Friday, March 31, 2006

Memories of Grandpa

It's been quite the week...I've been doing a lot of personal reflection and dealing with a whole lot of tears and turmoil, as I reflect on what needs changing and how I will accomplish that. I've been thinking a lot about my grandparents, both those who are still here and those who have already left this world. They are all an inspiration to me and sometimes going into thought about them and who they were helps to bring some clarity to some of the situations I'm going through. It also gives me perspective on what's important in reminds me to turn to God and fix my eyes on Him, as He's always here with me and even through tests in this life, He'll never allow one too hard for me to pass. I've always come out of tests and valleys stronger than I went in and this current one will be no exception. I thought I would post's been sitting in the box, waiting for me to press publish, so here it goes!

In the fall of 2004, our family dealt with an extreme amount of stress and trial. My uncle had been diagnosed with terminal cancer in the spring and was going downhill fast. My mom's site in her arm for receiving dialysis was full of infection, ready to burst and would make her very sick if that happened. She was scheduled to go into hospital for surgery...the day before she went in, my Grandpa (her dad) became very parents spent the night by his side, as he wanted everyone with him that night. She ended up having three surgeries in 6 days...during that time in hospital, I was called to come home, as my Grandpa wasn't going to make it.

I watched him be near death and hardly breathing, and then sit straight up in bed to say hi and shake someone's hand. It was as if he was waiting to see everyone he say goodbye...once he had seen everyone he could, he began to let go. My sister and I were with him, comforting him, as he took his final breath. Then we travelled back to be with my mom and to help my dad break the news to her. The day my mom was released from the hospital, we found out my uncle had passed away as well. At my Grandpa's funeral, all six grandkids were pallbearers and each wrote a part of the eulogy. It's funny the things you forget to tell your kids and how kids can make a really sad situation a little lighter. As we lowered my Grandpa into the ground, my kids whispered really loud, "Why are they putting Great-Grandpa in that hole?" It made for some giggles by the mourners and brought smiles to our faces in a really hard time. Afterwards, we packed our kids up and made the journey one province over, to attend my uncle's funeral the next day.

I found my part of the eulogy and thought I would post it, with some minor Grandpa was my "hero"...he overcame so many obstacles in his lifetime...he had a stroke two weeks before I was born and wasn't expected to live, but he did. He came home, was able to walk with a brace and a cane, ride a three-wheeled bike and eventually got his driver's license...he was a truly amazing man!

As I was thinking about what I would say today, the words we said to our kids as we told them about their Great Grandpa “echoed in my head”. Our kids were sad about not being able to see Great Grandpa anymore and we told them that the best way to remember their Great Grandpa was by the memories they had of him.

The boys said they’ll remember the fun they always had taking Great Grandpa for rides in his wheelchair, even though they tended to run into the walls a lot! The funny thing was that Grandpa didn’t mind—he would put his hand out before they ever hit the wall, and if we tried to take control of the pushing, he would tell us no. Because he was so proud not only to be Grandpa to six adoring grandchildren, but also to be Great Grandpa to nine adoring great-grandchildren, and anytime he got a chance, he was proud as pie to be able to “show them off”!

“My hero” is a fitting description of my grandpa. I was always so proud to tell people everything my grandpa was able to accomplish. I remember seeing grandpa out riding his three-wheeled bike when I was out for recess at school or driving his truck—an accomplishment and dream he was so excited to have been able to make a reality!

Grandpa enjoyed going out driving and would just laugh when Grandma complained about his “heavy foot”. Sometimes we may have made it to our destination quicker than we should have, but it was always safely! Truck rides were always a fun time with Grandpa and Grandma, as it meant we were going out to the cabin, to the Garden Market or simply to the mall to go shopping.

As I was writing this, the many memories of Grandpa and my grandparents were going through my mind. One, which sticks out, is one summer Saturday night when my uncle gave my sister and I a frog and told us to give it to Grandma as a present. We liked frogs and didn’t see any reason not to share our find with Grandma and Grandpa. Well, I don’t know which reaction was funnier—the fact Grandma screamed and jumped a foot in the air or that Grandpa almost fell out of his chair in tears, because he was laughing so hard!

I read a poem yesterday which reminded me of Grandpa and what I think his wishes for us would be and I wanted to share it with you:

I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.

I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.

I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.

I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.

I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.

I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.

I wish you enough “hellos” to get you through the final “goodbye”.

Grandpa was a kind and loving man, who loved his family more than anything! I will remember him for his courage and his perseverance in all that came his way, but especially I’ll remember his smile and his booming laugh, as I saw these every time we were together. I know if each of us can carry even a little of these qualities with us, we will be better people for having had Grandpa in our lives.
“No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.”

1 Corinthians 10:13 (msg)

Thursday, March 30, 2006

You Would Be Their Friend

As we walk through this life,
There sometimes seems to be such a battle!
Broken homes and hurting hearts,
Lying, deceit and pain.
It's so easy to walk right by,
Or simply turn and look away.
But what would you do?
Where would you be?

You would be their friend,
You'd be right there at their side.
You would love them where they are,
Never seeing them with a judging eye.
We need to be a light to them,
Loving them from deep within our hearts.
Help us to be your hands, to be your eyes,
Help us to have your heart and be all that you've commanded us to be.

There are times when we feel,
So inadequate to help.
We are feeling opposition,
To the call you've given us.
When we're sick and feeling beaten,
Weary from this walk of life.
But you are here with us,
Wanting us to live and shine your light.

Because you would be their friend,
You'd be right there at their side.
You would love them where they are,
Never seeing them with a judging eye.
We need to be a light to them,
Loving them from deep within our hearts.
Help us to be your hands, to be your eyes,
Help us to be your heart and be all that you've commanded us to be.

Show us how to love from deep within,
To be what they need us to be.
Help us to have the purest motivations,
To serve and love for Your Glory!
To be selfless and true,
All the things we know you'd do!

Because you would be their friend,
You'd be right there at their side.
You would love them where they are,
Never seeing them with a judging eye.
We need to be a light to them,
Loving them from deep within our hearts.
Help us to be your hands, to be your eyes,
Help us to be your heart and be all that you've commanded us to be!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Middleman

I'm usually a person who likes to go through this life, befriending and loving those around me, like Christ did. I don't want to be someone who refuses a friendship to someone, based on a technicality or because they may not be "perfect", because it's no News Flash that none of us are "perfect"! I'm sorry that you get to hear my rantings, but I'm dealing with a situation now and the only way I know how to work through it, is to write and pray and then to write and pray some more.

I have an unique knack of making friendships and down the road, ending up in the middle, like a peacemaker. The middleman is such a hard place to have to learn to be completely impartial, lend an equally listening ear to both sides and to really allow God to work through you the way he feels is best. It's a stressful place to be a lot of feel torn in two and at times feel like you'll eventually be forced to make a decision of who's friendship is more important to keep. I hate rifts and a breakdown in unification, especially when it's in Christ's family. You would think we'd know better, but we're human and even though He gives us a roadmap to live life and how to live peacefully, Satan will try his hardest to breakdown the unification of Christ's family.

I think this is hardest for me to deal with at times, because I think things to death and I don't want the people around me to be hurting, not getting along and if there's a way for me to help in working towards a solution, then I want to have my heart towards doing that. I don't like to see people at odds, because it's really hard to do God's kingdom work when we're not an unified body!

I guess it's back to contemplating and doing some praying about where I need to be in this situation and I guess as to whether I should be there in the capacity I am or not. I'm also diving into a bunch of information about personality May I took a Christian-base personality gave you a case study from the Bible (a biblical person) who was an example of your personality type. We did this, so as a Ministry Team we would be more conscious about the leaders around us...we would know their personality types and would hopefully learn how to more effectively deal with arising situations based on how we were wired. I was deemed to have one of the rarest of all personality types...I don't really know if that's a good thing or not, but once I read through and really know what I want to say, another post will come your way!

Friday, March 24, 2006

He is Your Life

Lately my creative juices have not been flowing, but it's funny how something said by someone or a scripture or sermon will just stick with you and cause your head to just overflow. The other night at prayer, my friend read from Colossians 3:1-17 and I've been in constant reflection ever since. This has been a week where the tears have started to flow for no apparent reason, but you let them flow, because you know it needs to happen. Times where you're so tired you don't want to get out of bed, but you know he'll be with you and help you through the day...also knowing you need to take the initiative to have some time to just simply rest in Him. I'm not going to post the whole scripture as it's lengthy, but I'm going to post some of the verses which are really sticking by me right now and will reflect on them.

"So if you're serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it...Don't shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ--that's where the action is. See things from His perspective."

It's so easy when you are being tested by illness or so many other aspects of life to walk along with your eyes to the ground, being self-absorbed with your life and your problems. Not wanting to have to expend the energy it takes to be a helper to someone else, to show the true Christ-like love which He showed through every day of His life on this earth. He was so selfless...helping people no matter how tired He might have been...He didn't stop until He had helped everyone who needed it. He did take time to be by himself in prayer and to rest, but never did it at the expense of anyone else. That's not always an easy task to take on, but it's one we're called to live out on a daily basis...for me this is a continual work to help Him with the molding and changing of my mindset and to always be examining my motives in all aspects of life, to make sure they are true and in the right perspective.

"Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life--even though invisible to spectators--is with Christ in God. He is your life."

I'm really struggling with this verse right now. I know my old life is dead...I honestly don't ever want to have anything to do with it, but the reality is that when you experience emotional and verbal abuse, it sticks like crazy glue! "You realize, don't you, that you are the temple of God, and God himself is present in you? No one will get by with vandalizing God's temple, you can be sure of that. God's temple is sacred--and you, remember, are the temple." (1 Cor. 3:16-17) I know these words so husband and I dealt with a situation early on in our dating relationship. He told me I was beautiful and I laughed at him and said he was seeing me through rose-colored glasses...his response to me was that I was beautiful, because I was created in God's image and I was a temple of God. There are some days, even though deep down I know this is the truth, that other ideas over power it. Some days to find clothes or to get ready to go to church is a battle, because when I look in that mirror, I see a person who's fat and ugly...because I heard those words so repeatedly in my past. On Sunday my Pastor preached about living with the monkey on your back. He talked about how the monkey (Satan) HATES it when we find delight in God. Satan wants to get so close to you that he's in your face and you can't see anything but him; he's relatively small, but once in your face, he appears so much bigger! I know my low self-esteem and these "voices" from the past are the monkey on my back, but during these times, I for some reason lose sight of Christ just enough to allow the monkey to get in my face, so that I can't see anything but that! I have learned from experience that it's a daily battle sometimes to keep the monkey in his place...not in our face and will probably be a continual work in progress for me, but deep down I know I'll be stronger in the end and that's an awesome blessing.

"But you know better now, so make sure it's all gone for good: bad temper, irritability, meanness, profanity, dirty talk."

I have been so angry and irritable with the ones I love, to the point of being mean through hurtful comments, making my family feel like they need to walk on eggshells, giving the silent treatment and who can even remember what else right now. I had to come home the other and have a long, long talk with Mr. Cinder...I felt so heavy and ridden with guilt and shame...I know better...being sick or having trouble being content with where life or finances is at...there's no excuse to go against what the scripture tells me in black and white, about how to live my life. I can't expect to ever be Christ-like in my life if I continue to not have control over my temper or irritability...tests will happen and we need to approach them with grace and humility, not anger and irritability!

"So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It's your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it."
That's so where I want to be each and everyday of my life...for anyone who might not know Christ personally...this is so truly who He is. He is the best role model you'll ever find! As a wife, parent, friend and all the other roles I play in this world, I just want to transparently reflect this. To be an example which is worth my kids looking up to, so that they know Christ's love each and everyday, because it's lived out in their home! Love is so very important in all aspects..."Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn't want what it doesn't have. Love doesn't strut. Doesn't have a swelled head. Doesn't force itself on others. Isn't always "me first". Doesn't fly off the handle. Doesn't keep score of the sins of others. Doesn't revel when others grovel. Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth. Puts up with anything. Trusts God always. Always looks for the best. Never looks back, but keeps going to the end." (1 Cor. 13:4-7) I am definitely a continual work in progress...I have so much to work on still, but thankfully His word is the perfect road map in helping along the way to being more Christ-like in our life!

"Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ--the Message--have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives--words, actions, whatever--be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way."

He so wants us to "do life together" and not separate ourselves from those around us. To find a place of fellowship where we can cultivate friendships and find the love of a church family, who will walk with you and you'll walk with them, facing whatever comes! He wants us to find accountability and mentoring, so that we can grow and learn from someone who might have already walked the road we're walking, or might be going down that path right now as well. We are to support each other, not abandon each other...we need to encourage and lift each other up, not tear each other down. And we need to be in continual praise to Him, no matter what the circumstances...because He's there no matter what is happening and He'll always willing to bring someone alongside us to help. But it's our responsibility to take that step to turn to those around us when we need guidance, encouragement, support...instead of turning inward and allowing the monkey to get in our face and blind our view from what's truly important!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Peace Like a River

What a jam packed week it's been...we're all finally on the mend and now catching up on school...I'm a year older than last Friday, but realy don't feel any different than last week :) !

I was so blessed to receive gifts just tailored for me from my family and friends...they really spoiled me and I wasn't expecting that. It was just nice to spend some really great time with my family and to have a quiet, but truly special, celebration! I really just wanted my birthday to slip quietly by this year and it did. My hubby and kids baked me a cake and made one of my favorite suppers on the weekend and we spent my day with my sister, which was nice. I have a very special friend, one of my best friends...she knew this one would be hard, so she sent me a couple e-cards and another handwritten one with my present, which we exchanged last month when I was up to see her. As I told someone yesterday, the first birthday once you've moved is often a hard one, because you no longer have your old traditions, friends and celebrations, but yet it's usually too soon to feel comfortable trying to forge ahead and make new traditions and celebrations. Life in general though is going well and that's a very good thing at this point!

One present I received was a CD by "Selah" entitled "Greatest Hymns". Some people would be mildly surprised I'm sure to know how much I love to listen to hymns as much as everything else I listen to. I've listened to this CD over and over again...I just love how they have produced some of the hymns. I've listened a lot to "It is Well With My Soul"...I've thought a lot about where I was this fall when we made this move and where I am now and I'm truly humbled at how God never gave up, continued to work and is still working on me. It's so true how peace flows over you like a river and truly refreshes your soul! Thank you so much for continuing to drop by and leave your words of encouragement...this break is very refreshing...I'm learning to quiet myself and to concentrate on God and my first family!

I pray you'll all have a very blessed week and that God will be very real and present with you and your families. I'm going to end off with "It is Well With My Soul"'s so amazing to just sit back and drink in the reality, love and grace of these words!

When Peace Like a River
Philip Paul Bliss, 1876

When peace like a river attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
"It is well, it is well with my soul."

It is well (It is well)
With my soul (With my soul)
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin - O the bliss of that glorious though!
My sin - not in part, but the whole,
Is nailed to His cross, and I bear it no more;
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

And, Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll,
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend;
"Even so" - it is well with my soul.

"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits." Ps. 103:2

Friday, March 10, 2006

She Knows How to Run Them

Well, I'm going to try and sneak a little time to write...I'm really enjoying a time of rest and reflection...I'm meeting with God in His word and am really finding that right now He has me reading where I am for a purpose. I received an email from my Pastor earlier this week and during our cyber-discussion, he made the following comment: our first ministries are to our partner and our family. I've been pondering this comment the last few days and taken it to heart throughout this week of trying to regain my health and also helping to nurse my kids back to health. I think sometimes in this life, I want to serve alongside people, but I'm blind to the fact that serving my husband and my kids is a powerful ministry as well. It shouldn't be looked upon as work or a burden, it should be looked upon as a blessing from God.

I really thought hard on this comment this afternoon, as I worked to get my youngest daughter's temperature down...she ran a fever of 104.5 and it took forever to get down. Those are real faith times as a parent...when you can only do what you know in terms of human knowledge and then really have to place your child in God's hands and look to him to guide you and give direction. I'm so thankful that through everything, he's always there...I couldn't imagine going through this life and some of the trials and hardships I've faced and not having Him to turn to...that would honestly put me into a huge pit of despair. There's so much reassurance in knowing you can turn to Him no matter what the time, no matter what the problem...He's there waiting and willing to listen and help (never too busy for you), not going to cast judgement on you and not there to give you just one way of doing something. I truly believe that He might have an eventual down the road plan in circumstances, but He's a God of choices and will usually have more than one route. Some routes may be a whole lot easier than others, but sometimes we go down a not so easy road for a purpose. I haven't always chosen the easy road to getting where I'm supposed to go, but I believe that my experiences have really made me who I am and to have done that differently wouldn't have been what should happen...I think my trials and imperfections, as well as my blessings, triumphs and "good" traits all work together as a package deal to create me!

Time to finish making supper and to check on our little miss, as her fever is starting to go back up. Tonight is our in-house date night...we're making steak and potatoes (our favorite) and are then going to cuddle up on the couch and watch "Walk the Line" (I've wanted to see this for so long and finally get to!). We'll probably have little miss with us, so we can keep an eye on her, but it'll be a good pastor was so true with his comment...we need to give our attention to all our ministries and our first ones need to be to our partner and our family...God handpicked our mates and our kids are creations of our love...we need to treat them with the love, respect and devotion they truly deserve to have!

I'm reading in Isaiah right now and this passage spoke mountains to me today, so I'm going to close with it! I pray you'll all have a blessed weekend, full of His love and blessings.

Isaiah 43:1-4 (The Message)
When You're Between a Rock and a Hard Place

But now, GOD's Message,
the God who made you in the first place, Jacob,
the One who got you started, Israel:
"Don't be afraid, I've redeemed you.
I've called your name. You're mine.

When you're in over your head, I'll be there with you.
When you're in rough waters, you will not go down.
When you're between a rock and a hard place,
it won't be a dead end--

Because I am GOD, your personal God,
The Holy of Israel, your Savior.
I paid a huge price for you:
all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in!

That's how much you mean to me!
That's how much I love you!
I'd sell off the whole world to get you back,
trade the creation just for you.

Friday, March 03, 2006

A Restful Break

I know at the end of January I said I was going to take a break, but then I didn't. Throughout this month I've had a lot of things laid on my heart to write, but right now as I sit here and write, I know that I am going to go back to the plan of taking a break. I have a friend who is breaking for the season of Lent...I don't honestly know how long this break will be, but I do know it's long overdue!

My kids and I need buckle down and once we're all healed up, we need to catch our school year back up to where we need to be. I need to focus my whole attention, not just part, on my sweetie and kids. Most importantly of all though, I need to spend more time with my greatest friend...God! I need to be allowing my creative juices to run freely, in terms of writing poems and songs and just journalling everything...with a pen and paper for the time being, instead of my fingers flyinig on a keyboard. I need to spend quiet time just talking with him and more importantly, just sit quietly and wait for Him to speak to me!

A friend sent me a postcard last week...they were and continue to be a mentor to me...encouraging me to continue to grow and be an integral woman of God, wife, mother and friend. The postcard's title was "Abiding Love" and the verse was this, "I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety." Psalm 4:8...her words to me were this, "Thinking of you! I know you will keep that promise to yourself to find time for rest and reflection in order to enjoy the peace God means for you...take care of you!

I hope when I sign back on that you'll continue to come around...right now I just really need to flood my life and home with his peace and love...I need to take care of me and I need to reflect on Him. "On Christ the Solid Rock" is one of the songs I'm supposed to be singing with our worship team this week, if I manage to get more than a frog voice by then. I just need to truly find and meet with my Rock, completely undistracted and totally fixed on Him! God bless you guys...I'm hoping I'll get to catch up with you all when I sign back on!




Wednesday, March 01, 2006


I'm truly humbled as I sit and write this morning! My husband walked into our house last night after was a disaster, supper wasn't started, our kids were doing who knows what downstairs and I was wrapped up in a blanket, sound asleep on the couch. I felt so bad and apologized...he could have been mad if he wanted to, but he looked at me and said, "I don't see a disaster...I see that you're sick and you needed to rest!" Then he asked what we might make for supper and he went to work in the kitchen. Later on last night, we really needed some things from the store so that my life would be a little easier...he stayed and we put our kids to bed earlier than usual and then I went and covered back up on the couch and he went out in the cold weather and conquered the grocery list!

When we went to bed last night, my sweetie said, "Come here and I'll warm you up!" He engulfed me in a huge hug and I just put my head on his shoulder and we prayed together and then fell asleep. Not long after that I thought I was hearing a voice in a dream, because Mr. Cinder was already sound asleep. The voice said, " me carry you while you rest!" I felt the loving arms of my heavenly Father embrace me and lift me into His arms...I put my head on His shoulder and I let go of everything and just rested and let Him carry me. This morning, I woke up with such a sense of peace and rest...he allowed me a chance to gain some energy, possibly just enough to get through today, but I can feel Him with me and I know it's all manageable.

I'm so humbled and overflowing with love for God, my husband, my family and friends...I am truly blessed! Well, we're now off to see if we can get into the doctor and get everyone checked out...I'm ending with praise and worship song which He put on my heart...I woke up singing these words inside...go to Him if you need to...he's right there waiting!

All Who Are Thirsty
(Brenton Brown, Glenn Robertson)
All who are thirsty
All who are weak
Come to the fountain
Dip your heart in the stream of life
Let the pain and the sorrow
Be washed away
In the waves of his mercy
As deep cries out to deep
(we sing)

Come Lord Jesus come (x3)
Holy Spirit come (x3)
As deep cries out to deep (x2)