Wednesday, November 29, 2006


passion: strong feeling or emotion

I'm taking a sabbatical for a few days. It seems lately my outlook has turned really dark. I'm probably being perceived as pretty inward focused and 'high' maintenance. If I've given that perception, I apologize from deep within...'cause I haven't meant to be that way.

I've lost 'passion' for life and so many beautiful things it offers...servanthood, simplest and usually joyful things in life, etc. I need to find out where the 'Cinder' I know has went, 'cause the 'Cinder' you've been privy to lately isn't the 'true' me...simply the shell which carries my name right now.

I need to quiet myself and reconnect with God...rekindle the 'passion' I used to have for Him. Find and grab that joy and peace that's been inadvertently thrown away.

"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."

~ Matthew 11:28-30 (The Message)

Monday, November 27, 2006


Matthew 5:1-12 (MSG)
When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. This is what he said:

"You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.

"You're blessed when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.

"You're blessed when you're content with just who you are - no more, no less. That's the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can't be bought.

"You're blessed when you've worked up a good appetite for God. He's food and drink in the best meal you'll ever eat.

"You're blessed when you care. At the moment of being 'care-full,' you find yourselves cared for.

"You're blessed when you get your inside world - your mind and heart - put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.

"You're blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That's when you discover who you really are, and your place in God's family.

"You're blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God's kingdom.

"Not only that - count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens - give a cheer, even! - for though they don't like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.

Seems this passage keeps coming to my mind. There's so many things in this passage which need to be taken to heart...which we need to work towards practicing on a daily basis. It tells how the body of Christ should work together, how we need to have more of Him and less of us, how we need to continue to work towards having things 'right', so that we'll be able to truly see the world through His eyes.

It's also talk about how blessed those times of being at the end of your rope can be. Your heart is totally vulnerable and at the most open point to allow Him to completely take things over. Yesterday at church, we were given a charge that we need to accept that we can't fix everything, can't change things, etc. The thing we can do is to simply walk alongside people, be in prayer for them, praying that their hearts will be open to be filled with the Holy Spirit and everything that comes with that filling up.

This passage talks about being strong through persecution. Persecution takes on different forms and comes from a variety of places. It's experienced at a variety of different levels, but as it says, we need to feel blessed during those times vs. feeling beaten down. That's not always easy, especially depending on where the persecution might come from, but I think that when we are able to get our mindset closer to this, we'll go through difficult situations with a lot more strength and peace.

For me, this passage keeps coming to the forefront because things haven't really been easy and I haven't really looked upon them with a very positive attitude. It's really easy to get beaten down by circumstances, words & actions which are flung at you and the whole issue of imbalance which seems soprevalentvelant in this day and age. This whole mindset change and outlook revision will be an ongoing project for a very long time with me. But I think God looks at each of us with love and because of His grace, He's with us where we are, not expecting anymore than we can give at that time. He does truly walk alongside, allowing us the experience of joys and growth, pain and setbacks, endurance and strength, peace and everlasting love.

That's the beauty and simplicity of His love to us. And the charge I think He wants us to have...building relationships and walking alongside each other doesn't have to be a complicated thing. Simply meeting each other where we are and accepting it with no hidden expectations. Realizing that no one's perfect and we're all at different places, enduring different situations, etc. To type it seems so very simple, but living it is quite another adventure, depending on the day and week...but it's not impossible, as God doesn't require things of us that we can't handle...He doesn't say that it'll happen overnight, but will happen in the timeline that's best for each one of us!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Your Love

If there’s no tomorrow,
I know I’ll have you.
You are always with me,
No matter what I do.

Your love is so amazing,
So gracious and free.
You died on Calvary’s cross,
To save a wretch like me.

I know I can’t repay you,
No earthly act comes close.
To the sacrifical love you showed,
As your loving eyes drew closed.

I live to see tomorrow,
Because of your love shown.
I can only pray to heaven,
I’ll make my Savior known.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Favorite Quotes, Sciptures, Email Tags, Yada Yada Yada

"Something to be thankful for is that you're here to be thankful."
~ Barbara Johnson

"Faith is not blindness;
it is the acknowledgement of it..."

"In everything you do put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success."
~ Proverbs 3:6(TLB)

"Happiness comes of the capacity to feel deeply, to enjoy simply, to think freely, to risk life, to be needed."
~ Storm Jameson

"Treat your friends as you do your pictures and place them in their best light."
~ Jennie Jerome Churchill

"We are weaving the future on the loom of today."
~ Grace Dawson

"there is nothing predictable about a rushing wind..."

"Don't you know who made everything? Haven't you heard about him? The Lord is the God who lives forever. He created everything on earth. He won't become worn out or get tired. No one will ever know how great his understanding is. He gives strength to those who are tired. He gives power to those who are weak. Even young people become worn out and get tired. Even the best of them trip and fall. But those who trust in the Lord will receive new strength. They will fly as high as eagles. They will run and not get tired. They will walk and not grow weak."
~Isaiah 40:28-31 (NIRV)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

One Thousand Gifts

I was looking around at Christian Women's Online and came across Ann Voskamp's article about how she is embarking on a journey to create a list of a thousand gifts the Lord has given her and is posting random thoughts from the list at Holy Experience.

She's encouraging people to also do a list and realize and tune in to God, His love and the countless things He's place in our lives...a lot of which are taken for granted. So begins the journey for me with this...there is no numerical order to the thousand and it will be an ongoing project, but one I pray will be one towards gaining strength, peace and endurance for all that's ahead.

1. The eternal love of my Heavenly Father.
2. The warm embrace of my sweetie and kids.
3. Smell of freshly baking bread.
4. Feeding baby geese in the springtime.
5. Crisp fall air at the lake.
6. Cuddling in front of the fireplace.
7. The aroma of vanilla and wildberry candles.
8. God's presence in all aspects of life.
9. Music
10. Chocolate
11. Eskimo kisses
12. Innocence of children's minds

A Thousand Gifts continued...

Well, shall we carry on with the list? I know it looks slow going, but trust me, this is a pretty therapeutic thing for me right now. So here goes it...

13. The deep simplicity of a child's faith and love in God.
14. Peace that passes all understanding.
15. Friendships that will be there tomorrow, no matter what happens today.
16. All the 'freedoms' we are blessed to have at our fingertips.
17. Parents' unconditional love
18. A warm bed to sleep in every night
19. A house to be hospitable with
20. The family of Christ
21. Tears of joy in a grandparent's eye
22. To have experienced the beginning of life three times.
23. Marriage in totality
24. Parenthood in totality
25. Tim Horton's Ice Caps
26. The little teardrop in the Indian Ocean (Sri Lanka)
27. All those who have touched my life and are now with me in memory.
28. Milk tea
29. Monkeys climbing the side of a mountain
30. Picturesque waterfalls in the peacefulness of nature created.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Thanks Jayleigh :D !

** I know I've came across as really ungrateful for God's love, grace and mercy lately. Thanks to Jayleigh for these lyrics...yesterday I went to visit her blog and listen to this song over and over a few times. I know I might not always portray my devotion and gratefulness for His sacrifice and love, but it's there and carries me through all things." **

Mercy Reigns
by Shane Barnard

She hides her face, it seems too good
For Your embrace to find her
And say, "my dove, your voice is sweet
Show me your form... your form is lovely"

Your mercy reigns
Your mercy comes
Your mecy falls
and rises with the sun
Your mercy reigns
Your mercy comes
Your mercy falls
and rises with the sun

Its new every morning
Its new every morning
Its good enough for me

No ear has heard a melody
As sweet as yours for her
It seems too good, so undeserved
My heart faints now, for we are her

Your mercy reigns
Your mercy comes
Your mercy falls
and rises with the sun
Your mercy reigns
Your mercy comes
Your mercy falls
and rises with the sun

I will abide in Your love, Your love

(Song of Solomon 2:14, Lamentations 3:22-23)

"You are like a dove in an opening in the rocks. You are like a dove in a hiding place on a mountainside. Show me your face. Let me hear your voice. Your voice is so sweet. Your face is so lovely."
~ Song of Solomon 2:14 (NIRV)

"God's loyal love couldn't have run out, his merciful love couldn't have dried up.They're created new every morning. How great your faithfulness! I'm sticking with God (I say it over and over). He's all I've got left."
~ Lamentations 3:22-23 (MSG)

Monday, November 20, 2006

Negative Defaults

I find it really quite puzzling somedays how I can let myself become completely run by something I know isn't right. All those things which you know have no place in your life and need to be placed at the cross...pride, fear, anger, sadness, hopelessness. I know when these are fueling my fire, that I'm not being all that God wants me to be. But I seem paralyzed to get out of not just attempt to break the 'cycle', but to continue to keep it broken.

Yesterday, I waited until the very last moment to go to church. That's my sanctuary of peace, love and acceptance and I didn't want to be there anymore than I had to yesterday morning. Maybe it was because I was scared of how I knew God was going to prompt me with the music, the message and just the moving of His Holy Spirit. I was overwhelmed emotionally throughout that service...times just standing and listening to the words my family sang, letting them permeate me and sink in completely. I felt a huge need to be silent and not making noise.

The message ended talking about the 'negative defaults' which we so often 'buy' into and accept. Our pastor talked about how they cloud our perspective and view of the outside world and also how that changes the view of how people perceive us...kind of how the algae in a fish tank do the same, not only to the fish swimming in that tank, but to the people looking into the tank.

We were encourage to think of some of the 'negative defaults', to write them on a piece of paper and then take them and nail them to the cross at the front of the church. I had to step out of service before that occurred, as I had previously committed to helping out with another ministry at the end of the service. So I didn't get my 'defaults' nailed to the cross, but I left church yesterday with the service deeply speaking to me for the remainder of the day.

So what are some of those 'negative defaults' which so often come into our minds. Here's a few that were mentioned:

~ All Christians are....

~ All teenagers are....

~ All children's programs are coloring or .....

~ All sickness leads to death

~ People who drink and/or smoke, swear are....

~ Christians who drink and/or smoke, swear are....

So I spent the afternoon with the words of songs mulling through my head, the words of my pastor's message swimming there as well and was challenged to recognize what those 'negative defaults' are, to recognize where they truly come from and to give them to God and realize that I'm not weak if I have to give things over to God repeatedly, depending on what circumstances are occurring in my life.

So what are some of my defaults:

~ All sickness leads to death

~ If I have to give things to God more than once, then I am weak

~ I'm not what's needed or good enough for the roles in my life

~ Allowing people to see all the aspects of you will scare them off

There's more I'm sure, but I know that right now these are the ones fueling my fire and it's causing 'negative' stuff in a lot of avenues. Trying to turn those negatives into positives isn't all that hard, but losing the pride and beginning to 'buy' into the positive vs. the negative, that's a whole other story. Because for me, it truly is a battle of 'pride' and giving all 'control' to Him.

I've found out first hand this summer and fall, that you don't truly know how 'crisis' will hit you until you are in the midst of it...breathing and living it daily. I guess in all things it's a learning process and also 'trial and error'. I know He loves us exactly where we are and not where we should be. That's a huge comfort when you are battling hard and a foundation of strength. His grace is precious and is the underlying push for me...might not always show outwardly, but it's there. So much to learn and so little time to learn it, but to continue on in that journey is the definite direction to head.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Freedom From the Silence

**So I've been in a bit of a block when it comes to writing. So you have an idea of what I'm doing with this next series of posts, here goes it. I'm simply writing what's on my heart and it's in the form of story right now.

It might not be pretty, but it's what's there right now. Who's Gracelynn? Gracelynn's many girls and women out there...more than people today like to know or accept are there. I'm not offering up to you whose story this is, but am sharing it, because I think there are many stories like this wanting to be released and known. More importantly, I think these stories need to be understood and accepted...the girls and women loved and offered grace, instead of the hurtful insults and judgements which are often cast on them.

So here begins the story of Gracelynn...

The cool breeze rustled the leaves around Gracelynn’s feet as she slowly walked along the sidewalk. Each step she took felt like a lead weight. How things had gotten to where they were, she didn’t know…how she would get out of them and move ahead, she didn’t know that either. The one thing she did know was the next step needed to be taken. She couldn’t remain a prisoner to her past, the past couldn’t continue on as a dark, luminous cloud and only injustice was being served by keeping everyone in the dark about it.

But how do you possibly think you’re going to unleash that secret? Are you that crazy to think people would believe it as truth? Look at your track record…why even waste your breath…the chips are definitely stacked against you.

As Gracelynn continued to walk, the voices continued to scream in her head. It was overwhelming, exhausting and bringing her to an imminent point of hopelessness. Yes, she didn’t have the cleanest reputation, but what people didn’t realize was the root cause and underlying truth, which caused a multitude of bad choices to be made.

It was sickening to know that one event could cause such pain, turmoil and uncertainty, in not only her life, but also the lives of so many others. But it had…so many years previous, as a young girl, her innocence had been stolen in the blink of an eye. Along with that innocence, went her self-worth and purpose. She didn’t feel deserving of anything, which had been placed, in her life. She felt like a failure, was flooded with a sense of shame, which felt like a pool of death and now when she looked in the mirror, no longer recognized the person who looked back.

As she rounded the last corner towards home, Gracelynn continued to think about what she was going to say. Today was the day the dark, luminous secret would become a reality. What would happen once that reality was known…she didn’t know, but knew she was through being a prisoner and so this had to be done.

Food for Thought 2

(6-7) So be content with who you are, and don't put on airs. God's strong hand is on you; he'll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you.

(8-11) Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up. You're not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It's the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on the faith. The suffering won't last forever. It won't be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ—eternal and glorious plans they are!—will have you put together and on your feet for good. He gets the last word; yes, he does.

~ 1 Peter 5:6-11 (MSG)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Life's Pools

the feeling of life being sucked out of your very being,
drowning in the chaos, the fear and so much you don't even know.
just wanting it to be taken away,
at any cost, any means.
longing for silence and peace,
instead of the feeling of drowning in this life.

how it came to wish you knew,
living a facade of life being beautiful and surreal,
because you want to believe it can be that way.
longing to know what's made it not that way,
wanting the hell to disappear,
but scared to give up that underlying control.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


"Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without ever noticing it, live your way into the answer."

~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Monday, November 13, 2006

Growth is Essential

"Don't lose a minute in building on what you've been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others."

~ 2 Peter 1:5 (MSG)

I read this scripture passage a few weeks ago...funny thing is that I have a desk calendar which has quotes, jokes and scriptures for each day...when I turned it over to November 13th, this was what was awaiting my inquisitive eyes.

You know, God knows exactly where we're at every moment of the day. He knows our worries, fears, bad habits, laziness, joys, happiness, etc. He knows I've been having trouble with finding time to truly build on what He's given me. He knows I've been struggling with some of those basic things I need as a child of God, wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, etc. He knows that when I'm struggling with all that, that sometimes I feel like my back's against the wall and it feels like a hopeless situation.

I find it really sad how down and out I can allow myself to get sometimes. I know deep down what I want to be and what He wants me to be, but instead of letting Him do the leading, I seem to continually try and do it myself. It's a continual work-in-progress...I guess that's not a bad thing to have growing room, molding capability.

I've been finding the past month that sometimes, in order to be able to build on what you've been given, that you have to make some hard choices and changes. I've taught Sunday School or been in the nursery for as long as I can possibly remember. I love the kids and enjoy trying to bring a 'new' sense of teaching to the classroom. I don't like to do the same old, same old with the teaching of the Bible...I want the kids to be excited and to make the Bible truly come alive in their eyes. Today I wrote a letter saying that at the end of December I will be stepping down from teaching. I don't know if it will be for good or for a season, but I do know that I need to scale things down, listen hard to God and where He's leading and simply rest in His strength, peace, love, encouragement and grace.

My hope is that as I begin to gain my strength and peace back, that my spirit and joy will begin to come 'alive' again. That I will begin to search out and obtain passionate patience in every aspect of my life, that warm friendliness will radiate to others from my inner most being, that I will love with generosity like never before and that I'll begin to become more alert, knowledgeable and reverent in my walk with Christ.

Does that make the hard decisions and choices any easier? No, but it does breathe a breathe of peace and comfort through my mind and soul as the decisions are made and as the uncertainties with my mom continue on. What I have come to realize the last little while is isn't predictable, may not always be easy, fun or what we might expect it to be...but He's always with us, walking right alongside, ready and willing to carry us and guide us, celebrate with us, grieve with us, just simply be there with us every second of every single day. It's precious and we sadly take it for granted a lot of days. We figure there's tomorrow to try again, but we don't know what number of days we have and shouldn't be putting things off for yet another day.

His love is precious and our immediate obedience is essential. We need to be constantly growing and being the best we can be for Him. I am ending with how a friend 'tags' all their speaks volumes to a lot of aspects of life and our Christian walk...I simply like what it speaks!

there is nothing predictable about a rushing wind...

Saturday, November 11, 2006


I saw this while over at M.C.'s site and thought I would give it a try for fun.

The things in bold are the things I’ve done! Copy it and publish your list!!Make bold what you've done then copy and paste into your blog post. Easy-schmeezy!

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said “I love you’ and meant it!
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea (well at the Lake)
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights

15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby’s diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight

28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking

37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Visited all 50 states
40. Taken care of someone who was drunk
41. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
42. Watched wild whales
43. Stolen a sign
44. Backpacked in Europe
45. Taken a road-trip
46. Gone rock climbing
48. Midnight walk on the beach
49. Gone sky diving
50. Taken a train through Europe
51. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
52. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table, and had a meal with them
53. Milked a cow
54. Alphabetized your CDs
55. Sung karaoke
56. Lounged around in bed all day

57. Gone scuba diving
58. Kissed in the rain
59. Gone to a drive-in theater

60. Started a business
61. Taken a martial arts class
62. Been in a movie
63. Crashed a party
64. Gone without food for 5 days
65. Gotten a tattoo
66. Got flowers for no reason
67. Performed on stage
68. Been to Las Vegas
69. Recorded music
70. Eaten shark
71. Buried one/both of your parents
72. Been on a cruise ship
73. Spoken more than one language fluently
74. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
75 Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
76. Had plastic surgery
77. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
78. Wrote articles for a large publication
77. Lost over 100 pounds
79. Piloted an airplane
80. Petted a stingray
81. Broken someone’s heart
82. Broken a bone
83. Eaten sushi
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Parasailed
86. Skipped all your school reunions
87. Shaved your head
88. Caused a car accident
89. Pretended to be "sick"
90. Surfed in the ocean
91. Saved someone's life
92. Fainted
93. Been in the room while someone is giving birth
94. Hitchhiked
95. Adopted a child
96. Been caught daydreaming
97. Been to the Grand Canyon
98. Called off a wedding engagement
99. Donated your blood
100. Rode an elephant

Friday, November 10, 2006

Lest We Forget

This weekend for me will be a somber one...tomorrow as my family stands alongside others and pauses to remember the ultimate sacrifices made so that we can live in a country filled with so many freedoms.

I will remember my great-grandfather who was a soldier to help keep his country free. I am so grateful that even though I never met you, that you came home and told your story to many...that they told me of who you were and that I can now instill this into my kids' memories as well.

I will remember my great-uncle who was a soldier who believed in fighting for freedom...who lost his leg in war and died when I was 3 years old as a result of complications from that injury. I might not have known you long, but you and those around me, made sure I knew your story and your love. I will always remember through pictures and tape how you would place me on your knee, let me strum on your guitar and together we would sing.

I will remember my great-aunt who came over to Canada as a war-bride. I will remember your shining face as you told stories of your husband and his father to me as a child. You might not be here to tell those stories, but I am so thankful that you told them and the only way I knew to give lasting thanks to you was to give our daughter your name for her middle name. We sat together yesterday as a family and told her about her special namesake and we will continue to tell our kids of the stories...we will teach them to remember and not forget.

I will remember the people placed in my life who have served or still serve and are here in the father-in-law, my uncle (friend and special namesake) and my cousin-in-law.

I read a humbling Remembrance Day tribute this morning and I pray you'll read it too...

Blessings to you all as we enter this weekend of remembrance...blessings, love and prayers to the families who will remember loved ones who were lost and to those, and their families back home, who are still bravely fighting for freedom as we pause to remember and say thanks!

In Flanders Fields
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead.
Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

John McCrae (1872-1918)

Monday, November 06, 2006

So What Has the Fall Brought?

Well, I thought I would actually try and write my own post tonight, instead of simply putting a quote or pasting something in from someone else via email. It's already November and time has just flown...this Fall has been one of huge change, lots of uncertainty and scares, illness and just the emotional and physical roller coaster which goes along with this all. At times, life has felt like a blur and it just feels like the life and energy have been drained out of me...what this leads to is a major writer's block and just a general sense of uncertainty.

So as November is still at the beginning, what things have happened or changed...

~ Well, my mom came very close to death a month ago...she's now stable and treatment is going better. More surgery is looking at being scheduled, which will then mean changes in treatment. Still looking at transplant options, but in order for that to happen, certain medical devices which currently aren't working well, need to continue working so special treatments can be completed. Despite it all, she's still in good spirits and continuing on with her fighting spirit as always.

~ Started out the year homeschooling all three kids, despite a feeling of uncertainty in my innermost being. Deep down, I knew it wasn't the best choice for our family this Fall, but I ignored the feelings and somewhat 'caved' to the outside pressures and opinions around me. Well, now two out of three kids are in school and they are loving is still at home, but would like to go back into the school system next year. The atmosphere of our house has changed and are slowly but surely beginning to run a little smoother all around.

~ It's been quite the fall full of illness for me, and it seemed that all the stresses surrounding everything going on only added to my non-ability to fight off diseases, gain energy, sleep, etc. Slowly but surely, things are improving on this front...I'm not 100%, but will eventually be back there...just taking things one step at a time.

~ I'd love to say that's it and that no more changes are to come, but now that these things have evened out, I'm now beginning to examine all the things I do see which things I should truly be in and what things I might need to step back from...for the very important purpose that I feel God working to change my focus in ministry and in order for those changes to occur, I need to open up and create space for this to happen.

I think the quote I posted last week below this post, it came because of everything going on. I truly believe that your true character is developed through the trials you go through and also through how you choose to handle them. Those trials strengthen who you are as a person and for me, the time I've had to take in order to process everything has allowed my vision to become clearer in some senses.

At more than one point the last couple of months, I've seen my life past before my eyes portraying family has caused me to sit down and really deal with the reality of my mom's disease. She's beat death twice in the past three months, but I have slowly come to the point of realizing and accepting that ultimately her disease is terminal. There are ways of treating and warding off the disease, but they won't work forever. There are options of transplanting, but they also don't work forever and aren't always successful. Without these methods, she will eventually die. Do I want that? No, I can't imagine my life without her and would do anything within my power and ability to stop it from happening. But do I have the right to say, you need to do this and go through all this stuff whether you want to or not...for the sake of your family? No, I don't have that one does...that's just plain selfishness! So I've worked through and told my mom that I support in whatever decision she chooses to ultimately make treatment-wise. If at any point she chooses to quit, I'll accept and support her decision.

Life's a real emotional roller coaster right now. You'd think I'd be complete dehydrated by now, due to the amount of tears which have been shed, but man, I'm made up of a lot of water apparently ;D ! My goal right now is to simply live life one day at a time and hope and pray that things will eventually even out and improve bit by bit.

I read this quote in a post a while back and put it in 'drafts', as I was going to write a post with it. I am simply going to end this post with it. Jollybeggar speaks a lot of wisdom through this quote...I've read it more than once throughout this Fall, as I worked so hard to make some really tough decisions...hopefully you will take something from it as well.

I think the problem is that we think that we have to figure it all out in order to pray for God to do the right thing. We should probably just ask for that, whether we can discern what the right thing is or not. He's God. He'll figure it out."

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Words of Wisdom 1

"Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved."


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Altar

I was thinking about this song today and thought I would post it. We have a massive cross which stands at the very front of our church sanctuary. It's right in front of the stage...the pastors preach in front of it, the communion table is in front and it's the most awesome place to go kneel at.

This song speaks what I feel many times at the foot of that cross...whether it's actually the massive one at church or wherever the Altar is that day when I need to kneel at it. It's a peaceful place...all things leave momentarily and I just meet with the Father in the most special of ways. Nothing can replace the feeling which comes from being there, laying things down and being filled with His love, peace, understanding, strength and whatever else might be needed to continue on.

The service is nearing an end
The choir is singing "Just As I Am"
And now as the old song is played
People at the altar
Are kneeling down to pray
Some are finding mercy
Forgiveness for their sin
Some are fighting battles
And they're struggling to win
The time has come
To give them to the Lord
That's what the altar is for

That's what this altar is for
You don't have to carry
Those burdens anymore
There's a light in the darkness
There's a love that's true
And Jesus is waiting
He is waiting here for you
Go quickly now
Before they close the door
That's what the altar is for

A father is praying with his son
A mother kneels beside them
Thanking God they've come
An old man
Is standing there in tears
Giving up a part of him
That he's held back for years
Hearts are being broken
Lives are being changed
And those who call upon Him
Will never be the same
The time has come
To give in to the Lord
That's what this altar is for

CHORUS (repeat)
Go quickly now
Before they close the door
And you can give your burdens
To the Lord

That's what this altar is for
(Words and Music by Ray Boltz)