Thursday, October 29, 2009

Aching Heart

This week, my heart has been wrenched to and fro.

In addition to the surprise on my date night and the blessing at the church staff meeting, I was blessed and honoured at Friendship Factor on Wednesday. You wouldn't believe the trickery of those girls! People who haven't been at FF in over a year were tracked down and invited to take the morning off work so they could attend. (Bless their hearts, several did.)

Nothing is more humbling than feeling really, really loved. Did you know that? I would have thought hearing all these people telling me how great I am (I know they are selectively forgetting the bad stuff right now, but hey) would make me feel prideful and oh-so important. But it just doesn't. It makes me feel a bit shy, a bit confused, and very tender.

I cannot wrap my head and heart around it. It seems only last week I was a just-past-teenage mom with only one friend in the whole world. And these past couple of weeks have shown me that I have more friends than I know what to do with. (You should see my calendar these days as I try to have coffee with everyone I love. I am not getting anything done besides socializing!)

Each blessing I receive just makes the loss more profound. Not that I'm really losing these friends - I know that! I will be back at least once per month, and I will insist that they come my way periodically, and the modern miracle of email will keep us in close touch. But what I am losing is a culture of friendship and fellowship. It's something that took six years to develop, and moving away from this church family is...ouch.

Today I had to take one step further yet. You see, today we chose the woman who will take my position. The only job I've held in six years (besides those of wife and mother). A job that exists because it was on my heart and I asked if I could do it. Frankly, I see this ministry more as my baby than as my job. A baby I laboured over, nurtured, prayed for, and loved with my whole heart. And today, I chose an adoptive mother for my baby. I have just over one week to hold this baby close until it is time to extend my arms to the one who will take over the job of its care. And no matter that I know it is God's will, and it is time, and that it is not only for my good and my family's but for the baby's good as well - the ache in my gut just may kill me.

And as I sit here letting the tears flow freely, I hear a gentle whisper in my soul...

Jehovah-Shammah, the LORD is there. I AM there. I AM in Red Deer with WOW, and I will not let it stumble. I AM in Sherwood Park where you will go, and I will not let you stumble. The name of every city you visit, every church you worship in, every ministry you serve with will be: the LORD is there. (from Ezekial 48:35)

Though the ache remains, I know I will live through it, for He is with me.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I Heart You

Today I was surprised and blessed by cake, ice cream, words of affirmation, and prayer by the staff at our church.

I commented to someone the other day that I feel a bit like I'm attending my own funeral these days. Everyone is talking about me in an odd mix of past and present tense, and all they can say is how wonderful they think I am/was. It's very awkward, a little bizarre, and incredibly humbling.

It is so special to feel loved and appreciated, and to know that I will be missed. It blesses my heart to see friends, co-workers, and pastors shedding tears when we talk about my upcoming move. Honestly, it just makes me feel I belong. It's difficult to know how to respond, and I've found in myself a little imp that likes to blurb out bits of inappropriate humour (not inappropriate as in smutty, but as in bad timing - kinda like laughing at a funeral, my funeral).

Since I am better in the written word than the spoken, especially when I'm feeling undeservedly loved on, I just want you all to know how I feel about you.

Jordan, you have been a friend, a mentor, a father-figure, and a cheerleader (but I'd appreciate if you wouldn't wear any cheer outfits, kay) for me these past five years. When I screw up, you set me straight. When I do good, you let me know (and you tell others, too). And when I need encouraging, you send me away for a weekend of refreshing. I could not have asked for a better "boss" in ministry than you. I know Pat loves you too (in a guy sorta way). I hope that you and Kathleen will pop by for a day or even a weekend sometime.

Stu, you see right into the heart of me. I know that I can't tell you everything's "okay" if it's not, because you are always willing to take the extra few minutes to dig deeper and ask meaningful questions. The most amazing thing is - you really do care! You have encouraged me and prayed for me more times than I can count, and you also saw my need for that very special weekend away. Thank-you for being you (and for being blue, teehee).

Dan, I cannot express how thankful I am for your wisdom and teaching to me and our church family for the, forever. You challenge me, make me uncomfortable, push me to change and grow. Your advice in times of struggle gave me the courage to lead boldly and stand behind my decisions and my actions, as well as gave me the strength to admit when I was wrong and seek forgiveness. I can't express how thankful I am that we now have live streaming, so I can continue to be with family learning from you.

To all the other church staff, who are numerous and awesome. I love you guys!

Mike - you rock. The love you have given my son has grown him in ways we as his parents never could.

Kendra - your gentle spirit inspires me to be better. I watch how you lead and serve, and I learn what it means to be beautiful.

Linda - girl, you have the patience of a saint! Thank-you for always being willing to work hard with me and for being so flexible.

Ryan, Blayne, Wally - you guys are too cool for words! The work that you do is so thankless, yet you serve and smile and crack jokes. Thank-you doesn't even come close to letting you know how much I love you guys.

Nicole, Cariann, Janice, April, Pam, and Wilma - the way you make yourselves available to help us dummies in ministry is amazing. We run around like chickens without heads until we find you girls; you make this church go 'round.

Dallas - I had hoped to get to know you and Kathy and the girls, and I'm sorry that I put it off. I pray that you find the family I have found at CrossRoads. And by the way - worship has been fantastic lately (sure, I like the songs, but it isn't that - it's the spirit of worship that you bring).

Rob, Rob, Barry, and Jordan - what can I say? You guys make life fun around that place! Without you bunch of smarta@# guys around there, we'd be a pretty boring group of straight-laced Christians.

Khristie and Ginny - I am disappointed that I haven't had the chance to know you better. But let me tell you this - those bunch of fools wouldn't know what day of the week it was without you! You girls are super.

Anton - though I haven't spent much time with you, I have been thanking the Lord for bringing you to us. A huge gap has been filled in missions, and the work you are doing with the teams is simply amazing. Thank-you for seeing the importance of equipping and debriefing, and keeping in touch with our missionaries. You are a blessing.

Maggie and Aaron - words cannot possible capture what you do, what you mean to me, and how you bless me. Thank-you just doesn't seem enough. I love you!

Charlene - you keep my head on straight when it comes to the dollars and cents of ministry. Thanks for taking care of us, so often in the background. You are so appreciated.

Dwayne - no, I know, you're not staff (yet). :) I want to thank you for the way that you have mentored me and encouraged me from the very beginning. Your wise guidance and prayers have meant so much. I want you to know that BOB is you and you are BOB - they are interchangeable. It's because you walk your talk.

Mary - I saved you for last for a reason. Mary, you are a beautiful woman with much grace. The work that you do, cleaning up behind us and ahead of us, is unending. But you continue with diligence. I want you to know how precious you are to our family at CrossRoads. I'm sure you don't hear it enough, but we could NOT do ministry without you. Thank-you for all that you do.

So thank-you for loving on me today, for blessing me, for making me cry. You guys are family, and no matter how far we live (or for how long) you will always be home. You guys are what makes CrossRoads. And Jordan, fyi, I got the impression today that you don't really have that much of a problem with providing encouragement after all. :) I heart you.

P.S. If I somehow inadvertently missed someone - someone please email me right away! Yikes. Because it's so important to me to tell you all by name that I love you. After all, God called you by name to be where you are.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Making Friends

I've been reflecting a lot lately on making friends, trying to remember how to do it. As a child it was so easy - see someone about your age at the park or in the school yard, walk up to that person, introduce yourself (although, this step could easily be done much later, or omitted all together), and ask the other kid, "Would you like to be friends?" As an adult, it seems so many more personal insecurities play into the friend-making process. How did I do it several years ago when we joined our church and I felt lost, alone, and depressed? I knew I needed someone, and now I have many someones - but how did it all happen?

I remember walking into the basement of the church on a Wednesday morning, terrified. So many women, all smiling and chatting over their crafts. Ugh, how I loathe crafts! So I make my way to the coffee pot, feeling tentative but trying my best not to look either afraid or stand-off-ish. I stand back and peruse the tables filled with friends.

Where should I sit? One table seems to be "older" women - ack, one of my high school teachers is sitting there! Another table of very young women (maybe close to my age, but I feel older). There they are...a table of women who are laughing loudly, talking back and forth and over each other, shouting out greetings to women walking in the door. They look welcoming. So I take a deep breath, stand up straight, put a smile on, walk myself, my coffee, and my craft supplies (ugh) over and ask, "Is this chair taken?"

I sat, I crafted (ugh), I listened, and every now and then I talked. And though I didn't feel comfortable - no, not for one moment - something in me knew that I could be comfortable in the place...eventually.

Wednesday after Wednesday, I went, I looked, I sat. And one week, the dam broke. I had tried a couple different tables over the weeks, but this week I was back with the group of loud outgoing gals. One of them said something that got all my senses firing. I heard her say, "When I had post-partum depression after..." That whole morning I waited for a chance to talk to her somewhat privately, because she knew my pain. Eventually, over another craft, that moment came. I can't recall if we made some small talk first and I somehow led the conversation around, or if I just jumped right in. But with a choked voice and tear-filled eyes I shared with her how I was struggling with post-partum depression. And that common-thread drew us together.

The next week she invited Pat and I to join the life group they were part of. Through that group, friendships bloomed. I began to learn who I was, what I was looking for, and who I wanted to spend my time with. Because of the love from that group (which, ironically, included my old high school teacher and her husband), I found healing in my broken places and friendship for my empty spaces.

It's good to remember that time. Though my friendships have changed over the years, and I am no longer connected with the people from that original life group, I will never forget the impact of knowing them and being welcomed by them.

As we step into this next place, I will remember. Be bold. Do not be afraid. Don't allow discomfort to make me shy away. Be real and open and honest. Look for opportunities. Be willing. Friendship will come, if I look for it. But it means stepping outside the bounds of where I feel comfortable, talking to people I don't know, possibly doing crafts (ugh), and looking for that common ground.

We've all had to make new friends at one time or another. What did you do to find those connections?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Photos from Wed. Night

See why I love them so dang much?!

P.S. Today I have Megan at the children's hospital to have her tonsils removed, in hopes that this will resolve her sleep apnea. We'll be spending the night. Prayers and email/comment love appreciated. :) (Thanks to Grandma taking the day off, I am free to be here with her and can rest assured that the other 4 - while possibly making her crazy - are safe and sound.)

Thursday, October 22, 2009


* If Heather emails me a picture this morning, I will add it asap. :)

I had a date night planned last night, with my sweet friend April. She picked me up when she got off work, and we headed to Tony Roma's.

When we walked in, I found it odd to see a couple gals I know - Peggy and Heather - sitting at a table with balloons on it. I thought to myself, "Hmmmm, looks like they're here for a baby shower. I wonder who it's for? I wonder why I wasn't invited? Oh, get over yourself! Go say hi and then let them get to their party, just enjoy your night out." All of these thoughts occurred in just a split second. Then I hear April ask if I'm surprised. So I pause and consider. Then I look to April, back to Peggy and Heather and their balloons, and it dawns on me - the party is for me!

To say I was shocked is probably the biggest understatement of the year.

Just after we sat, another friend - Ifie - arrived to join us for dinner. The five of us completely pigged out and enjoyed one another's company. I got to wear a special pink ribbon on my shirt that labelled me "Most Loved."

Instead of going out to a movie as we had planned, we headed back to April's house to enjoy a movie on her big movie screen. A few more friends joined us there - Angela, Karalee, Stacy, and Frieda (my mom). Of our women's ministry leadership team, only one sweet gal was missing!

The movie was loud and funny, with a few special tear-jerker moments for us girls. After the movie we roasted ourselves in the hot tub for a while (they had even lined up a bathing suit for me), and visited some more. The night was filled with conversations about marriage, sex, ministry, friends, food, clothes, and all things girlie - with a healthy dose of laughter throughout it all.

A few of these girls have regular, ongoing commitments on Wednesday nights. When it occurred to me that they had ditched out on those things to do this for me, I was "this close" to bursting into tears.

These women - I love them with my whole heart! It's hard to imagine that I will ever find such a special group of friends in our new city. Friends who will not only say they love me but show it in ridiculous, fun, and sacrificial ways. The thought of moving away from them makes me sad.

But I know that I know that God is good and He has a good plan. And I believe that He can and will provide someone special for me in SP. And as our pastor told us...moving doesn't need to mean leaving our home, it will mean that we have two safe places to call home.

Girls, thank-you for loving on me last night. I can't tell you how special and blessed I feel. It is a privilege and an honour to call you my friends and sisters. And I totally can't believe you managed to pull one over on me! Seriously, no clue...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Family Stuff

Just a little something I jotted out last night after a time of learning, praise, praise, and worship...
How to Train our Children:
- to love God with their whole hearts
- to serve God and others as an outpouring of that love
- to worship without inhibition

• worship music playing at all times
• stop to pray, praise, worship at set points throughout the day
• invest time in them for fun
• invest time in them for training in obedience
• invest time in them for discipline
• love God with our whole hearts
• model service to them and to others
• worship without inhibition, inviting them to participate
• family memory verses
• family devotionals
• bring God into every conversation
• share our prayer requests and praises with the children
• teach them to pray out loud, without inhibition
• pray out loud with them, without inhibition
• love one another (as a couple) with passion and purpose
• love one another (as a family) with passion and purpose
• obey God without question or hesitation, and tell the kids about it
• give generously as a couple and as a family
• model the fruits of the spirit

• stop yelling
• stop swearing
• do not be impatient
• do not be angry
• put the needs of others before self (ie., kids before computer)
• do not disobey God
• stop repeat sin

We need to develop a plan as a family. A vision, mission, and values perhaps? A goal to aspire to and the methods to attain it. A common objective.

So, anyone out there have a "family vision statement" of sorts? Will you share it?

Monday, October 19, 2009

The God Chronicles - 10/20/09

Want to join in, chronicling the hand of God in your life? Please, your stories are so very welcome...

When we move next month, our plan has always been to rent this house out.

Renter #1 - A girl who used to work with Pat, bringing her boyfriend and her brother. She said she wanted it, Pat said she could have it. I felt unsettled, but was prepared to stand behind Pat's word to her. But I really felt like this house is a family home. When we got to serious talking about leases and such, she changed her mind. Coincidence?

Renter #2 - A couple...a blended family...just starting fresh. There were no red flags with them, but numerous yellow flags. For example, he was employed, but just started at this new job a week earlier due to a layoff. We were uncertain if we needed to heed these yellow flags or if we were supposed to be compassionate and give them a chance. We prayed about it. We asked them to come for an interview. They declined. Chance?

Renter #3 - An African family with 5 very young children. Very friendly and appreciative. They kept talking about where there things would fit in this house. We both felt really good about them. They wanted to stay and fill out a rental application on the spot.

Renter #4 - Came to look on the heels of #3. A young couple with 3 kids. Friendly, social, very interested in the house. We both really liked them. They also wanted to stay and fill out an application.

We were unsure, but decided to go with our gut feeling on the first family. It was a risk, because they could change their minds in the meantime (before we got damage deposit). And then the second couple could have found something else. We'd be back at square one... But we prayed about it and felt that "this house is home for the African family."

When we told them we wanted them to be in our house, the husband exclaimed, "praise the Lord!" When we told the other couple (#4) that we were renting it to someone else, they seemed relieved.

The wife later told me that they had been looking at a few places to rent, but none of them felt right to her. They were about to pay the deposit on a house and she asked her husband to wait another couple days. For some reason, he decided to search the internet for other rentals. She told me that he never searches the internet, and that before this day they had never even heard of a website called kijiji. On just that very day, renter #2 didn't pan out, and I decided to re-post my ad on kijiji. When the husband googled "houses to rent in Red Deer" the very first link that came up was our ad.

She tells me that she believes God has provided this house for them, just for their family. She said she can feel that the Holy Spirit dwells here. She says it already feels like home. I told her that we have been praying for just the right renters, and that we believe God has provided them for this house. Good luck?

I don't believe in luck, chance, or coincidence. Nothing is done by accident, without the foreknowledge of a loving God. He is as concerned with the small details of our day-to-day lives as he is with big global issues. He is a God who cares.

This couple isn't able to officially rent from us until December 1, due to their current rental agreement. Interestingly, our mortgage payments on our new house in SP don't begin until December 1.

Only God could work out every detail so meticulously to ensure that just the right people are living in our house. Renters who, I believe, will take good care of it as if it were their own home. And a house created for a family of seven, with all of their needs in mind - right down to the extra water heater.

Nope. No coincidences here. Just God-incidences.

Sunshine Bound

Today Pat (my hubby) and nine others are on the first leg of a trip that will bring them to Grand Goave, Haiti.

The team will spend two weeks working alongside Haiti Arise Ministries, with several of the team members leading medical clinics and others (including Pat) doing some trades work to help complete HAM's school building. Since the school is a trades school, as they work the team will have students watching and helping.

I am so excited to hear the stories, and so proud of my man for taking such a big step of faith and obedience. What do you think the chances are that he'll come home with a little Haitian baby... (Kidding. Sort of.)

If you think of them these next two weeks, please lift a prayer for their ministry, their safety, their health, and the people they will be spending their days with.

If you think of me these next two weeks, please lift a prayer for us - for us to have joy, love, and good attitudes.

A couple facts about Haiti:
- poorest country in the Western hemisphere
- roughly half the population practices voodoo
- only half the population is literate
- children are routinely sold into slavery

Haiti Arise:
- founded by Marc Honorat, former child slave
- their goal is to educate the people of Haiti so that they can both provide for their families and stimulate the economy
- they currently run a vocational college and numerous community projects
- they will eventually run a children's home for children orphaned and/or rescued from slavery

Thursday, October 15, 2009

What is Joy?

Reflecting on the inverse relationship between joy and anger... Digging through the Scriptures to better understand joy... Today my heart settled on this:

Be joyful always.
~ 1 Thessalonians 5:16
On I find joyful defined as "full of joy, as a person or one's heart; showing or expressing joy, as looks, actions, or speech."

I consider my looks, my actions, my words. Do they express joy?

Sure. Usually. Sometimes. Well, occasionally. Definitely not always.

For the next two weeks, as I commit this short passage to memory, I will recite it in my head before I speak. Daily, hundreds of times (I do talk a lot), I will allow God's Word to remind me, and pray that joy overtakes anger, peace overtakes strife, love overtakes irritability.
Reminder... TGC coming up on Tuesday. Share you God stories.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Keeping it all in Perspective

Sandy's post on Instant Perspective yesterday got me thinking.... She really spoke to my heart, to what I wrote about yesterday.

So, if you knew that your time was limited, what would you NOT do???

Here are a few of mine:

I would NOT be impatient.

I would NOT tell anyone to wait for me to "just finish this one thing."

I would NOT yell.

I would NOT turn down a single invitation for coffee and a playdate.

I would NOT tell my kids they can't paint because "I just don't have it in me today."

I would NOT put off snuggling with my sweetheart so that I could finish just one more load of laundry.

I would NOT let the details of life take priority over the act of living life.

Seriously, what about you?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Replacing anger with thanksgiving

This past weekend was Thanksgiving here in Canada. As is typical for Thanksgiving weekend, I have been running through the list of all the things I am thankful for in my head. And somehow it felt hollow, forced.

I can list hundreds of things in my life that I am grateful for, but if I spend the rest of my week grouchy and irritable, the truth is that I'm actually ungrateful. Right?

So how can a person really celebrate Thanksgiving? As cheesy as it sounds, I think it comes down to having an attitude of gratefulness - which is reflected by joyfulness - throughout the year. A sense of joy in being alive, in our salvation, in our relationships, regardless of circumstances.

We might be running late for an appointment, the children might be misbehaving, I might be feeling annoyed... My typical response would be to bark orders, raise my voice, scowl and growl and rush everyone along. If I were to have thanksgiving in my heart, my response would be more patient, more gentle, less angry.

If a grateful heart is reflected by having joy and peace, does that mean anger comes from an attitude of ungratefulness? As I run my own words through my head (Why won't they listen to me? Obey me? Respect me? Can't I just have a few minutes of peace and quiet? I wish they would stop bickering all the time! They are making me crazy!) I hear the truth. It's all about me - what I want, expect, deserve. Wishing for more, better. Dissatisfied with what I have. Ungrateful. Unthankful. Angry.

It stands to reason, then, that by planting seeds of thanksgiving in my heart I will begin cultivating joy and peace. Replacing the angry with the joyful, with the thankful, with the grateful.

I'm off the spend a few quiet minutes with the Source of joy...

Friday, October 9, 2009

Fellowship is Good for the Soul

We just wrapped up an evening of visiting with some good friends. Four adults, ten kids, lots of food, crazy amounts of noise, and solid theology.

Not once did any child come to us with an argument. No one was bored for even a moment (even the 14 and 16 year olds enjoyed their evening). And the laughter rang out for hours.

The best thing about the whole evening, though, was that God was a part of it. Every moment. Not just a "topic of conversation" that was gone when the chit-chat shifted. But in everything we thought about, talked about, laughed about, God was at the centre.

When they and their five packed out the door, I went to clean the kitchen (we were too busy visiting to be bothered with doing a total clean). As I finished scrubbing the last pan, I realized that I had been smiling for nearly 20 minutes of scrubbing pots and pans.

I've had friends, Pat's had friends, but no matter how we've tried we have never had a couple that are OUR friends, jointly. Frankly, we've never had so much fun!

Friendship is great, fun is super, but when you combine those and put God in the centre, that's how you get fellowship. And fellowship is better than super - it truly is good for the soul.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


My blog presence has been sparse this week. I know. Braeden has been sick.

You'd think that being home with a sick kid would give me more time to blog, but no. You see, he is male. And the male species is well-known for their dramatization of even the slightest symptoms of illness.

All joking aside, Braeden really isn't doing well. When my boy gets sick, he has a very hard time keeping even water down. So he avoids drinking. No matter how often I remind him to drink, the tiny sips he takes just aren't enough. So what began as a mild stomach virus has now turned into serious dehydration. This morning's plans include a visit to the local hospital for a quick treatment of IV fluids.

It's a vicious cycle: nausea - loss of fluids - fear of taking anything in - further loss of fluids - dehydration causing nausea - etc. Based on previous experience, I expect his nausea to abate and his feelings of thirst to return before they finish pushing through the whole IV bag. His appetite should return tonight, and by Sunday or Monday he'll be a new man.

But for today, this tired momma and sick little man would appreciate some prayers. The hospital experience, the eternal wait, the needle poke - all these things add up to more wearing down.

I keep reminding myself of my memory verse for this half of the month...

Come to Me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.~Matthew 11:28-30

Monday, October 5, 2009


Have you ever felt like you are under attack from all sides? As though every circumstance in your life is coming together against you?

I know I do. Often it comes in "seasons" - a season of relative peace and rest, followed by a season of trial and struggle. Lately, though, it's been coming at me differently each day. One day of knowing God is right here with me, the next day feeling like the enemy is coming at me from every angle. It's so easy to become discouraged and feel defeated in the midst of such attack (and that's just a day, so imagine how beaten down one must feel in the midst of a season like this).

Today, I found encouragement for these days and seasons through Nehemiah's words. You see, Nehemiah and some others set out to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. The wall had been battered to such a point that it was in utter disrepair. The wall was ugly and broken and unable to protect the people from further attack. As Nehemiah and his men were rebuilding it, their enemies were taunting them and plotting to defeat them.

I know how they must have felt. If I were in their shoes (and we all have been), I'd be thinking about hiding, cowering, avoiding the attack. I'd be telling myself that it isn't worth it, that no matter what I did they would keep on attacking and would eventually win, that I just wasn't strong enough to fight anymore. I would be begging God to just reach down and rescue me, for if I were attacked any longer I would sure die! Sound familiar?

Are you fighting circumstances right now that you think just might be the end of you? Are you so bone-weary of being attacked that you want to give up?

Be encouraged, as I was, by the words of Nehemiah...

Don't be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes. ~Nehemiah 4:14b

When Nehemiah's enemies learned that he was aware of their plotting and planning, and that God had frustrated their plans (by making Nehemiah and his men aware and alert, strengthening them to fight), their enemies scattered and Nehemiah returned to his God-ordained work.

In our day-to-day, season-by-season battles with the enemy of our souls, we are guaranteed victory in Christ. The only defeat comes when we allow ourselves to be discouraged and lose heart (the enemy cannot defeat us). So take up your shield of faith, remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, let the enemy know you're onto his schemes, and fight. Fight for yourself, your loved ones, your calling.

Once the enemy realizes that he just can't discourage you (and that his battle won't be won in your head and heart), he will scatter just like Nehemiah's enemies and you can (and must) return to your God-ordained work.

Father, don't let us be discouraged by the taunting of our enemies. Help us to not succumb to attack in the battlefield of our minds, giving in and giving up. God, we remember You - You are awesome and powerful. Infuse us with renewed hope, strength, and energy for the battle, Lord. Open our eyes to see that You have us surrounded, hemmed in by Your love and protection, and that the enemies all around us are far beyond Your walls, out-of-reach. Jesus, you have already rescued us through Your death and resurrection, so don't let us now be defeated by our circumstances. With You, Lord, we can stand up to fight another day.

Friday, October 2, 2009

The 'To Do' List is Now a Little Bit Shorter

Yesterday I went to SP to visit two potential schools for the girls. (If you're wondering, "Why just for the girls?" that's because Braeden is in special education and once all of his ed-psych assessments are done he will be placed in the appropriate program for his developmental level.) This is why I completely forgot to blog yesterday!

SP has a program called "Logos" (Greek for "The Word") within their public school system. Schools that host the Logos program have classrooms at each grade level that are taught by Christian teachers with a Christian worldview and a focus on the Bible. The schools have the Logos classrooms intermingled with the "regular" classrooms (so there is no special area of the school for either). Throughout the schools, posters and artwork with the Word of God decorate the hallways.

There are two elementary schools with the Logos program, so I needed to visit them both and choose the one I liked best. This has been one of the many decisions keeping me up at night, so I really wanted to get it taken care of!

I thank the Lord that He helps in all things, and that He made this decision so clear and easy!

School 1:
- very unfriendly school secretary
- school principal either ignored children or yelled at them to behave as we toured the school
- in spite of exchanging numerous emails over the past couple of weeks, the principal had no recollection of me or our situation, making me have to explain all over again who I was and why I was there
- nearly 500 students
- loud chaos throughout the school, before and during lunch
- an extreme shortage of lunchtime supervision, both indoors and out
- students sneaking into the wooded area on the playground and not being caught by the supervisors
- bus drop-off and pick up on the far, far sidewalk
- did I mention the chaos and misbehaving children around every.single.corner?

School 2:
- super friendly secretaries who introduced themselves using first names (a plus in my kids should call teachers etc. by "Mr" and "Mrs," but I am a grown up and don't appreciate them asking me to call them anything different than what I expect them to call me)
- super friendly principal and vice principal
- about 300+ students
- principal stopped and talked to students all along the way on our tour, repeatedly praising them and encouraging good behaviour, telling their teachers when she noticed anything exemplary that she wanted them to be acknowledged for
- both during lunch and after, children were seated and doing what they should be (though lunch time was louder, there was no sense of chaos or disorder)
- a slightly lesser shortage of lunchtime supervision
- bus drop-off and pick-up right at the front doors, always supervised by the principal or vice principal
- met the grade 2 Logos teacher, who was also friendly and outgoing
- discovered that the grade 2 Logos teacher lives on our street (as do 3 other families from this school, that she could think of), and she offered up her 16 and 20 year-old daughters to babysit!

Needless to say, Abbey and Megan are now registered in this school, and Shea's name is on the list for Kindergarten next year.

One more thing to cross of the list. Thank-you, Jesus!

And thanks to Christine for coming along and keeping me company, asking good questions, and being another set of eyes (since the GPS seemed particularly cantankerous). Thanks to mom for getting off work early to tend to five little monkeys. :)