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.