Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Struggling but Strengthening

Last week was rough. After four years of getting up and going to school in September, I didn't. I brought my daughter, Kasey to school, had an undramatic good-bye with her, went home and realized I had nothing to do... Oh sure, there were chores to be done, planning for KIDS R.O.C.K., classified's to read... but there was no set event to occur... no real schedule that must be followed... Essentially I felt somewhat useless, a bit hopeless and lost. Everybody's life seemed to be going on, moving forward, and I was stuck in what felt like 'no man's land'.
My frustrations and fears presented themselves in two ways: tears and anger. I cried a lot, seemingly over stupid things, like a sappy commercial but the roots of the tears went much deeper. And I was angry beyond belief. This was not just a bad mood... this was a slow seething rage... a white hot anger. It didn't help my mood any that for 2 days my Bible sat unopened and praying was a non-existent event. I was sinking into a pit of despair... of destruction.
Thankfully, Kasey, at breakfast on the third day or my 'reign of terror', placed her Bible on the table and quietly but pointedly stated that I hadn't read the Bible to her in a couple of days. In all honesty, reading the Bible was the absolute last thing that I wanted to do. In fact, what I really wanted to do was yell at her, telling her to leave me alone and mind her own business... Thankfully at some basic core level I knew that it was my responsibility to read the Word with her. Also, I was aware of my terrible mood and tried to not unleash it on her, so grudgingly, without any enthusiasm, I opened up her Bible to 1 Samuel and decided to read it to her as quickly as possible because I wanted it to be over as soon as possible.
All I can say is "PRAISE GOD FOR HIS WORD". There was no revelation in the chapeter I read, I didn't have an epiphany, things that were fuzzy did not suddenly become clear.... BUT God's power was evident. Like a heating pad soothes an ache, God's word began to soothe me. Even as I read, I could feel the anger lifting.
I don't want to sound dramatic or fluffy but when I started reading I was one hateful, grumpy woman and when I finished that chapter in 1 Samuel I was more relaxed, the anger was gone and I could think without sarcasm and cynisism clouding every thought.
It was then that I recalled a prayer I had said month earlier. I had asked God to make my body, my mind, my whole being physically dependant on Him and His Word. I had prayed that I would not be able to function with out it. That if I didn't spend time in His Word that my days would be unlivable. Never before in my Christian walk have I ever had such a strong and obvious answer to prayer.
Not only did this episode in my life remind me how dependant I actually am on God but also it reaffirmed His hand, His power, His authority in my life. I was reminded that I am not alone in this life.
Now I have no desire to pretend that all things are hunky dory now because of that one day. I have cried a lot still in the last few days. My future is still very much up in the air and I don't know what God has called me to. I have great uncertainty and I still don't feel like I am receiving an any answers from Him concerning this BUT my hope is renewed because I was so stongly reminded that He hears my prayers and He answers them.... in His OWN time.
I get frustrated, I get worried, I get sad and scared but I chose to keep my hope and my trust secure in Christ and day by day, with Him, I will deal with the issues I struggle with. I will seek my strength from Him and I will remind myself that when I stumble, grumble and fall He will pick me up. I am not alone.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


Psalm 148

Praise the LORD from the heavens!
Praise him from the skies!
Praise him, all his angels!
Praise him, all the armies of heaven!
Praise him, sun and moon!
Praise him, all you twinkling stars!
Praise him, skies above!
Praise him, vapors high above the clouds!
Let every created thing give praise to the LORD, for he issued his command, and they came into being.
He established them forever and forever.
His orders will never be revoked.
Praise the LORD from the earth,
you creatures of the ocean depths,
fire and hail, snow and storm,
wind and weather that obey him,
mountains and all hills,
fruit trees, and all cedars,
wild animals and all livestock, reptiles and birds,
kings of the earth and all people,
rulers and judges of the earth,
young men and maidens,
old men and children.
Let them all praise the name of the LORD.
For his name is very great;
his glory towers over the earth and heaven!
He has made his people strong,
honoring his godly ones--
the people of Israel who are close to him.
Praise the LORD!


Friday, August 04, 2006

I'm a Runner...

Running... this is my reality... Things get tough, I like to run... pretend that it is not happening, hide from it, shove my head in a hole... however you want to describe it, that is what I do... or what I did.
I don't want to run anymore... I am tired of it. It's not satisfying, it causes stress, my life gets filled with thoughts of everything crumbling down around me. Running to me, is like building my house on the sand... One good wave knocks it down and then I have to rebuild again and again and again.
So, what am I thinking about running away from you may ask? Well it's simple... responsibility. Many different ones, but the one I will focus on for now is the following one.
I was asked by my church to direct the children's midweek ministry a few months ago. I said I would do it. (This was an answer to a prayer. I had asked God to reveal to me whether or not this was something I should do when I had learned that the position was going to need to be filled. I had asked that God would allow someone to approach me about the position, if it was His will and if it was not that I would not be approached. I was not going to seek out the position myself.) I felt confident in my decision and was excited about the possibilities.
Then the doubts came... I had no experience at directing anything so why in the world why I would be able to do this. I am not smart enough, creative enough, wise enough, 'anything' enough to do this and I would let down the church, the pastors and the children.
Even as I write these words I can hear the lies of the enemy harassing me, agreeing with the statements. One part of me just wants to concede that yes in fact I am unworthy of this responsibility... I am not a leader and I don't know what I am doing. But I have decided at this moment and at the moments before that I am not going to run scared because of the lies of the enemy. I feel like this is a test in which the passing grade is not whether or not I succeed at directing the program but whether or not I choose to stand and fight the lies, with God's strength... not my own which has obviously failed me in the past.
I haven't been sleeping much the past weeks... Much to my dismay. I lay in bed and fret, my dreams are filled with failure, I wake up overwhelmed, scared and confused. Thankfully, it is at these moments that I remember to call out to the One who created me. In the middle day, I am too busy to sit and ponder and entertain these hurtful thoughts, but at night my mind is at liberty to wander to all the areas of my life that feel so out of control. At these moments it's decision time, float in the sea of dispair that threatens to engulf me or grab on to life raft. I want the LIFE raft.
The last week has been trying. I am fighting against the habit I have of running... It is not a habit that is breaking easily. Every fibre of me wants to call it quits, call the church tell them to find a new coordinator. But I am not going to do that and here is why. In this last week, the lies have been combatted with the truth. God has been revealing to me His truth.
First of all, through music, specifically one song that has been drummed in, over and over... Voice of Truth by Casting Crowns. When I start to doubt I have taken to listening to this song, singing as a prayer to my Savior. "The voice of Truth says do not be afraid. The voice of Truth says this is for my glory and for all the voices calling out to me I will choose to believe the voice of Truth". It may seem a bit silly, but I have been listening to lies for a long time and I am just now starting to weed out the lies from the truth by comparing them to the Word.
Secondly, is a verse I read today... 1 Chronicles 28:20 "Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished". Now, I am not building a temple like David was advising Solomon about but I am working for God's Kingdom and I feel assured that He is with me. I am going to hang on to this verse when the doubts creep in. I am going to listen to the Voice of Truth.
I ask now for your prayers as I face this battle. I share this struggle with you because I can't do this alone. Please lift me up in prayer and if there is something I can pray for in your life or help you with please don't hesitate to ask.

Friday, July 28, 2006


Okay, so I have nothing "spirtual", deep, inspirational or just generally clever to say right now (or ever... depending on your opinion of this blog ;-)) but I need to vent. And since I don't have a 'poor' husband to listen to me rant and rave and I am quite sure that it would not be fair to put my daughter through such a thing, I have turned to this Blog.
No, nothing major happened... nobody sent me a nasty email, I did not get looked over for an important job because I am a woman, nobody cut me off in traffic (which is probably good cuz I don't have a licence), I haven't been subjected to whiny kids all day, fighting over toys and such (both of my little charges, biological and loaned for the afternoon were in good spirits today and quite amiable), I didn't get a visit from an unexpected, uninvited aunt, nobody blamed my bad mood on PMS (which will instantly put a woman in a bad mood, if she wasn't already... I know I sometimes get cranky because of it but that is not the culprit today.. atleast nobody better say that's the reason). No nothing like that...
The simple fact is I want to break, kill, smash, destroy, annihilate, bomb, whack, smack my cantankerous, fussy, touchy sewing machine.

See, because I am taking the summer off before going back to work in September, I decided to sew up my daughter's Halloween costume. I want to get it done nice and early because I don't know what my schedule is going to be come September. Sounds simple enough... right??? I mean you buy a patten, you buy the material, you buy the other necessary things... you then proceed to cut out the pattern and voila,,, sewing begins... How hard can that be...
Well, today has shown me that all the times I have ever sewed anything before must have been beginner's luck... either that or my sewing machine has become possessed by none other than the demon of tangled thread. I have just spent the last 45 minutes trying to figure out why this infuriating machine has decided to forget what it was made to do after 2 days of working properly. Did it get a mind of it's own and decide I was working it too hard and go on strike... Did someone with a grudge against me decide that while I was at the store, they would come into the house and tinker with it, causing it to continually misfeed and make a tangled mess, did it feel the sudden call to become a spider and the jarbled pile of yellow thread accumulating on my table is it's early attempt at web-making...
I really don't know the answer but what I do know is that when I felt I could no longer resist the urge to throw open my kitchen door and chuck the irksome thing down the flight of stairs, I gave a cry that could only be described as a cry of defeat and came in here to vent... and to think of wonderfully cruel ways to dispose of a hateful, thankless machine.
Nothing says loving like a hand-sewn costume... Right???

Thursday, July 13, 2006

The weak and weary cries out to the STRONG one

Mighty God:
You are the maker of heaven and earth. You spoke and the world was created. Your power is not measurable, your strength is beyond understanding, your love reaches beyond what the human mind can comprehend.
In the greatest act of love and mercy you sent your precious Son, the Saviour of the world to die at the hand of your creation. You let Him die that I might be saved. Three days later you brought Him to life, victorious over death. In that victory you allow me to share. I, too, by trusting in you and in your Son, my Saviour, have the hope and the promise of life everlasting. PRAISE GOD!!!
Lord, you have commanded me not to worry. In my worry I can change nothing. All I can do is rob myself of the joy, peace, and hope I have when I trust in you. But Lord you know that trusting is hard for me. One part of me always whispers doubts. Father I believe in you and your promises to take care of me. My doubts stem from my ability to discern your will for me.
Father, I am a weak believer. In most ways Lord I feel so young in the faith. I want to be all that you created me to be and most of the time I feel as though I must be such a disappointment to you. With all that you have given me, all the advantages my life has already had, I feel like I have squandered them away. And Father I am so sorry. I ask for your forgiveness and I thank you that while it is so undeserved it is so freely given.
I don't know how to get on the path you want for my life. It seems so simple Lord, when people say pray and listen for His voice. But Father, it is not so simple as it is made out to be. My judgment in the past has been faulty and I don't trust it now to be correct. My selfish will is stronger Lord some days than my will to serve you. I am afraid to make choices because I am afraid that I will be making them more out of selfish gain than service to my precious Lord. Father I cry out to you to break me of my selfishness. Let me focus on you Lord and your pleasures, not my own. Forgive me Lord, I pray for all the times my own will governed how I lived and not your will.
Father, I am scared of messing up. Plain and simple, I don't want to get my life wrong. I don't want to be a disappointment to you. I want to be a good and faithful servant. Help me Lord to hear you, in a clear way. Father I pray you would use your children to confirm what your reveal to me. Let it be a spontaneous confirmation and not solicited. Let it come from unexpected people so that doubts are eliminated. Make me open to your will. Let your Spirit minister in me, Father. Search me, Oh Lord and make me clean. Father renew me in you.
Lord, I lay my concerns to you now and I ask that you would help me to leave them at your feet.
-healing for Kasey, wise doctors and a solution to the never ending throat infections/ tonsillitis
-a job that has hours that corresponds with whatever hours Kasey's childcare provider has
-childcare for Kasey that is accessible and affordable and does pick up after school if necessary
-enough money each month to make ends meet... Lord you know my every need.

Father, I leave these concerns with you. God make me aware of your will and a usable vessel for your glory. Help me to step out in faith, trusting in your never failing, protective arms.
I love you and I seek to serve you. Grow me Oh Lord, I pray in faith, love and service.


Friday, June 23, 2006

Coffee, coffee, coffee

Just because it is 12:30 in the morning and I should really be in bed, getting ready for a busy day tommorrow, I thought I would put this little quiz out there for the world... mostly because I LOVE coffee... The quiz says that I am best associated with black coffee... in theory maybe, but in reality I enjoy a large triple triple from Tim Hortins, just in case you were wondering and just in case you feel the need to buy me one tommorrow morning... cause quite frankly at this rate, I am gonna need one, or two, or three to keep me going. So with no further adieu, I believe I will leave the quiz to you and hit the sack. G'night.

You are a Black Coffee

At your best, you are: low maintenance, friendly, and adaptable

At your worst, you are: cheap and angsty

You drink coffee when: you can get your hands on it

Your caffeine addiction level: high

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Beauty of the World Around Us...

Psalm 100:
Shout with joy to the LORD, O earth!
Worship the LORD with gladness.
Come before him, singing with joy.
Acknowledge that the LORD is God!
He made us, and we are his.
We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gate with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and bless his name.
For the LORD is good.
His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation.

This past week has been a bit difficult for me. My daughter got sick on Sunday and a common cold turned into a major glandular infection...again. She stayed home from school for 3 days and battled a sore neck and fever. Thankfully, today after three days of antibiotics she is feeling better and headed off to school this morning. Even though I know that what she had wasn't overly serious, a mother never quite feels like anything in the world is right when her baby is sick...even if her baby is six years old!!!

The point of this story is that for the last three days, I have been a worrying, less than thankful Christian. I didn't take anytime to stop and praise God for all the good things in my life, all the blessings He has poured out on me, and the lessons I get to learn in the times that there seems to be more struggle than peace.
So, here is my thankful list...
I am thankful for:
-my family (a mother and sisters that have walked beside me every step of the way in this crazy journey of life, not afraid to get a little dirty for my sake... sacrificing so I could succeed)
my friends:
-Shelley, who is a major beam of support for me... who is partly responsible for the degree I know have hanging on my wall (which I am also thankful for), she is the person who most inspires me to seek out the Lord and live a life faithful to Him)
-Franky, who reminds me to lighten up and live life as joyfully as possible
-Rachel, who has been so generous with her time and her life... the last of my old friends that knows fully the old me and fully the new in Christ me and loves me exactly the way I am
-the abundance that this country is privy to: food, shelter, medecine, doctors, hospitals, schools
-for the freedom I have to serve the living Savior, Jesus Christ
-for my church family, while not perfect, perfectly fit to me
-for the grace that covers me so instead of being covered in shame, I am covered in love
-for a strong mind and healthy body
-for the beauty of the four seasons Canada gets to enjoy
-for the new life that Spring brings reminding me of my new life
-for a daughter who brings a smile to my face, joy in my heart and her ability to daily humble me in her innocent, acceptance of Christ and His promises

So in conclusion today, as I was walking to the local Shopping center, I stopped and enjoyed the beauty of this world that God has let me live in and I took a few pictures to share with you. I hope that you can find time today to stop and thank God for his abundance and His goodness. Enjoy the beauty of the world around you... it is truly one of God's gifts to us!!!