nice to be able to invite people to church again. You can't very well do that when you don't live near your church. 
God's hand has been on us in this move. We have never felt His direction, His guidance, and His wisdom on our lives and our ways as we do where we are.  I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are where He wants us to be, doing what He wants us to do.   
I am also happy to report that some of those dear friends from our old church (still weird to say!) are still our dear friends.  I am also happy to report that we are starting to, at least put names to faces, and even begin new friendships...thus our 2 year goal is on it's way :D.  
~I am thankful~

She barely flinched

Yesterday Portia and I were at the mall and I asked her (as I have many times over the last year) if she would like to get her ears re-pierced.  She had gotten them pierced a month before she turned five and then let them close and really wasn't interested in earrings.  
Well! Yesterday, she got a huge grin on her face and said YES! So we went to Merle Norman (I like them because they do both ears at the same time) and she picked out her earrings (pink diamondy very Portia). I reminded her that it would hurt. She nodded somberly.  She got very still as they were preparing to pierce her ears, which if you know the Porsh, is a miracle in and of itself...her being still. I held her hands and they pierced her ears.  Her eyes got as big as saucers for about 5 seconds looking straight at me.  But she didn't flinch and she didn't make a sound.  I quickly scooped her up and held her and then took her over to the mirror so she could have a look. She got the biggest grin on her face. She was quiet and fairly still (which those 2 combines tell you it really hurt as far as how she responds to pain) for about 5 minutes until I took a picture to text to Daddy and Mercedes.  Once Daddy text her back saying how pretty her new look was she couldn't stop grinning and hopping around.  We went and had lunch and then we went and got our hair cut.  Oh my goodness! All of a sudden my wee little six year old grew up before my eyes!  She asked to have her hair straightened. With the new earrings and the straightened hair my baby girl was a young girl!  AND she has her first loose tooth!  So much to process for this mama! My baby is growing up!  
Portia loves fashion.  It intrigues her.  She has quite a sense of it. She is always designing and creating.  She's quite the girl! She is a joy bubble, still, with that belly laugh that is so infectious. She loves to make people laugh and she loves to join them. That twinkle in her eye is irrepressible. Her little mind is always working.  As a family we are memorizing Ephesians 6. Man is she fast!  I think she memorizes each new part the quickest.   She is strong in spirit and in will.  She is a tiny little spitfire.  She knows what she wants and she is quite creative and persistent in trying to get it!  Quite a good trait when channeled in the correct directions. We love our girls. We look at them each day and say how blessed we are and what gifts they both are to us.

And then there's Chronicles

I know I know...1 & 2 Chronicles are not the most interesting books of the least that's their reputation.  So I stuck with the common wisdom of the day for most of my life and kept far away from them as I was not interested in being bored. WELL! My goal this year is to read through the Bible completely. I know that is not really a massive goal or even an accomplishment but I must say that I've never done it. I've read most of the Bible but I've never read it straight through EVER! And really I'm embarrassed to admit that and it saddens me. So this year I have set about to remedify that.
I have this app on my I-Phone that I go too every day and it tells me what I need to read for the day to accomplish this goal for the year.  I started out doing it because I "should".  I've ended up doing it because I love it!  I read a Psalm everyday, something towards the beginning, the middle and the New Testament.  I tell you truly when I say I hear God speak to me every time I sit down.  He makes a different thing pop off of the page from the last time I read that passage.  I look forward to my morning time with my God.  It makes me keep it up. It makes me anticipate it. It makes me talk about it.  It makes me learn and grown and change...and go on and on about it apparently!~
Back to Chronicles.  I'm in 1 Chronicles and while the first 10 chapters of genealogies weren't that intriguing I kept my self entertained by trying to find names of people who had their stories in the's always interesting to see where they came from. I also had fun trying to pronounce some of the names and say them with gusto. :) If nothing else it made me laugh and be thankful that my name usually only has to be spelled for people 1 or 2 times and then they have it. I mean poor Izrahiah. I'm sorry what was your name Isaiah?  No Izrahiah. Perhaps you could spell that for me?  I-z-r-a-h-i-a-h.  Ohhhhhh Isreal. No! Izrahiah.  Oh Ichiban? No Izrahiah.. :)  Ohhh (with that vague "I'm never going to remember that so I'm going to stop now" look and vacant smile). If nothing else all of us with names that need to be explained and spelled get a kick out of so many unfamiliar names.  
And then you hit chapter 10 and the story continues in a much more enjoyable form. Some chapters are facts written down. Some have emotion attached too them.  Some have a lesson in them that strike hard and fact upon your Chapter 21.  They make you think. They are a somewhat terrifying reminder that the veil we live under is thin and that there is another part of our world that we cannot see with physical eyes all the time but it's none the less there and sometimes a few of us get a glimpse of it. Like David in verse 16 "And David lifted his eyes and saw the angel of the Lord standing between earth and heaven, and in his hand a drawn sword stretched out over Jerusalem" I don't think I've read that account before!   It's also a reminder that while God does look at our actions He weighs our motives.  We don't serve a fluffy, loving Santa Clause.  We serve the God who has so many names and descriptors but He is the God over all.  King of kings and Lord of lords. 
I am enjoying my journey through Chronicles.    

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

What I Learned from 2011

Happy New Year!  Wow! 2011 was a humdinger of a year and I can't say I'm sad to see it go...well it was a humdinger and a gooder.  Doesn't it always seem that way...there are always two sides to the coin.  There were many lessons learned through pain, stress and tears.  There were many blessing given in the midst of all of that. There was massive massive stretching and changing.   In it all I really didn't have much to say as I got really tired of the same story of "ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh" running through my heart and mind.  But in the end I still can say, with unequivocal confidence, that God is...He is my Saviour, my provider, my sustainer, my joy, my comfort, my peace...the list is endless.
I was pondering all that was this year and thinking about what I learned (or am still learning).

*Shaun and I, in the midst of the intensity called our lives this past 12 months, really have had nothing more to give other than grinding out the daily stuff and keeping our home a happy home and a haven no matter what.  Some people were not ok with that.  They want you to give to them...even when you don't have more to give.  I had to come to a place where I was ok with them not being ok with me!  I had to come to a place of choosing my husband and my children over others.  It was (and honestly, still is at times) very uncomfortable but it's what needs to happen right now.

*We grappled with many things this year as far as direction for our family. We grappled with continuing to homeschool or sending the girls to school.  They had been on a waitlist for 3 years and both had a space available to them.  In the end sending them to that school has been a massive blessing and gift.  It is a fantastic school with phenomenal families...but I couldn't sleep, I cried, I worried, I stressed over that decision.  We grappled with staying in Langley as opposed to moving back closer to our church.  We are still grappling with that but it looks like, at least, for the next 13 years we'll be in Langley..and I'm ok with that...I'm more than ok with that...I'm good with that.  There were several other issues equally as heavy or heavier that were on the list this year that we worked through but those are two of the more obvious ones.

*I am still learning that worry doesn't add one minute to my life nor is it at all helpful.  I am really good at working myself up into a tizzy over something that is completely rocking my world.  I am learning however, that, in the end, it's not necessary and really REALLY does more harm than good.

*We are learning to be business owners instead of just going from job to job...we are starting to have a viable business and we are starting to actually have business heads.  It's hard work, it's exhausting, it's a non-stop challenge, and it's fun.  It's mostly fun because I get to do it with my best friend.  I'm never-endingly amazed at how our complement each others...we have completely different strengths and weaknesses but it works so very well.  We are the best of partners...this year we learned not to mess with that. If it ain't broke...

*I am learning that setting goals really does work...even when it doesn't seem possible or make sense to even bother.  I've always set goals...but only safe ones that I knew would be hit because failure was not an option. That's changed.

*I am learning that even though I am an adult and can do things it is SUPER amazing and nice to get help.  We received a lot of help this year in pretty much every area you can think of.  You know when you are most down and someone reaches a hand down to you and is a soothing balm and the greatest expression of love, kindness and mercy.  We were offered hands of help over and over and over this year.

*I learned I don't have to be best friends with everyone.  It's perfectly fine.  I don't even have to like everyone.  I can still be kind and thoughtful...but I don't have to like 'em and they don't have to like me...I'm ok with that now.  It's even somewhat of a relief if I'm completely honest.  It frees up so much mental space for me and makes room for those absolutely amazing people that come along.

*I'm learning to be more of a yes girl and less of a no girl. My first response has generally been a negative one.  This one trait has often made it so I have missed out on many amazing experiences and really living life...I more observed it and stayed safe.  Now don't get me wrong, in spite of myself, my life has pretty much been one amazing experience after another but there could have been more.  And I found myself hiding more than even I was prone too out of habit.  This last year I started saying "yes" a lot more and boy where there some fun times had because of it. And I'm not talking about saying "yes" in-spite of morals or ethics...I'm just talking about good old wholesome fun. There is lots to be had. This year I called more on my outgoing side of my personality than my shyer side.  It was fun.

*I have observed and learned this last year that letting go of something makes room...either for just having space (literally in my house or mentally, or in my soul) or for something else that is usually better for this moment.  I let go of a lot this year...weight, stuff, homeschooling, a house,friendships, the way things "should" be, insecurities...there is still more to let go of but I am getting better at it...and, dare I say, even enjoying it! Such freedom!

*I am still learning that God knows me so much better than anyone else...including myself.  He knew what I would need way before I did.  Our track record with each other is getting longer and longer and I must say...His record is impeccable while mine is quite dotty.  He gave me so many gifts this year that were so beyond what I could have even thought to ask for.  And He used amazing people to give them too me.

*I'm learning that sometimes life takes more courage than you think you have, more intestinal fortitude that you could ever come up with, and more stick too it ness than you could ever dream of.  Our motto this last year was "KEEP GOING!" And it was repeated often out loud to each other sometimes with a laugh and a smile but sometimes with tears and step in front of the other...KEEP GOING!

*I've learned a new way to look at failure and a new way to teach about it to our children.  Failure is good! It means you're working hard and trying. You're getting somewhere.  Failure is good as long as you get up and dust yourself off and KEEP GOING and learn.

So I leave you with that...Keep Going. Keep (or start) praying.  Keep Learning. The Author and Finisher is still working. He is still God.  He hears you if you call.
There is so much more to this life and the best is yet to come.
Happy 2012!