Posted on May, 29 at 1:26 am
A couple weeks ago Pastor Al preached on resisting the love of money, that it has to do with contentedness. He said that at the heart of complaining is not being content with what God has given you and essentially with God Himself. I know it may not look it, but I struggle a lot with complaining. Sometimes I just feel like it’s a second language, it comes so naturally. My focus word this year is supposed to be ‘thankfulness’ because I really want to curb this complaining thing. Every night, before I start in on the long list of things that need fixin’, I try to first think of all that I am thankful for that day. Today feels like the cap on a period of a couple of weeks where it has been easy to complain or to be “not content” let alone happy, and I was reminded of P.Al’s message and it really hit me right in the heart.
God has given me so much. He has given me a home to live in, and although it’s leaking from the 1000 ml’s of rain we’ve gotten over the past week, I dont have to spend the night in a shelter, nothing of value was ruined, and I got to spend the whole day with Tony and Daniel cleaning up the basement. Even though we were working from 10AM to 6PM, Daniel and I got to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner together, which does not happen very often.
He has given me Emily and Hannah, who at their worst are just two teenage girls deeply annoyed and embarrassed by their older sister, and at the best, are two of the funniest people I’ve ever known. I need to treasure every moment I spend with them because God has given me such great responsibility, a little portion of His treasure to take care of, and take that very seriously. They are sweet and their hugs, when earnest, are beautiful and most importantly, I love them so so strongly.
He has given me a place to live that, although I’m waterlogged and seen enough rain to jump on an ark myself, we’re not in a drought, we can grow our own food, where life can thrive.
He has given me Daniel, who is the sweetest, most compassionate best friend I could ask for. Quick to apologize, and even quicker to forgive… he slaved away on our basement and building me a fence for the garden, my cup overflows.
He has given me His Son, who was the greatest gift of all and makes me the most indebted sinner on my knees.
So much, so much to be thankful for…these words are just a small reflection.
Posted on April, 5 at 9:48 pm
Today I was walking through Shoppers looking for last minute Easter eggs, but I ended up in the pet section wondering if I should buy Darcy an Easter treat. She’s pretty cute but also pretty bad so I ended up not buying one. But I did over hear this:
“Can I have this candy, Mom?”
“No, honey. Remember, Easter isn’t even a big deal.”
Not. A big. Deal.
I am stunned by those words. They break my heart. Not a big deal?
Jesus Christ, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, walked the earth for 33 years, lived a human life, full of human pain and suffering and temptation and lived it perfectly, free of sin. He left HEAVEN and His Father, God, Creator of the Universe to come to save us from our sins. He came as a sacrifice to cover all the sins of all time. His hands and feet were nailed to a cross of wood, a crown made of thorns pushed on his head. He was mocked, beaten, executed. For me. For you. Because He loves me. Because He loves you.
He made a way, He closed the gap between fallen man and the Almighty God. God loved the world SO much that He sent His one and only Son as a sacrifice that we might not perish, but live forever in the presence of God. Of God. Of the God that knit us together in our mother’s womb. Of the God that made the infinite universe.
My heart is so full of feeling toward my Saviour, my King this Easter that I can’t even put it into words. I will never fully comprehend how hard or how much it cost to do what Christ did on that cross, what God did by sending Him there. But my heart is forever grateful and indebted.
At the cross I bend my knee
Where your blood was shed for me
There’s no greater love than this.
You have overcome the grave
Your glory fills the highest place
What can separate me now?
You tore the veil
You made a way
When you said that it is done.
Posted on February, 15 at 1:07 am
Usually, I’m prone to think that PDC (public display of cheesiness) is the worst and makes my insides curl up into a little ball and wish oh wish that people would just save it for their alone time. But…it’s valentine’s day, y’all! And today I am very thankful for L O V E in all of it’s glory and I allow all the PDC that comes my way.
I am so thankful for all the love in my life and the different ways it pops up. Some people wonder why we even have valentines day at all, and I used to be one of them, but we were talking it over tonight and we realized…although ideally, we would show our love every day of the year, we’re a fallen people, and it’s nice to have a day set aside that is dedicated to love. Celebrating love. It’s why we set aside a day to give thanks, to celebrate the birth of Christ, to honour our Mothers, our Fathers, our Presidents (??). I for one am glad to have a day where everyone brings out their A game and steps up the roh-mahnce a little.
I liked seeing an elderly man hand his valentine a flower, and the two of them walk out of the restaurant holding hands. I liked seeing Bonnie with her bouquet from Pastor Anthony. I like seeing the couples in my life express love they have for each other…some spend all day making cookies for their husbands, some leave cute notes on their walls, some take their wives out for a special treat. It is simply lovely, there’s no other word. I liked seeing families out tonight, expressing their love for each other. I like the flowers on our table, and giving the girls v-day gifts because I love them with every fiber of my being. I like having a reason to dress up, to spend a night with Daniel letting ourselves be cheesy and gooey and icky because its just what the day demands.
So yes, I think this day is important. It’s important to feel loved, and to let the people in your life to know that you love them. To buy them candy, flowers, lipstick, facials, nail polish (obviously all those were for Daniel) or do whatever it takes to let them know, to lay it all on the line and tell them “I am yours and you are mine.” Because people need to know that they are loved, because we need to be an example of the Greatest Love of all…I am His and He is mine.
“This is R E A L L O V E – not that we loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.” 1 john 4:10
Posted on December, 12 at 11:20 am
When I close my eyes I see you
No matter where I am
I can smell your perfume through these whispering pines
I’m with your ghost again
It’s a shame about the weather
But I know soon we’ll be together
And I can’t wait til then.
Posted on December, 5 at 2:09 pm
First ski of the season yesterday! I didn’t forget how to ski but I did forget how high those slopes take you. Only two were open, the snoopy (baby stuff) and the sunbowl (which I just found out is also a beginner trail). I wasn’t sure I’d make it down but I did, without even falling!
ps. Alexis, 507 posts seemed too risque
Posted on November, 25 at 1:35 am
Tonight was one of the most simple Thanksgiving suppers I’ve eaten at home, but I think it was also one of the most beautiful. A few mental images I never want to forget:
Trevor cutting a most gorgeous and delicious turkey for the family, a tradition I hope never runs out.
Daniel and Bethany talking about psychology and apprenticeships.
Sarah and I accusing each other of, and ultimately admitting to, cheating on Words with Friends (but only with each other!!)
Emily, Amanda and Hannah cuddled up on a couch together, like the good old days.
Tony snapping pictures of Trevor taking pictures, us watching that weird magician video.
Grandma and Terry and George talking about the real “good old days”.
Jenni and Daniel in the kitchen talking, being friends.
Grandma and Jenni peeling eggs, the way Mommy taught them.
The girls reminiscing of Mommy, telling stories to Daniel and Trevor.
I see whispers of a mother’s love passed on to her children. I see traces of her in a beautiful meal that everyone scarfs down. I see glimpses of her personality shining through the faces and souls behind of the individual members of my beautifully odd family.
I see a future where our house is filled with spouses and mates and loved ones who never knew her, but are captivated by stories of how Mommy combed our hair free of lice, how Beth treated us while we were sick. I see the present and the future, no longer only mourning her, but sharing her – her memory, her love, her essence that lives on in all of us.
Thank you, God, for this beautiful life of mine. For the beautiful people who make up my family. For my beautiful mother and the love she gave me. For my beautiful Saviour and that He laid His life down for me. For books and for flowers, for apple crisp and pecan pie, for odd youtube videos and funny pictures, for phone calls and facebook links, for gift baskets and for friends, for memory and for joy. For a love that knows no bounds.
Posted on November, 24 at 3:40 pm
Just popped a turkey in the oven, mashed some potatoes, baked some buscuits, and oh yeah – STUFFING – but I’m taking a break to blog about thanksgiving.
I have had a crazy (read:busy) couple of days. Last week I had two exams and an assignment due, this week one exam and two projects due (in the same day!!). I literally spent every minute of Sunday doing something productive, and I have never been so tired in my life. Got up early to take Emily to cheerleading, then Church, then Hannah and I baby sat some kiddos for Thunder Bay Christian Fellowship, and then weekly grocery shopping (eye roll) and finally five hours of uninterrupted studying because I kicked my butt to the library. As a result, I’m pretty sure I did well on my exam come Monday morning, but I was exhausted. No time for sleep, though, because those projects aren’t going to finish themselves. If only, if only. By Tuesday at 230 pm, everything is done, and I sigh a big sigh of relief because I feel like a million weights have been lifted off my shoulders and I think about going home to sleep for about ten hours.
All this is going somewhere, I promise.
Later Tuesday night, Emily has a coupon for a free pizza from Pizza Hut, so I head over there to get one. Daniel is meeting me there, so I wait in my car for him. It’s freezing so I turn the car on for a bit but then off because I don’t want to die of carbon monoxide poisoning…also, the environment, duh. Now this is important for the purpose of our story, I did NOT take my keys out of the ignition like maybe a smart sensible person would. I lay there in my car until he pulls up and promptly get out and lock the car. Yeah, without my keys. I’m distracted because he shows up with a bouquet of flowers (lillies, my fave) for no reason, besides he’s trying to win boyfriend-of-the-year, but we realize I did this stupid thing and he suggests calling his dad. This ordinarily wouldn’t be a big deal but considering I have now locked my keys in my car and asked Gerald for help five times (!) I feel really awful at doing it again. This awful feeling coupled with a serious lack of sleep brings me to the brink of tears. “Don’t worry, he’ll think it’s funny”, says Daniel, clearly trying to avoid any tears that he might see piling up in my eyes. I can tell from the tone of the phone conversation it doesn’t really come across as “funny”…and the tears are really close now. Gerald calls his key guy and we go wait in Daniel’s truck. Well, in the dark, with nothing to focus on but my overall miserable existence (drama) I really can’t stop the tears from coming.
Daniel suggests calling his dad to apologize because it might make me feel better…so I call, and while I get out “Hi Gerald, I just wanted to say…” the “I’m sorry” part is muffled because I am full on sobbing now. “Don’t worry, you’re a good kid” and a few more things to make me feel better…and I hang up. Daniel has left the truck, partly to wait for the key guy, partly to give me privacy with his dad, and probably also to say a prayer that I stop crying soon. Well I look down at his phone and think about the conversation I just had, look at the flowers he got me for no reason, and I just start bawling even more because I feel so helpless and unbalanced in the love I give and the love I receive. He tells me later that they don’t love me for what I give them but for who I am, which makes me want to cry more, and we both decided I need some good sleep.
So long story short, this thanksgiving, I’m getting down on my knees and thanking the Good Lord for everything he’s given me – because even though the above scene was exacerbated by fatigue, the truth is, I can never give God as much Love, or as pure Love, or whole Love, as He gives me. I’ll never measure up and instead of dwelling on that, instead of letting that break me down, I need to let that build me up, because, what Amazing Love He has given me. Who am I, that the Eyes that see my sin, would look on me with Love, and watch me rise again? I’m thankful for Love that knows no bounds, spare keys, boyfriends who bring flowers, and their dads who love you too – to name a few
Not because of who I am, but because of what You’ve done. Not because of what I’ve done, but because of who You are.
Posted on October, 8 at 2:34 am
If I could send a letter to my mom and knew she would get it, this is what I would write.
A lot can happen in one day, your whole life could change in a day. And to think, there’s 365 days in one year. That’s a lot of opportunities for your life to change.
One year, 365 days. That’s how long it’s been since you left this earth. And life has not changed 365 times but there were definitely days when I felt unsure of what life would look like at the end of the day.
But life has changed, and I know you could find out about our lives, and where we’re at, but when you’re busy feasting with the King, who can find the time?
Well I’m proud of our silly little family and how far we have come in one year. Hannah started high school last month. This is crazy, she has a million new friends and she hangs out with them all the time and they think she’s funny. She still likes hamsters and coffee and reading, and she still has long thick beautiful hair. She got that from you. She plays the alto sax and Mrs J says she is so cute and so small.
Jenni started to volunteer at a day care and Ashleigh says she is a big help. She also takes art classes once a week and makes the most interesting and creative things – she gets that from you. Leona helps her so that she can still do communion.
Sarah is back in Thunder Bay at LU with me in the science program. She came home, went back, came home – but I’m glad she’s home. She and I, and Bethany and Trevor have lunch together every now and then and its nice. Nice to have some family around the campus.
Emily is on student council and the grade 11 rep. She has really matured since her 16th birthday. I can see it in the way she talks to adults. She’s going to learn how to drive soon and she is going to France in the spring. She dyed her hair with a pink strip this month for Breast Cancer. And she went out on her own and got a job at Superstore.
I started dating Daniel, and I’m at LU now too. I’m doing a double degree of history and english. ANd I’ve decided to do the honours concurrent ed program. Which means that hopefully in 5 years or so I’ll be teaching high school history. I drive a stick shift too…even went over a few hills today by myself. I perfected beef stew and banana bread. I crochet all the time and have made some pretty awesome blankets. And I’m going to be the maid of honour at Emily W’s wedding.
Grandma is really involved in her Japanese Lakehead group. Tony plays the guitar every night – now the bass and electric too. Joel is doing some schooling and Tony helps him in the morning. Mary moved to Minneapolis and lives on a really pretty street. Melinda is running marathons and what not.
You see…life moves on. Sometimes that’s the hardest part…life moves on despite my world changing. I remember sitting in that waiting room and telling Melinda and Dana that I would never feel anything other than that sorrow. How could I do anything while I was enveloped in that sorrow? How could I care for anyone, make supper, clean a house, live while I was so utterly consumed by that dark grief? And there were times when I begged God to just freeze time, but it kept on ticking on, and I’m thankful that God didn’t slow down time to let me wallow. God has given us so many gifts this year, and He has reminded me of you every day. And He has slowly allowed my heart to heal bit by bit. And I know that the years to come, though long and still missing you, will be full of God’s gifts and good things. You taught me that. While I wish you were here to see these good things with us, I know one day we’ll be together again and that will be a great thing. I’m practicing my patience, really.
I miss you. Every day.
I love you.
Posted on September, 30 at 4:07 am
My great friend Alexis is jumping the pond today and spending a year in England studying abroad. This was the first summer since we both left for school that we could really hang out and I have enjoyed her company so much lately that I am really sad to see her go, but I know she is going to have a great time and I hope she enjoys herself so much.
I had a lot of fun with you and Lorraine last night…discussing the Mother, planning the future and lining it up, naming our kids, drinking pop and just being friends. You are a great friend and one of the best that God has given me.
So good bye Alexis, have fun
Posted on September, 7 at 11:40 am
And just like that…summer’s over! This feels like seriously the shortest summer of my life. The girls are back to school today (Hannah – my baby – in HIGH SCHOOL) so I feel like some summer reflection is in order. Here’s a few things I learned this summer:
- I love camping. I spent a large portion of this summer camping, and I have to say that I think there is a lot of camping in my future. I like canoeing, sea-dooing, being on a lake. I like falling asleep listening to nature a few inches away. I like sitting outside with people you love. I like playing cards after dinner and taking walks. (But I’m still me and I like the way it feels when you come home and take a shower…haha)
- I love country music. Yeeeaaaaahh…top songs this summer: “Just a Kiss”, “Country Girl (Shake it for Me)”, “Long Hot Summer”, “Dirt Road Anthem”, “Honeybee”, “Knee Deep”…but nothing makes me smile like “Take a Back Road”. I’m the kind of girl who stays in the car or drives around the block to listen to her favourite song when it comes on, or stop talking to someone so I can sing along…
- I love bbq-ing…and I’m good at it. Chicken, corn, potatoes, peppers…I’ll miss you during the winter.
- I love family. I like hanging out, watching tv, playing games, eating dinner, catching up, crying, laughing, celebrating, mourning, hugging, kissing, planning. I like Scattegories, Skip Bo, nickle me, Taboo, planking, fireworks, Parenthood, Big Bang Theory, swimming, the Minnesota Zoo, the Mentalist, fishing, 103.5 the Thunder, Adele, Rock Band, Super Secret Spy Crew, Bryan Gosling, Starbucks, TimBits, Whale Tours, Puffins, flamingoing and everything else we did together. It doesn’t matter what it is, where we are, as long as I’m with YOU…I’m good.
It was a different kind of summer for different reasons but looking back on it, I’m okay with how it turned out. I felt full and I felt warm and as the weather gets colder and we start approaching the things we don’t want to approach, I’ll look back on this summer and all the good things that happened and maybe that warmth will tide me over. I’ll be thanking God for every day I get to live this crazy, warm, loving, full life of mine, until next time…