Saturday, January 31, 2009

Worship Him

This is how we spent last night worshipping...

Click here to view the video, as the hotel wireless won't allow me to embed.

Bless you this day....

Friday, January 30, 2009

Refreshement

I believe that taking time away from the everyday grind is an important aspect of our spiritual walk. Through the fray of life, it can be difficult to hear God's voice and feel His gentle touch. Too much busy-ness can easily overtake us, leaving us feeling parched.

I like to plan for the odd weekend away to counteract the dry times. For me, nothing refreshes quite like corporate worship, inspired teaching, and not having to cook or clean (grin). It reconnects me to the Source of Living Water.

Pat and I, along with another couple, are heading off this weekend for a conference.

If we come to your mind this weekend, please pray that the four of us will be refreshed. That we will feel His presence and hear His voice. That this time will be full of learning, growing, and joy. Please pray that none of us will have any worries while we're away, that our kiddos will be safe (and have lots of fun) at home with their caregivers. Thank-you.

May you find time for refreshment, too, as He calls you to come away with Him.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Time to Weep... (*updated)

I am experiencing near-meltdown today. My emotions are running amok.

I am aware that there is a slim chance I'm being hyper-sensitive and mildly irrational. I realize that factors such as too little sleep, PMS, and hunger are likely conspiring together against my mental health.

None of this self-awareness changes the fact that I am teetering on the brink of tears.

I was cranky, harsh, unreasonable, and any number of similar adjectives toward my husband. He is not at fault for how I'm feeling. Yet I blamed him.

Sometimes, though, a girl just wants to be hugged. She needs to be reassured that she is lovable and loved, in spite of her "issues." She wants to be told that everything will be all right, and have her hair smoothed back from her teary eyes.

*update

Given some time to think, and some worship music cranked in the house, I am reminded of some things I know to be true...
- a fool gives full vent to his anger
- the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control
- be slow to speak and slower to anger
- a contentious wife is like a constant dripping

Feeling emotional is not an excuse for behaving like a child - selfish and pouty. I still feel weepy (and obviously need to go to bed early tonight), but because of the One who lives in me, the One whose glory glory I want to reflect, I need to act in the Spirit. Not because I have any ability on my own to change my attitude and actions, but only with His strength.

Honey, I'm sorry.

Sometimes, I kinda wish I was the me before I knew Him...just for a brief moment in time...so I wouldn't feel convicted of my wrongness so quickly. I kinda miss getting mad and staying mad - there was an emotional release to it.

Then again, that release can't even compare to the freedom that comes with life with Him. Nothing compares to that.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Be You

The fellowship of other women is one of society's most undervalued blessings.

We fool ourselves into believing that we don't need it. I'm too busy to make new friends. We don't have anything in common. She won't like me. I prefer to be alone. Sound familiar?

I think we can all agree that women (generally) tend to be more emotional and expressive than men. We have an innate need to "talk things through." Men, on the other hand, want to "fix" things, and as such are not particularly good at listening while we talk it through. Only another woman can truly understand the need to talk about one subject until all possible avenues of discussion have been exhausted.

Women are also fairly detail-oriented. We like to be certain that all the pieces of the puzzle will fit together - before we even click those first two pieces together. Men tend to be more global in their thinking (that's my polite way of saying they're vague and/or lazy). You will never find a man who wants to hear how you have planned out your entire day in half-hour time slots. A girlfriend is the only one you can freely share stories of "poo and puke" without fear.

The best thing about other women, though, is their wisdom. Women live and they learn. Then they share what they've learned. If one woman has found something that works well for training up her children, or if she's discovered the secret to her hubby's happiness, or she knows where to find toilet paper for really, really cheap - she will tell other women!

It is through that exchange of wisdom that mentoring is born. It's not mentoring in the traditional sense, but a reciprocal relationship of teaching and gleaning, leaning and lifting, breaking down and building up. There is no relationship quite like the one formed on the foundation of fellowship - just being together.

Is it really even possible to be too busy to make new friends?! All you have to be is you. All you have to do is what comes naturally. The simplicity of just being removes any complexity.

STOMP!

My birthday gift from my dear, sweet, thoughtful husband. (Can I tell you how much he is NOT into things like this?)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Questions on the State of Our Hearts

This is love for God: to obey His commands...for everyone born of God overcomes the world. ~ 1 John 5:2b,4a

In our lives, do we show others that we love God? Are we really God's children? Do we obey His commands? Are we overcoming the world? Or do we simply pay lip service to the Holy One of Heaven?

God is light: in Him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with Him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. ~ 1 John 1:5b-6

Are we walking in the light, or are we lying to ourselves?

Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. ~ 1 John 1:9

Are we in the light?

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. ~ 1 John 2:15

Do we allow our hearts and spirits to be so full of love for the things of this world, that there is no room for the love of the Father?

If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? ~ 1 John 3:17

Do we view those in need with concern, or have we allowed our hearts to grow hard? Does the love of God reside in us?

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. ~ 1 John 4:8

Are our lives a reflection of God's love to those around us? Do we really know Him?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Nothing

Ah LORD God!
Behold. You have made
the heavens and the earth
by Your great power and
by Your outstretched arm!
Nothing is too difficult for You.

~ Jeremiah 32:17 (NASB)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Dontcha Just Love to be Loved?

Look at this adorable award that got sent my way!

I love how bloggers encourage one another to keep at it. I know that these awards may not mean anything special to anyone else, but to me it means that somebody reads what I write and enjoys it. Which makes me all warm and fuzzy.

I want to thank Barb at Spotlis for passing the Friends award to me. I am blessed to know that at least one person likes me here on the www! (Even if my husband does think we bloggers are a silly breed.)

The rules say that I am to pass this award on to eight other bloggers. Normally, I am a hard-core rule follower. But fact is, I LOVE all the blogs I read, and even some I don't read regularly. So here's the deal - if you find your blog name in my list (in the first sidebar), consider yourself awarded. If you're not there (maybe your blog is private, so then you're not listed b/c I don't want to tease people with the possibility of reading your awesomeness *grin*), but I have left you a comment anytime in the month of January, please consider yourself awarded, too!

If you want to follow the rules: paste the picture in your blog, nominate 8 other bloggers (and link to them), print the following...
"These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."

P.S. If you accept the award, make sure you comment so others can come visit and congratulate you! :)

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Daily

Because I'm still feeling slightly frazzled/frantic/crazy/nutso, I am going to share my morning gymnastics routine with you in point form. Imagine me talking really, really fast, and breathing too loud.

- Abbey is sick - joy
- Kai is grouchy (and naughty) - excellent
- Shea is home today - is kindergarten really still two whole years away?
- getting Meg out the door for school without her sister - fun; chasing after her halfway down the block to put her lunch in her backpack - even more fun
- having tummy troubles that keep me running - wonderful
- seeing Braeden's bus pull up, when I have not yet seen the boy - fantabulous
- going out in sub-sub-sub zero weather to start the beast - great

- putting grouchy boy to bed for morning nap, in spite of the fact that I know he will not give me an afternoon nap - totally worth it
- plugging in a movie for sick girl and little girl and letting them munch granola bars in my bed - even more worth it

In spite of what my "self" wants to feel, I will have joy. These are things that could break my day, if I choose to allow them. I won't. I will laugh at the silly crazy morning. I will enjoy a few minutes of slow-breathing and sipping my steaming coffee. Then I will throw the peed on sheets in the wash (from two beds) and set to my daily work. This work that God has called me to do - no matter how mundane.

This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. ~Psalm 118:24

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Pondering in my Heart

In my quiet time this morning, I felt the Lord leading me to the book of James. There is so much wise counsel on those six pages, I had a difficult time deciding what to underline. I decided to pick a couple small sections to ponder throughout my day.

Trials and Temptations
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking in anything. ~James 1:2-4


Right from the beginning of his letter, James packs a punch. I know I want to be mature in my faith, not lacking. I even accept that oftentimes maturity is only developed through adversity. But to consider it pure joy? Whew.

Listening and Doing
My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires...If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. ~James 1:19-20, 26 (also read all of chapter 3)


It seems straightforward - watch your mouth. But how? God needs to remind me of this command often. You know, "thou shalt not gossip/yell/complain/nag." That one. It seems I'm a bit slow in learning, or forgetful. I think the tongue is an area that a lot of women stumble in. Isn't it? Please tell me I'm not the only one!

Are there any passages that God has laid on your heart lately, that you are taking the time to ponder?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Thirty-Something

I've got nothing profound for today, just an odd thought that's been bugging me.

Today, I am 31. (Don't feel obligated to comment today and send birthday wishes. No, really. It's okay. I'm not an affirmation junkie. I totally understand - you're busy. It's all good. Well, okay, if you insist!)

Anyhoo...

Thirty-one is different than 30. Everyone asked me how I felt when I turned 30 - Was it sad? Did I feel old(er)? How did I feel about people using feline names to describe me?

It was nothing. Just like any other birthday.

In fact, I kind-of enjoyed being able to say "I'm thirty." Finally, it seemed, I wasn't getting the shocked response relating the number of kids, my age, and how young I must have been when we started. Thirty was great!

Thirty-one, though, is OVER thirty. Now people will say, "she's thirty-something" about me - which could lead others to believe I'm (gasp) 35, or even older! This birthday has aged me. I now feel, well, over 30.

The mind is a funny thing, eh?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The God Chronicles - 01/20/09

Nearly two years ago, I was burgeoning under the weight of carrying my fifth blessing in my womb. Ahem, I realize there are some of you doing the math - Malakai is 16 months old, 20-some-odd months ago I was probably only 5 months along. You go ahead and do it a few times, then you'll realize that the burgeoning phase begins earlier each time. Back to the story...

At our women's time out event (which has saved my life almost every Wednesday morning for the past five years), we participate in "Secret Sisters." The basic idea is this - draw a name, bless the girl who's name you drew, pray for her, encourage her...anonymously.

I was sitting at a table with my coffee (no lectures about pregnancy and caffeine, thankyouverymuch) and having a little bit of a pout fest. You see, Mother's Day was coming up, and I desperately wanted to be spoiled with a spa day pedicure. Since one of my jobs in our family is to track the finances, I was well aware that my wish would not be coming true.

The guest speaker began, so I stopped whining and temporarily forgot about my woes.

A while later, one of the girls running the SS program brought me a gift bag. Yay! I loved getting stuff from my Secret Sister - she was awesome! I began digging through and found a wonderful little "pregnancy relaxer kit," as I fondly call it - herbal tea, aromatherapy candles, bubble bath, lotion, and a card.

I opened the card, and a paper fell out onto the table. My girlfriend scooped it up, looked at it, smirked, and handed it to me. A gift certificate for a pedicure. I burst into tears - not the sweet, adorable tears; more like the hiccuping, snot dripping kind. (I don't think I ever did read what was written in the card.)

God knew the desire of my heart, and knew that it wasn't within my means to pursue it, so He found another way. My Secret Sister was beyond generous (pedicures are darn expensive). I was so blessed. And there was no doubt in my mind that God had provided.

Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart. ~Psalm 37:4


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For more about The God Chronicles.
For "The Rules."

The God Chronicles Participants

1. Bobbie

2. Hope@Pinkadoodledoo

3. Karalee

Powered by... Mister Linky's Magical Widgets.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The God Chronicles, The "Rules"



The God Chronicles (click for background info) is a place for us to keep a record of the ways we've seen God at work in our lives.

Here's how it works...

Each month, on the 20th, I will write my own post. I'd love it if you'd join in by writing your own blog post for The God Chronicles (if you don't blog, feel free to participate in the comments).

Once you've written your post, get the URL for that specific post (not just your blog URL) and put your name and URL into Mr. Linky - which will be at the bottom of my post.

How do I link to my specific post, you ask? Well, once your post is written and published to your blog, click on the title of your post. That will bring you to a slightly different URL than that of your blog (for example, http://titus2345.blogspot.com/2009/01/god-chronicles-rules.html). If you click on your post's title and nothing changes, you will need to make a small change in your settings. If you're on blogger, you can go to your dashboard, click on the settings tab, then select archiving, beside "enable post pages" select yes, and save.

I would love for you to use the awesome graphic that Judi from Doodlebug Designs created (for now, you can just right click, save it to your computer, and put it on your post).

I also ask that you include a link back to my God Chronicles post in your blog post - that way others can find Mr. Linky and read everyone's stories.

Go ahead and visit other's God Chronicles posts. And don't forget to leave comments wherever you visit.

Tapping into His Strength, part I

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. ~Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)

We all know these words are Truth, and I'm sure we've quoted them in reference to one situation or another, but do we truly believe them?

I find myself saying these words, praying these words, then turning around and attempting to do the work in my own strength.

For example...

If you've been reading for a while, you know I struggle as a mother. I lose my cool. I yell. I throw tantrums. I cry, repent, ask forgiveness (from God, my husband, and my children), I commit to changing, and for a few weeks or months it's better. But then we have one of those days, and it starts all over again.

Don't get me wrong, I have no unrealistic goals of being the perfect mother all the time. But I do have a reasonable expectation that I can be free from the bondage of anger, which would dramatically change the way I parent.

After years of this cycle, why am I not free? After all, I know that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

I suspect that my freedom lies in the method. My current method involves two steps: asking for God's help, then trying to be more patient and loving. Sure, the praying aspect is good. But from there I operate under my own efforts. I try.

Sometimes, though, trying is just not enough. So what does it really mean - through Christ?

I'm going to ponder this some more, later in the week. But I'd like to know your thoughts. How does one move from their own strength into Christ's power?

Reminder: The God Chronicles tomorrow. Mr. Linky will just be open for the one day; 24 hours. Write your own post about how you've seen God working in your life, link up here, and connect with others who want to write these things on their hearts (Proverbs 6:21) and leave a heritage of God's grace for the next generation (Joel 1:2-3).

Sunday, January 18, 2009

For My God, Forsake It All

I will rise above
I will live for love
I will answer to the call

For the bond between
For the depth unseen
For my God, forsake it all



'Cause I'm a fire
I'm a flood
I'm a revolution

I'm a war
already won
I'm a revolution

Here I stand
(open hands)
waiting for You
I won't back down
I'll live to speak Your truth
*Starfield*

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Best Parenting Advice. Ever.

A while back, I received some stellar parenting advice from a bloggy friend (Jenny). Thank-you, girlfriend! Let me just tell you...Jenny is chalk full of wisdom, and she is willing to take the time to answer personal questions (not a lot of wise people are also willing, but that's just one of the beautiful things about her). Here, this post is part of an email she sent me.

We've been pretty slow at getting started, but little by little we are changing the way we teach our children. Rather than tell them what to do and punish them when they do wrong, we are attempting to show them.

The best way to form a habit is to repeat it. Over and over again. (Kinda like how it's Pat's habit, after years of rehearsing, to hit the snooze button at least 4 times each morning.) "Practice makes perfect." Right?

Katherine talks some more about this concept at her place, Raising Five (look for the post titled "Rip and Burn"). I love her analogy!

Some things I like to use the "rip and burn" method with are: sibling rivalry, disrespect, feeling frustrated/needing help, hurt feelings. Because our kids are still pretty young, Pat and I typically play the roles first. It's fun to act out the wrong behaviour and ask the kids how we could have done it differently. Then, we ask them to show us. It's the act of...well, acting, that brings it home for them. They are rehearsing the appropriate responses for certain situations, which makes those responses feel more natural in the actual situations.

If you're like me, and finding that the "traditional" parenting methods are not really effective, I challenge you to try this. Not only does it work, it can even be a little bit fun!

Friday, January 16, 2009

The God Chronicles Reminder


I just wanted to remind you all that The God Chronicles is coming upon Tuesday. I know that I usually need some time to ponder and prepare if I'm writing on a specific topic, so this is my "get ready" as much as it is yours. :) My hope is that a few of you, my bloggy friends, will join me in recording what God has been doing in our lives.

Here's more about The God Chronicles.

I want to send out a huge "hurrah" and "thank-you ever so much" to Judi from Doodlebug Designs for the fantastic button. As before, when she did my blog design, Judi was oh-so-patient with this girl who couldn't really figure out what she wanted. If you've ever considered having a custom design made for your blog, I definitely recommend Judi - she is terrific! Go ahead and look at some of the great designs she's done recently.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Life, Interrupted

In the shadow of the wintry morning I sit, waiting.

Children, out long past the sun, continue in their slumber.

I feel it rise up in me - the impatience. We must move! Go! Hurry! Get there! There is work to be done. Ministry. School. Errands.

I resist the urge to awaken Sleeping Beauty and her brother. This rest is needed. For them. For me.

In the frantic of this life, God interrupts. Rest, He whispers. Be still, and know that I am God.

I struggle against the rest, like an angry child pushes away from her mother's embrace. Like the child, I come to the crossroads, the decision point - pull away, run away, ignore the warm comfort or release a shuddering breath and sink into mother's arms.

One last thrash of resistance. Then release. Sweet rest. Life, interrupted.

Thank-you, Lord, that you love enough to intervene in my chaos, stop me in my tracks, and return my gaze to Your face.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

And the Winner is....

One of these days I'll get all high-tech and figure out how to take a "screen shot" of the winning numbers. I used Random.org and asked it to choose a number between 1 and 15 (inclusive) and the genie in the computer chose #11. If you look back, you'll see only 12 comments and you may wonder if I've forgotten how to count. I did promise the first-time commenters that I would give each of them two entries, though, so Michelle was #13, Rachelle from The Beys were #14, and Angie was #15.

Here's something funny for ya - comment #11, as you will notice, is from Louise. Louise lives right here in town, less than a five-minute drive from me!

Louise, to show you what you have won, heeeeeeeer's Vanna Pat!

(Insert deep, booming, game show voice.)
"Louise, you have won this fabulous prize from Casa Del Rowan."
(Envision perfectly manicured hands, holding up object, waving in front of object enticingly.)
"Look at your amazing prize..."



"It's your very own pair of the ugliest, most comfortable shoes ever made!"
(Host's eyes focusing right on the camera.)
"Louise, please send me your shoe size, along with three colour preferences (in case your first choice isn't in stock) in order to receive your prize in a timely manner. And folks, don't forget to have your pets spayed or neutered."
(Little side note here - I asked Pat to do this on video for me, but no amount of pleading would convince him to make a fool of himself on the www. Party pooper.)


Pat's initial prize choice was a pickle, so these faux fur-lined clogs are a massive step up. Pat hopes you will enjoy wearing yours around your house and yard as much as he enjoys his.


Thanks to you all for delurking and giving me some comment love!


And on a bizarre and interesting (and totally unrelated) side-side note, suddenly yesterday afternoon I began to receive emails informing me of comments. Hooray! So I will turn off comment moderation and bask in the glory of receiving an email theverysecond someone comments on a post. :) Happy me.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tiny Talk Tuesday


Mary likes to encourage us to record those cute things our kids say. If you want to see what other kids are saying, go to Not Before 7 and visit the links.

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Megan (5) is a bit of a drama queen. She often picks up little sayings she's heard on movies, or from who knows where.

Lately, when speaking to someone and wanting their full attention, she will walk up, hold their face in her hands, and say "my darling, listen to me."

Her newest exclamation is, "oh my goodness to glory!"

No idea where she comes up with this stuff!

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We have two wonderful childcare providers, who are both adult women. One of them is expecting - twins! The kids have all been quite thrilled to discover this.

Abbey (6) was informing us that C is "getting two babies." So Pat asked, "where's she getting them from?" (Smart alec.)

Abbey says, "in her tummy," with a 'duh, you should know this' tone in her voice.

Shea (3) pipes in, "No, I think it's from her mouth."

Killing. Me. With. Laughter.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Hosting a Banquet

Then Jesus said to his host, "When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous." ~Luke 14:12-14

As a general rule, I believe the Bible to be the straightforward and literal Word of God. I don't think that most passages are intended to be ambiguous strings of words that required "interpretation" in order to be understood. I believe that God created the earth in a literal six days and rested on the seventh. I believe that people literally lived until they were 800 years old. I believe that Noah really did, literally, live on a big boat containing two of every kind of [stinky] creature for months. And so on...

This means that I also understand the words of Jesus to mean exactly what they appear to mean. I don't see the above passage as an allegory of some sort. No, Jesus is literally saying that I am supposed to invite the poor, crippled, lame, and blind into my home.

I'll be honest, I struggle with this. The idea of inviting, for example, the unpleasant smelling homeless man outside the grocery store to my house - very uncomfortable...and a little scary! Especially in this day and age, where tales of horrible things done to kind strangers are everyday fare on the news channel.

So I've been asking God how I can obey Him in this in a way that also protects my family. He showed me that I don't need to drive downtown and look for unknown homeless people (not that He someday won't ask this of me - or you - but perhaps not during this season of young children at home). He showed me that we already know a number of poor, crippled, lame, and blind people whom we can welcome and show His love to.

A sibling...certainly not considered poor by the world's standard...spending money like it were going out of style on all kinds of items for personal enjoyment...feeling an emptiness and trying to fill it the way this world says it can be filled...but poverty-stricken in spirit - no hope, no joy, no love, no Jesus.

An old friend...strong legs and back, employed and hard working...struggling with depression and unable to break free...aching, empty, lonely, and unable to step out of the quicksand that is pulling and sucking...crippled and without the freedom that comes only from Christ.

Another friend from days gone by...addicted and strangled by the grip of drugs...grasping for something - anything - to break free, yet unable to move forward...injured...lame.

Another sibling...searching for meaning wherever it can be found...spirituality in any possible form - yoga, new age, meditation, positive-thinking-power-of-attraction...completely blind to the Truth, unable and unwilling to see the Source of Real Spiritual Meaning.

We're surrounded by those who are poor, crippled, lame, and blind. And we hold the key to their healing and freedom. All it takes is a simple invitation to the dinner table.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Winter Fun

First, don't forget to head over to this post, "delurk," and enter to win a prize (to be determined by Pat - my great apologies if you receive a package of pork rinds or beef jerky in the mail). Comments will be closed before I head to bed tonight.



Below, is the only evidence that I was present and active for our day on the hill. Really, I was up and down enough times to earn myself FIVE EXTRA POINTS for dinner.


Grandma can always be counted on to join in on the fun.


We even managed to drag Grandpa along - as you can see by the "clutching for dear life," Grandpa was a little bit concerned about his 50-some-odd-year-old brittle bones.



Braeden worked hard to catch some air on that bump. Sadly, Mom missed the picture of his good air.

These girls (Meg and Shea) giggled all the way down the hill.


Abbey needed to prove she could carry the big tube. This was after her first run down the hill - by the last run she was crawling, sled dragging behind her, fingernails bleeding as she clawed her way up. Just kidding...maybe.


Daisy was in her glory, chasing sledding children down the hill. I think she's still tired!


Best air of the day - Daddy. Best timing of the day - Moi! Though I certainly won't win any photography awards with that sunlight glaring in the background.



Greetings from the top of the hill, from Kai to you!


More greetings from Shea.

And Abbey.



Braeden says "hi," too.

This is where I would put Meg's picture, if she had willingly posed for one, which she didn't. (deep breath)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Mommy Brain

Wednesday's facebook status:

Tyler just realized that she listened to the entire "Kidmo" CD, even though all children had left the room after the first song.

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Don't forget to delurk for the Canadian National Delurking WeekEND. I love to know who's reading! (And, there is a prize involved.)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Come Out, Come Out Wherever You Are!



Lurk - verb (used without object)
1. to lie or wait in concealment, as a person in ambush; remain in or around a place secretly or furtively.
2. to go furtively; slink; steal.
3. to exist unperceived or unsuspected.
4. Chiefly Computers. to read or observe an ongoing discussion without participating in it, as in an Internet newsgroup.–noun Australian Informal.
5. an underhand scheme; dodge.
6. an easy, somewhat lazy or unethical way of earning a living, performing a task, etc.
7. a hideout.

Lurker - noun
One of the `silent majority' in a electronic forum; one who posts occasionally or not at all but is known to read the group's postings regularly. This term is not pejorative and indeed is casually used reflexively: "Oh, I'm just lurking." Often used in `the lurkers', the hypothetical audience for the group's flamage-emitting regulars. When a lurker speaks up for the first time, this is called `delurking'.

My friend Jenni has informed me (via her blog) that it is National Delurking Week. What nation - I don't know! Nor do I care. Because this blog world is all very official-like, I now pronounce it National Delurking WeekEND here in Canada - that way I can justify my participation.

So, what are you waiting for?! Tell me who you are. Say "hi." Even if you are a faithful reader and commenter, say "hi" just for kicks. What's that? You need incentive??? Oooooh, incentive I can do. Comment on this post, and I'll put your name in the drawing for a super-duper prize. If it's your FIRST TIME leaving a comment, let me know and I will enter your name TWICE! Just because I want you to feel loved and welcomed.

And....go!

Oh, sorry, you want to know what the super-duper prize is. So do I. But I'm going to let Pat decide (you're free to make suggestions to him, but if he never listens to me I'd be surprised if he listens to you). :)

Happy National Delurking WeekEND!

P.S. Comments will be closed at my bedtime (around 10pm MST) on Sunday. You know, when the nationally recognized holiday ends.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

If You Can't Beat 'Em...

Winter is an unpleasant reality in these parts. Winter that lasts from Halloween 'til after the long weekend in May. If I had my way, we'd all hibernate for five or six months (with the exception of December, of course) and wake from our slumber when the sun comes out to play. I have five darling children and a husband, though, who think snow and ice are (ahem) thrilling.

I think we have found a solution that makes everyone happy. Dad, kids, and dog can play out there all they want. Mom can observe from the cozy warmth of the kitchen window.

In this picture, everyone's in their boots. But many-a-day you will find a couple of them out there attempting to slide around on boots fitted with skinny and dangerous blades, whilst praying that their ankles don't bend in unnatural positions and snap in two ice-skating.



As you can see, our backyard rink has been outfitted with all the latest in flood lighting technology (being that it is dark before dinner is even on the table, and after the many hours and gallons of water, it was necessary to ensure that the rink got the most use possible).


Even the wee ones, neighbours, and puppies like to get in on the action.



In case you're wondering...
Yes, we do anticipate a large mass of dead grass in the backyard this spring.
Yes, the concept of cementing the entire backyard has been broached (and vetoed).
Yes, we have sat around the fire pit in the garage when it's raining.
Yes, we have - in the past - used a washing machine drum as a fire pit.
Mmmm-hmmmm. You might be a redneck if....

One more, because he's so dang cute!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Too Comfortable?

I am a blue jeans, t-shirt, and running shoes kind of girl. Even as a child, the prospect of dressing up did not appeal to me. It's just never made sense to me - why would someone deliberately choose to wear clothing and footwear that pulls and squishes and needs to be adjusted all day long? Why in the world would I want to go to all that effort, just to see those nice clothes get dirty before I walk out the door?

As a stay-at-home mother, my uniform consists of stretchy yoga pants, tank top, and hooded sweater - socks are optional. For Church, I go to the effort of putting on make-up, styling my hair, and wearing a "nice" pair of jeans. Back when I was a student, I elevated my wardrobe choices as far as corduroy overalls (they were black, therefore considered "dressy"). Even during my brief time in the workforce, I was lucky enough to be in positions where "office casual" was considered dressed-up.

Comfort is important to me.

Every now and then, though, I have cause to be uncomfortable. Christmas parties, special events and the like. For certain occasions, my regular uniform is simply unacceptable. So I primp and preen, iron my clothes, purchase a pair of nylons, and get myself all gussied up. On these occasions, my new look garners a reaction from every. single. person. who knows me.

The compliments of others, and maybe even the look itself, transform me. I stand taller. I hold my tummy in (well, I try to). My shoulders are back. There's a big smile on my face. I'm confident, friendly, social. My feet ache in the heels, I can barely eat for fear of popping the buttons at my waist, I feel the need to obsessively check my lipstick, I am secretly praying that the little hole in my nylons doesn't turn into a giant run for all to see. Yet all of my discomfort fades into the background in light of my "new persona."

Perhaps all my comfort has not been as wonderful as I thought it should be. I realize that, in my comfy sweats, I feel a bit shy...reserved...insecure...sloppy...ugly even. In my comfort it has been easy to let things go. The waistband of sweatpants doesn't tell a person nearly as much about their weight as the waistband of a skirt. Comfort has become so important, that I've forgotten to push myself.

Sometimes, it's good to be uncomfortable - it changes you in ways you would not have expected. It helps you to realize that you were, in fact, stuck.

The same is true of our walk with the Lord. Settling down into a comfortable routine feels good. It feels secure. It feels safe.

But God is far from safe! He's strong and bold and adventurous. (What greater sense of adventure than to lead the Israelites on an exodus from their slave masters, part the sea to allow for their escape, then dramatically allow the sea to close and swallow up the enemy?!)

If we get too "settled" in any relationship, we begin to lose that sense of adventure. Take marriage, for example - get comfortable, feel safe, little by little you forget to do those special things for your spouse, lose the sense of romance, feel "stuck."

If, like me, you are feeling a bit too comfortable in your relationship with the Lord, maybe it's time to change out of those sweat pants. Get dressed up, and try something different. See what God will do in you...in me. Let Him unsettle you from the rut you're stuck in, get a little uncomfortable, and be transformed.

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. ~Romans 12:2

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A Jesus Year

Have you ever heard the saying, "if you're comfortable, you're not growing?"

I have been comfortable. I am hungry and thirsty for more of the Lord, digging in His Word for something new. Yet I am still comfortable.

I prayed this prayer for the year 2009.

I chose this passage of Scripture for the year 2009 (it's also my first verse to memorize for this challenge).

The year 2009 will not be a comfortable year for me, of that much I am certain. But it will be a Jesus Year, oh yes it will!

More about "being comfortable" tomorrow, Lord willing...

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Friday, January 2, 2009

The God Chronicles

This blog is the closest thing I've had to a journal in about 15 years. When I've gone on to Glory, my hope is that my words here will hold meaning and memories for my children. My prayer is that they will see and understand who God is, was, and ever will be through my story. I trust that they will find, buried among these web pages, truth, wisdom, reality, humour, forgiveness, grace, understanding, and joy.

Our pastor encourages us to make "God Stories" a part of our everyday lives at home. It is the experience of looking for - and seeing - God actively at work in our lives and hearts that helps our children to make our faith their own. These moments, where we see our LORD's hand on our lives, are not to be secrets buried deep within the recesses of our memories. They are treasures, meant to be put on display, so that His greatness is known!

Hear this, you elders; listen, all who live in the land. Has anything like this ever happened in your days or in the days of your forefathers? Tell it to your children, and let your children tell it to their children, and their children to the next generation.
~Joel 1:2-3

"Go over before the ark of the LORD your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, 'What do these stones mean?' tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever." ~Joshua 4:5-7

Every month, I will be writing a story for "The God Chronicles." These stories will be my memorial stones. It may be something that I recently experienced, or a story from the past that begs to be shared. Sometimes, it might look something like this. Other times, maybe not. What's important is that the reality of God's active participation in our lives is recorded. Not only to pass the stories on throughout the generations of our family, but to look back on and remember (especially during difficult times).

I'd like to invite you to join me in chronicling how the Great One is working in your life and in your heart. Each month, on the 20th, I will put up my post along with a Mr. Linky. If you are a blogger, you can write your story for "The God Chronicles" on your blog and link to your story using Mr. Linky (so other readers can visit one another and hear how God is working). If you are not a blogger, you can still participate by posting your story in the comments (don't worry, I'm cool with really long comments).

It would be great to have a button to accompany the series! So, if you (or someone you know) has a knack for these things, please be in touch with me.

New Habits for a New Year

This post by Ann @ Holy Experience is a must read. I'm sure we all are thinking about "How to Eat Differently this Year." I know I am...my heart's desire is to savour the bites of Truth and Wisdom He has written in His love letter to me.

Not only does Ann have an amazing gift with words, and shares wisdom and beauty through her blog, but she has a son with the same name as mine. :) Until finding her, I had never seen Malakai spelled this way.

I may (or may not) have a more substantial post later today.

Bless you...

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Recap

Borrowing from my friend Mary, who also borrowed this fun idea.

The first sentence from the first post of each month of 2008, accompanied by a little update.

January:

I am so glad this day is over.

FYI, we still have these days. More frequently than I would like. My prayer is that God will continue to teach me to show grace, to be patient, and to speak and act in love - especially to those I love the most.

February:

February 1, 2002... After a super-fast induced labour, and a whirlwind delivery made by the nurse (because the doctor arrived 6 minutes later), we had the joy of welcoming our first baby girl!

This big girl lost her first tooth last week. She told me that even though she knows I am the tooth fairy, she would pretend to believe so her sisters wouldn't be sad. (I think she was a bit afraid that if she didn't believe she might not find any money under her pillow the next morning.)

March:

Blessed are those who mourn...

The beatitudes are worth revisiting this new year.

April:

I am going to post something fun, interesting, and wonderful tomorrow!

My writing (and writer's block) are keeping time with the same cycle as month's ago...

May:

No matter how old the mother is, her love is fresh and new with each child, grandchild, and great-grandchild.

I really hope to go visit my Grandma this summer!

June:

I don't want to violate anyone's privacy, so I'm going to keep this post rather vague and obscure, but I trust that God will direct.

Go right ahead and keep on praying.

July:

It's easy to complain.

Still blessed, still complaining, still learning.

August:

Dutch Bros Coffee.

This trip was definitely one of our most memorable family times. The kids still ask if we can go on another long trip and stay in cabins, "but a cabin with two rooms, so the kids get their own." (For two of our seven nights we were able to stay in a 2-room cabin - what a treat!)

September:

Here's a little tidbit for ya - I always thought the word was pronounced Meeeeeee-M.

So, I think my source was wrong. I do actually think it's pronounced as above. Hey - no one's right all the time!

October:

If you've been reading for a while, you're well aware of my struggle to lose the last "few" post-baby pounds.

Can you say, "New Year's Resolution?" Yep.

November:

Two weeks ago - lotsa comments, me so happy.

Here's a funny thing I noticed. When I get lots of comment feedback, I feel affirmed and loved and encouraged, therefore I write more (and I think - better). When I begin to lose that [comment] lovin' feeling, whoa that [comment] lovin' feeling I get a wee bit discouraged, and write less often (and of lesser quality). Which begets fewer comments. It's like the "circle of life" only not quite as sweet and beautiful.

December:

I was tagged by Hope at Pink-a-Doodle-Doo for this fun Christmas post. (Um, since there are already lots of links in this first sentence, click here to view the post.)

As you can tell, I do enjoy posting a meme or participating in a "tag" on my blog. Gives some fun fodder to jot down, without too much deep thinking (which would be especially painful after staying up TWO WHOLE HOURS past my bedtime in order to count backwards from 10).